New Brunswick

Poverty group gets meeting over proposed Moncton homeless area

The City of Moncton wants to meet with members of the Humanity Project on Friday to discuss the group's proposal that the city sell an old Codiac Transpo bus to the group for $1, give it a permanent parking place and then set up winter shelters for anyone who needs a place to sleep.

Group asked council for an old bus and parking area to set up shelters

Shelley Butler, volunteer with the Humanity Project, wants an old bus and a piece of land to set up a homeless compound. (Tori Weldon/CBC)

The City of Moncton wants to meet with members of the Humanity Project on Friday to discuss the group's proposal that the city sell an old Codiac Transpo bus to the group for $1, give it a permanent parking place and then set up winter shelters for anyone who needs a place to sleep.

Shelley Butler, a volunteer with the group, said it was her idea to find a cheap bus to use as a soup kitchen and her husband is building small mini-shelters in the family garage.

"We'd love to run some kind of electricity to them, that they have some form of heat, maybe even solar power, love to get some students involved maybe figuring that out," she said.

Butler said she was hoping realtors and landlords would help her find unused space but that idea didn't fly.

'It wasn't very well received you know, people are worried about their liability and having the homeless and working poor hanging around their business wasn't something they were willing to do," she said.

"I was disappointed, but I understood."

Another Humanity Project volunteer, Charles Burrell, made a presentation to Moncton city council about the compound on Monday night.

The idea was passed on to Jocelyn Cohoon, director of recreation and culture. Cohoon said she's looking forward to hearing more details from the group at a meeting on Friday.

Butler said she is looking forward to meeting with city officials and hopes they are open to the project, but if they aren't, that won't stop her.

"We will lug [the mini shelters] in the woods if we have to," she said.

"We're building these things, they come apart and go together like a jigsaw puzzle and they're very light-weight and this will happen no matter what."

Butler said the first mini shelter should be finished by the end of the week. Now she said she just needs a place to put it.

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