Homeless people still camping in downtown Sudbury park despite last week's eviction

As the homeless population in Sudbury increases tents being set up and people living in Memorial Park downtown continue to be an ongoing issue.

Overnight camping in city-owned parks is illegal and last week several people were evicted from the area, yet tents were set right back up and people continue to camp there.

Bylaw officers evicted homeless people who were camping in the downtown park on June 30.

"Memorial Park will continue to be on the regular patrol route of security enforcement officers. We will continue to offer support and community services to those open to receiving help," the City of Greater Sudbury said in a statement.

Deec Cachagee has been homeless for three years and had previously lived at Memorial Park. He said theft is a problem.

"Plain and simple as that, if you don't watch your stuff, it's gone," Cachagee said.

He would like the city to do more about the lack of affordable housing.

"Well, if you are on welfare, you are not gonna be able to afford nothing. You are gonna need a roommate, you know, or a couple of roommates. You are not going to be able to find your own apartment on welfare," Cachagee said.

Meanwhile, a group providing essential items to people experiencing homelessness is looking for volunteers ages 16 and over.

"Anyone can volunteer. We don't have any prerequisites but what we do want is an understanding and compassion for the demographic we work with and its complexities," said Melissa Poitras Belanger, a Street Outreach Sudbury (SOS) volunteer.

The outreach group sets up every Wednesday evening at the market location downtown and needs people to help out or pick up donations throughout the week.

"We have been operating for 10 months this month and while the program continues to grow, so does the need for volunteers. So this particular location that we are at now requires approximately 10 volunteers to run smoothly on a weekly basis," Poitras Belanger said.

Anyone wanting to volunteer with SOS can contact them through Facebook or Melissa Poitras Belanger at 705-507-1835. Donations of clothing and personal hygiene items are greatly needed and pick up can be arranged.