Manitoba

Osborne Village building has influx of homeless people

Winnipeg's problem with homelessness is being blamed for an influx of people spending nights inside a commercial building in the trendy Osborne Village neighbourhood.

Homeless people in Osborne Village building

10 years ago
Duration 1:33
People who work inside the Osborne Village Courtyard say they are concerned with an influx of homeless people occupying the building at all hours.

Winnipeg's problem with homelessness is being blamed for an influx of people spending nights inside a commercial building in the trendy Osborne Village neighbourhood.

Homeless people have been going into the Osborne Village Courtyard at all hours, and it's been an ongoing problem, says Guy Strobel, who owns the building.

The complex, located on the corner of River Avenue and Osborne Street, features various businesses, including a jewelry store, a law firm, a coffee shop and some restaurants.

Strobel, who has owned the building since 1999, said he has tried a door control system, boosted security, and even called police to keep the homeless people out, but nothing has worked.

"They're looking for a place to get out of the weather, out of the rain, and so they'll come and stay overnight at that building," he told CBC News.

"It's an unfortunate fact, with the situation in Winnipeg, that there's a lot of homeless people."

People who work for the businesses inside the Osborne Village Courtyard told CBC News they have recently been callling for help regularly after seeing people drinking, smoking, sleeping and going to the bathroom inside the building's common areas.

One employee at the Meiji Sushi restaurant said she called 911 early Monday morning after finding an intoxicated man passed out in the stairwell near the law firm.

Strobel said since the businesses inside his building operate at differing hours, can be difficult to keep homeless people out.

"They'll run their business until 3 or 4 in the morning, and in order to let their customers come through, they'll tape the doors open. And then they don't take the tape off, so the doors get left open," he said.

Strobel said another homeless shelter is needed in the city, perhaps in the Osborne Village area, to give people another place where they can go.

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