PEI

Holland College hiring security, looking for solutions over nearby homeless camp

Holland College says it’s working with the province and the City of Charlottetown on a resolution over an encampment that's cropped up on property adjoining one of the college’s parking lots. 

'We are handling the matter in a way that will maintain the dignity of the campers'

The homeless encampment is on property adjacent to a parking lot belonging to Holland College. (Kerry Campbell/CBC)

Holland College says it's working with the province and the City of Charlottetown on a resolution over an encampment that's cropped up on property adjoining one of the college's parking lots.

Almost a month ago, city and provincial officials pledged to find alternative housing for people living at such sites in Charlottetown, but there has been no announcement of any action since then. 

In a message to staff and faculty on Tuesday, Holland College said: "We are handling the matter in a way that will maintain the dignity of the campers, and we are hopeful that suitable alternate accommodations can be found for them.

"The safety of our students and staff remains our top priority. As such, we are working to confirm a security presence at the Prince of Wales Campus until this situation is resolved."

Some of the campers CBC News spoke with on Tuesday said they've had to keep moving and are running out of places to live and sleep.

None wanted to be interviewed but they often touched on the same points — struggling to find housing, struggling to hold down a job, and struggling with addiction. 

The campers say they are running out of places to go. (Kerry Campbell/CBC)

They said they're often targeted by thieves who steal the few possessions they do have. 

In early August, city and provincial officials suggested they were working to find safer places for them to live, at a time when P.E.I.'s homeless shelters were already full. 

CBC News reached out to the city and province for an update on Tuesday but did not get a response. 

Meanwhile, the tenters said they're not hurting anyone and are trying to stay hidden, but that will get harder once the leaves start to fall on the trees around their sites. 

So they figure they'll have to move again, but don't know where.

With files from Kerry Campbell

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