Homelessness in Cobourg, Ontario – timeline of actions

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| Published , updated April 11, 2024

The provincial government is primarily responsible for funding homelessness programs in Ontario, Northumberland County is responsible for delivering funding and programs locally

  • Funding: The provincial government is primarily responsible for funding homelessness programs (68% of all funding in 2021, with municipalities providing 23% and federal government providing 9%), and primarily responsible for funding and delivery healthcare, including mental health (78% of all funding).
  • Delivery: The administration and organization of housing and homelessness-related services is a local responsibility, primarily through municipalities. The 47 Service Managers 2 Indigenous Program Administrators provide some services directly, but transfer the majority of provincial funding to third parties to actually deliver/provide services and supports locally.

Northumberland County is Cobourg’s Service Manager.

Timeline

March 14, 2024 – Northumberland County directs staff to execute agreements to receive the $2.47M

That County Council, having considered Report 2024-043 ‘Additional Funding Allocation for 2023-2024 Homelessness Prevention Program –
310 Division Street, Cobourg Shelter Modernization Project’, direct County staff to execute all agreements with the Province that are required to secure the additional funding from the Homelessness Prevention Program in the amount of $2,469,500 for the 310 Division Street, Cobourg Shelter Modernization Project; and

Further That County Council direct the Chief Administrative Officer to execute the sign back letter ahead of the provincial deadline of March 15, 2024.

Motion 13.a

March 11, 2024 – Northumberland County receives $2.47M in funding from Ontario government for closing the homeless encampment

To help support the closing of a homeless encampment in Cobourg. The province says the funding will help Northumberland County provide housing options for the unhoused and most vulnerable.

This follows a recent decision by Cobourg council to seek additional funding to cope with the county’s move to establish a new homeless shelter on Division Street in Cobourg.

It’s not yet known whether this new funding will go toward that request, but the amount is very close to the $2.3M it cost to acquire the property.

March 8, 2024 – Northumberland County Council requests negotiation of Emergency Shelter Agreement with Cobourg

At the March 6, 2024, Special Meeting of Northumberland County Council, Council directed staff to negotiate an Emergency Shelter Agreement with the Town of Cobourg and/or Transition House.

On behalf of Northumberland County Council, this letter serves as a formal request to the Town of Cobourg Council to delay the March 28, 2024, force and effect date of Bylaw Number 000-2024, being a By-law ‘to License, Regulate and Govern Emergency Care Establishments in the Town of Cobourg’, in order to allow County and Town staff time to continue productive negotiation of an agreement.

March 6, 2024 – Northumberland County receives notice from Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) of an additional $2,469,500 through Homelessness Prevention Program (HPP) for 310 Division Street

County Warden and staff received correspondence from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) indicating an additional $2,469,500 through the HPP funding allocation. The funding has been provided for the 310 Division Street Cobourg – Emergency Shelter project to support the creation of 45 units (35 shelter spaces and 10 transitional housing spaces) and drop in spaces.

As a condition of this funding, Northumberland County Council is required to authorize the signback letter to confirm receipt of funding by March 15, 2024. In addition, the County is required to submit a Project Information Form (PIF), Contribution Agreement and Alternate Security within the same time period.

To secure funding, typically the County would register an agreement on title, however based on the current ownership structure of the land, an alternate security is required by the MMAH to register the provincial funding received for the renovations required for 310 Division Street,
Cobourg, Ontario. As the County is the proponent for this project, the standard security documents are not able to be used. As a result, Northumberland County as both the Service Manager and the proponent for this project is required to submit an alternate security letter.

The alternate security acts as a guarantee that in the event of a default of the Proponent’s obligations that is not corrected within a reasonable period of time, either the MMAH or the Ministry of Finance are able to withhold municipal transfer payments otherwise payable by the Province to the Service Manager, in an amount equal to the principal amount of the funding, together with accrued interest and interest penalties, calculated in accordance with the Service Manager Administration Agreement. This Alternate Security Letter will also be used in place of a traditional contribution agreement.

In addition, a contribution agreement will be required as is standard in all funding contributions from the province. As the County is both the Service Manager and the proponent, this agreement will be created between two County departments (Finance and Social Services).
There are repairs and renovations required to this property to ensure that it meets the program requirements of operating a warming hub, emergency shelter, and transitional housing. These repairs include accessibility and health and safety repairs, as well as critical upgrades to
building systems, including plumbing. Without this funding, these repairs would have been completed over a phased approach over several years, this funding enables the County and its partners to expediate the conversion activities required.

It is intended that 310 Division Street, Cobourg will be retrofitted to serve as transitional housing, adult emergency shelter, warming/cooling hub to support vulnerable individuals within Northumberland.

February 28, 2024Emergency Care Licensing Bylaw set to go into effect March 28

Penalties include:

Each director or officer of a corporation who knowingly concurs in the contravention of this By-law by the corporation is guilty of an offence
for each day or part of a day that the contravention occurs or continues.

On conviction, each Person is liable to a fine of:

a) not less than $500 and not more than $100,000; and
b) for each day or part of a day that the offence continues, a fine of not less than $500 and not more than $100,000.

