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LETTER: People living in the woods

Guelphite Chuck Reece worries that homeless camps are expanding, encroaching on residential recreation areas, leaving a growing number of people vulnerable
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homeless sleeping on street
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GuelphToday has received the following letter from Chuck Reece who is concerned about people living in the woods with impending cold weather:

There are people living in the woods in the Guelph area currently. Once the cold weather comes who will be responsible for rescuing these people and getting them to proper shelter?

These people are living in areas where we used to walk our dogs, pick mushrooms, toboggan, and hike with our families. Now we see trash, needles, human waste and tents and actual structures in the woods among other things, where we used to bring our families and pets.

The authorities have been contacted regarding the people living under the Victoria Road bridge over the Eramosa River and the people living further back in the woods. All that we have seen so far is an expansion of these "homeless camps."

We also know that along with these people that the crime in the areas that border the woods will increase and be prime targets when the going gets tough living outdoors: again we are entitled to our safety, people are anxious about exposing families, children and pets to these people and are avoiding walking on the beautiful trails we have here in Guelph.

This not California or British Columbia where living outdoors is a plight but doable in the winter. Not here, and especially in the woods where help and EMS has no way of getting to them.

As Ontarians and Guelphites we pay some pretty hefty taxes to help all who need it in our community. Why are our tax dollars not dealing the people in the woods through enforcement or compassion: this method of indifference does not help the public walk the trails we are entitled to or get these the people out of the woods to a safe environment.

Chuck Reece
Guelph



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