Info Page: 150 Main Street, Cambridge -
EnCampment & Closure
(In Build - Additional content yet to be added, edits remain needed. Please feel free to reach out with any additional information links/related content or to let me know of any errors!)
In August 2022, an encampment formed on regional land at the 150 Main street building in Cambridge. This encampment consisting of otherwise unhoused residents occupied a row of parking spaces at the edge of the regional buildings parking lot and the minimal space next to the lots pavement line abutting the neighbouring property. It began when the neighbouring private property lot was evicted and some of the residents from there relocated themselves to this neighbouring space. This location is adjacent to many of the Cambridge community's services enabling easier direct contact for these residents to the supports they required to sustain themselves.
Throughout the course of its use by local unhoused residents, security and portable toilets were added. As well a fence was constructed surrounding the living area and barriers were added at the nearby vehicle entrance, both implemented seeking to aid in assuring resident safety and welcomed by the sites residents.
In August of 2023 the location was closed by the Region of Waterloo.
For more information or to arrange a donation please email Jaime.Stief@gmail.com
From: The Unsheltered Campaign
To: Region of Waterloo Council & Regional Housing Services Staff
RE: Closure of Encampment at 150 Main St. in Cambridge
RE: Ending of Motel Shelter Program
We are writing to express our dismay about two recent actions: the involuntary closure of the encampment at 150 Main St. in Cambridge, and the ending of the motel shelter program. Based on our current understanding of these actions, we find that they raise human rights concerns and will cause harm to our unsheltered neighbours.
While the closure of the 150 Main St. encampment is being presented as voluntary, we are aware that residents felt pressured to leave, and that some previous residents of 150 Main continue to live unsheltered. This speaks to the absence of accessible and adequate shelter options for people experiencing homelessness in Waterloo Region. Justice Valente’s January 2023 court ruling concerning 100 Victoria St. noted this absence as a key reason why evicting residents sheltering on public lands violated their S.7 Charter rights.
The closure of 150 Main was an action contrary to the spirit of the 100 Victoria court ruling and a human rights approach to housing, due to both the pressures exerted upon residents to leave without having secure adequate alternative shelter as well as the prohibition on any future sheltering of people experiencing homelessness on these public lands.
The closure of 150 Main comes at the same time that the Region of Waterloo is discontinuing its funding of 50 motel shelter spaces for residents experiencing homelessness. Motel spaces are not permanent, adequate housing. However, we echo the concerns of other community advocates: discontinuing the funding of the motel shelter spaces before accessible and adequate housing options have been secured for residents will directly lead to more people experiencing unsheltered homelessness and exacerbate pressures on encampment sites.
As we have done in the past, we once again call on the Region of Waterloo Council and Regional staff to adopt practices consistent with a human rights approach to homelessness and housing, including:
(Letter continues below tweet)
As immediate next steps, Unsheltered Campaign requests the following from the Region:
Regional Meetings - Housing related info Highlighted - January - August 2023
(Working on this area still... please check back again later for more links!)
Municipal Planning (Housing and Homelessness)
Interim Housing Solutions
Interim Housing Solutions
Engage Waterloo Region: Interim Housing Solutions:
From the above link:
"Interim Housing Solutions Strategy
We are moving forward with an Interim Housing Solutions strategy to address this challenging situation, using four key tools:
You can find out more, offer input, or sign up for progress updates at engageWR.ca
Other Related Information Links:
Service & support providers located at the 150 Main Street Region of Waterloo building in Cambridge & direct surrounding downtown Galt area:
Please Note: List above is still currently in build/draft - Please feel free to let me know if I've missed adding or am mistaken in any information.
View More Media Publications on this topic
- March 18, 2023 Cambridge man facing arson charges after tent fire- The Record News
- March 30, 2023 Region says money spent to secure encampments necessary to keep people safe - Cambridge Today
- May 3, 2023 Hybrid shelter open, encampments remain with some unwilling to move - CTV News
- May 23, 2023 Regional Council to hear update on local high-risk encampments - City News Kitchener
- May 24, 2023 Region's hybrid shelter home to 11 who left Cambridge encampments - Cambridge Today
- May 24, 2023 Just over half of people living at 3 'high risk' encampments in Kitchener, Cambridge have moved -CBC News
- May 29, 2023 Tents go up in flames at Cambridge encampment - CTV News
- May 28, 2023 Three tents burn, no one hurt after possible explosion and fire at a Cambridge homeless encampment Sunday - The Record News
- June 7, 2023 Council votes down motion on homelessness as residents express frustration -Cambridge Today
- June 11, 2023 Cambridge mayor to host community safety town hall - Cambridge Today
- July 11, 2023 Region of Waterloo expands cooling centre access - City News Kitchener
- July 14, 2023 Emotions run high at city town hall on safety concerns - Cambridge Today
- July 14, 2023 Cambridge residents share safety concerns at community town hall, second town hall set for Sept. 18 - City News Kitchener
- July 14, 2023 ‘It’s like I’m being pushed out by the residents around the city,’ encampment resident says- The Record News
- July 26, 2023 ‘Someone Lives Here’ free screening highlights plight of homelessness -Cambridge Today