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City looking for ways to clean up garbage at homeless encampments

A homeless encampment is pictured near the Disraeli Freeway on Wednesday, June 10, 2023. (Source: CTV News Winnipeg) A homeless encampment is pictured near the Disraeli Freeway on Wednesday, June 10, 2023. (Source: CTV News Winnipeg)
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The City of Winnipeg may soon be looking to other North American cities for ways to clean up garbage around homeless encampments.

A report to the city's Executive Police Committee says numerous encampments along the city's riverbanks and parks pose, "significant environmental, health, life safety and fire hazards issues."

It says while the long-term solution to homelessness is providing more housing-first models and wraparound supports, something has to be done in the interim.

"There is a desire to have a human rights-based approach to supporting the unsheltered residents with dignity, respect and compassion so that the City and outreach providers can assist in a mindful garbage removal at all of the encampment sites across the city," the report reads.

It goes on to say there is a gap in services when it comes to removing bulky garbage in a timely fashion once an encampment has been vacated.

The report calls on the city's public service to take a look at how other North American cities clean up garbage at encampments and report back with resource and operational costs in 120 days.

The city's executive policy committee is set to discuss the motion at its meeting next week.

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