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The Encampment Response Team (ERT) addresses low risk encampments on public land in partnership with Homeward Trust, Boyle Street Community Services, Bissell Centre, and Edmonton Police Service.

City Peace Officers and Edmonton Police Service will lead the response for higher risk encampments where there are significant health and safety concerns.

What We Do

ERT responds to low risk homeless encampments across the city and schedules the closure and cleaning of encampments to support the safety and well-being of all individuals. The goal is to house people directly from encampments before enforcement and clean up action is taken.

In 2021, City Peace Officers and EPS will take the lead in responding more quickly to encampments that are high risk. Officers will share information about shelters, services and transportation options during enforcement action.

Our shared priority is the safety of both people experiencing homelessness and the surrounding community. 

Our Approach To Encampments on Public Land

The level of risk to individuals in the encampment and the surrounding community determines when the City closes and cleans up an encampment. Risks can include the size of the encampment, biohazards, needles, garbage, fire, amount of materials present, propane tanks and proximity to schools or playgrounds. 

If an encampment is low risk, the Encampment Response Team:

  • Works with partners to bridge rough sleepers with supports focused on health and housing

  • Closes and cleans-up encampments across Edmonton every week 

  • If an encampment is lower risk, it may take the ERT up to 26 days to close the site, based on available resources

Encampments are cleaned once individuals have been offered alternate safer places to stay. Individuals who don’t choose to stay in shelters are given time to relocate with their belongings prior to enforcement action.

What You Can Do To Help

Citizens are encouraged to call 311 or use the 311 App to report encampments. City park rangers are notified and investigate an encampment(s) within three to five days of the initial 311 report. 

If the encampment is not occupied, then it’s added to the clean-up schedule. 

If the encampment is occupied, City park rangers assess the level of risk to determine when clean up and closure will occur. The timeline to close and clean an occupied encampment can be immediate or take up to a few weeks, depending on the level of risk present at the site and the number of encampments being responded to across the city. In the time between the initial investigation and closure, housing and outreach workers from agencies visit the site and connect people with essential resources, services and housing, where possible.

See the Encampment Response Team process at a glance.

If you would like to help our city’s most vulnerable, or you see someone in distress and don’t know who to call, here is a quick reference tool. The City has a long history of supporting affordable housing. The City does not directly build, operate or maintain affordable housing, but works closely with non-profit housing providers. The City requires funding from the federal and provincial governments to provide affordable housing in Edmonton. Learn more about housing in Edmonton

For More Information

311 Contact Centre

Online Contact 311 Online
Telephone

In Edmonton: 311
Outside Edmonton: 780-442-5311

TTY 780-944-5555

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