Riverbank homeless camps swallowed up by high water
Published Thursday, October 24, 2019 3:37PM CST Last Updated Thursday, October 24, 2019 6:32PM CST
WINNIPEG -- High water has swallowed up some of the homeless camps along Winnipeg’s riverbanks.
It's left some scrambling for a new place to stay and others rushing to clean-up what's been left behind.
At some locations, the river is overflowing onto furniture, clothes and bike parts. There is a lot of stuff people can no longer use that will be swept away if it's not cleaned up before the river freezes.
On Thursday, CTV News went out with a volunteer clean-up crew in St. Boniface on Lyndale Drive and watched as it removed a lot of household items, some stuck between fallen tree branches.
Avery Ross spends time with the St. Boniface Norwood Preservation Society. He said he saw a post online about the mess along the riverbank and wanted to do something about it.
“It's amazing how much pillows weigh when they have been sitting in a river for a few weeks or a couple of days,” said Ross.
“We found some needles, we found some bottles and solvent cans and stuff like that, but I mean it's also children's toys and food, so it's a little bit of everything.”
Some of the volunteers who said they've never cleaned up a homeless camp before described it as a rewarding experience, saying it felt good removing dangerous items from community.
After camps flooded, it appears some of the people living outside are simply moving tents to higher ground. CTV News observed some tents just a few metres from where the volunteers were cleaning up on Lyndale Drive.
Main Street Project said it’s done outreach with about two dozen camps this year.
It said with the cooler weather, some people have moved into shelters, but every year there are about 100 to 200 people who try to stay outside in winter.