Crews dismantle Fredericton tent city
'It’s like your house burns down ... but you gotta move on,' says tent city resident
Crews dismantled a tent city on Friday that has stood behind Old Government House in Fredericton since last summer.
Residents say police arrived to start the eviction at around 8 a.m.
At first, crews in white garb, who appeared to be working out of a Servicemaster truck, began cutting the tents and removing the contents.
"Servicemaster was cleaning really super, super fast," said tent city resident Dennis Robertson.
"We didn't have much time."
Then, around noon, a front end loader started clearing the property by the St. John River.
Residents at the tent city received an eviction notice from the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure earlier this week.
A statement from the Department of Social Development, which is assisting with the eviction, said the residents are being moved out over concerns for their own safety.
"There is no heat nor running water available at this site and given the extreme cold in recent days, we are encouraging these individuals to take advantage of the beds available at one of the three shelters in the city.," said the department.
Robertson was upset as he witnessed the demolition of the place he had called home since last year.
"It's like your house burns down," said Robertson, "But you gotta move on."
On Thursday, both the men's and women's shelters reported having beds available, while the out-of-the-cold shelter has room for 25 people on a first-come, first-served basis.
Robertson said he plans to start another camp and said people don't realize that shelters are not a great option for some people.
"I'm not going in the shelters," said Robertson.
Robertson suggested the people who were responsible for the eviction should try to live in a shelter for a few weeks.
He said the shelter has too many rules and that they aren't enforced equally.
Robertson admits there were some "shady" people who lived in the tent city, but said many became friends with him.