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[West Nipissing, ON]– Individuals encamped on Coursol Road in Sturgeon Falls were provided a 24-hour notice to vacate by 1 p.m. on Thursday, November 23. All members of the encampment are vacating peacefully. The Coursol Road lot serves as a site for the winter road maintenance program and is subject to heavy-machinery traffic. For several safety reasons, residents are asked not to camp on municipal property. 

The Municipality of West Nipissing is working together with regional resources to address the growing challenges of homelessness and encampments in the community. The safety and well-being collaboration includes members of the District of Nipissing Social Services Administration Board (DNSSAB), Crisis Centre North Bay, Low Income People Involvement of Nipissing (LIPI), the Ontario Provincial Police, and True Self, an outreach organisation contracted by the DNSSAB.

The group ensured that alternative shelter options were available to members of the encampment prior to providing notice to vacate. Outreach workers have been on-site to connect individuals with housing and support services. The Fire, Emergency and By-law staff are continuing to build a rapport with the individuals and with local volunteers. Additionally, the Municipality has offered transportation and the option of storage for those who cannot take all of their belongings to a shelter or other accommodation. 

 “I am pleased with the coordinated effort between local and regional resources over the last couple of weeks,” says Jay Barbeau, Chief Administrative Officer “this model of collaboration will serve us well as we continue to navigate such a difficult issue. Although these are not long-term solutions, everyone at the table believes that these actions are in the interest of safety for those experiencing homelessness in our community at this time.” 

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