New Brunswick·Updated

Fredericton homeless shelters full as fall arrives

Both the men's and women's homeless shelters in Fredericton have been running close to or at capacity lately, forcing some homeless people to live in tents along the St. John River.

People without place to live pitching tents on bank of St. John River

No room at the shelters

7 years ago
Duration 1:52
Homeless living in tents near full Fredericton shelters.

Both the men's and women's homeless shelters in Fredericton have been running close to or at capacity lately, forcing some homeless people to live in tents along the St. John River.

"It's pretty degrading," said Jay Trail at the messy campsite that he and girlfriend Katie Gray call home.

"I mean really, like, you kind of feel helpless. Like what else am I going to do? I can't go to the shelter because it's full."

On Monday night, the men's shelter housed 27 men — two more than capacity.

Trail and Gray struggle with an addiction to painkillers and don't know where to go.

"I have two little girls, but my mom has custody of them right now and I'm not allowed to be at their house."

Gray said the onset of colder weather will make life more than just uncomfortable.

"I think I'm pregnant and I need to do something for me and the baby. Like, I can't be out here anymore," she said.

Jason Spencer, a street pastor, says many local churches do good work, but if they work together they can help.

"If each church in this city just chucked $100 into a bank account, we could get these people a first month's rent, get them off a riverbank," said Spencer.

Fredericton Homeless Shelters say they are planning to sit down and co-ordinate with church leaders soon.

In a statement, the Fredericton Police Force said there are many community partners that have a role to play in finding solutions.

Spokesperson Alycia Bartlett said. "We are currently in the process of trying to get the Riverfront Watch group, which includes those community partners, back together, to see what we can do to help."

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