February 28, 2024Nuisance Bylaw updated to include using or supply drugs or alcohol

the unlawful use, sale, furnishing, or distribution of alcoholic beverages or controlled or illegal substances;

Nuisance Bylaw

February 28, 2024 – Staff report on Council Resolution Response Regarding 310 Division Street

Transition House is a low barrier emergency shelter for the homeless run by Transition House Coalition of Northumberland, an independent non-profit organization. Funding is primarily provided by Northumberland County, but also by the Ontario Government, United Way Northumberland and others.

Transition House will enter a vendor take-back mortgage for the land. This means that Transition House mortgage is borrowed from the County being the original owner of a property, rather than a bank or other mortgage lender. This means that the County retains partial ownership of the home or property until the loan is paid off. The details of the agreement are not yet set.

No re-zoning is required. 310 Division is zoned Main Central Commercial, which permits Institutional Uses, including an Emergency Care Establishment.

The previous location at 10 Chapel Street will be sold and the proceeds used to help pay off the mortgage.

The County, along with our service manager network for housing and homelessness, have reviewed the report you provided as well as the report amendments and proposed by-laws and correspondence subsequently posted online. These documents represent a significant expansion of scope beyond what was discussed in our meeting on Feb 14. Our initial review of the various documents available has identified several issues. Should the by-laws be passed this evening, we will complete a more detailed assessment once we are able to view the final documents.

Northumberland County Chief Administrative Officer Jennifer Moore

Transition House stands to be directly impacted by this by-law; however, neither our organization nor its representatives have been approached for consultation by Council members or staff regarding its specifics. Given this, we strongly urge Council to delay a decision relating to the licensing by-law until we have had an opportunity to consult. Furthermore, if the by-law were to implemented immediately, Transition House’s operations would be significantly jeopardized. The implementation of a licensing system for emergency shelters in this community will have far-reaching implications and it would be fundamentally unjust to deny Transition House the chance to voice our concerns on this critical issue.

Transition House Executive Director Ike Nwibe

February 14, 2024 – Encampment located just west of the William Street underpass dismantled by Cobourg Works Department

February 8, 2024 – 390 King Street East, Cobourg (Brookside) put up for sale by Provincial Government

February 7, 2024 – 24 letters of correspondence submitted regarding 310 Division Street asking for Whitby-like agreement, more consultation, removing low barrier model

Wants agreement like the one in Whitby:

  • Alyson King
  • Ann and James Grozier
  • Jane Clarke
  • Jim Glover
  • Johanne Loken
  • Kody Kroontje
  • Laurel Burkmar
  • Margaret Syer
  • Peter and Jane White
  • Rod Simpson
  • Stephanie Richardson, Clinic Administrator at Cobourg Orthopaedic & Sports Injury Clinic – COSIC
  • Susan Dodd

Safety/move it/listen to residents concerns/eliminate low barrier model:

  • Cindy McAdam Battersby
  • Danelle Partridge
  • Abby Fast
  • Brett Newell
  • Laurel Burkmar
  • Lois-Anne Johns
  • Lorraine Harnden
  • Ray Rhodes
  • Tito DiMarco
  • Tony and Debra Jackson
  • Wayne McCurdy

January 31, 2024 – Cobourg Council asks staff to review setting rules for Transition House, prohibition of consuming illegal drugs in a public place

Council asked staff to review and report on:

  • Recommendations in the delegation by Dr. Hillary Allen and Mr. Jeff Crowley
  • Amendment of Municipal By-laws that would enhance the ability to enforce nuisance related incidents on all municipal property, and to specifically include a provision on the prohibition of consuming illegal drugs in a public place and loitering in public places as requested by Jeff McLean
  • Town of Whitby and Durham Region Social Services Agreement to understand the structure, responsibilities, and outcomes from the collaboration;
  • Analysis of the costs, roles and responsibilities that the Town of Cobourg would have in the community management related to the housing and shelter services being proposed for 310 Division Street, Cobourg
  • Send a letter to Northumberland County and Transition House requesting them to meet with Town of Cobourg staff to establish an agreement with the municipality to address the management of 310 Division Street
  • Legal consideration on the ability for Council to create and implement a licensing and/or a permit system for emergency shelters through a regulatory by-law in the Town of Cobourg that provides elements of protection, health and safety and nuisance control in the location and operation of an emergency shelter

January 31, 2024 – Recent Cobourg transplant from Toronto concerned how it “affects the fabric of our community”

I am writing to you as a concerned member of the Cobourg community, deeply troubled by the proposed development of 310 Division Street into a massive 12,000 sq. ft. lowbarrier shelter. I ask that this letter be added to the Jan 31st council meeting as we urgently seek your support to look at options for the Low Barrier shelter; options that provide accountability and direction.

The current approach of grouping individuals facing various challenges, from addiction to mental health issues, into a one-size-fits-all low-barrier model has proven to be ineffective. Cities like London, ON, have successfully implemented segmented and classified systems to address the diverse needs of those experiencing homelessness. There are individuals within Northumberland living in their cars, seniors struggling to afford housing, and families in need of support. These individuals could benefit from a shelter system that isn’t overwhelmed by those facing addiction and mental health challenges.

Our community has witnessed firsthand the destructive impacts associated with the clients of low-barrier shelters, and it has taken a toll on the economic vitality of our town. The fear induced by ongoing criminal activity, defecation on private properties, mental health outbursts, and a general sense of insecurity has made the town less inviting. Placing the proposed 45-room facility in the heart of Cobourg is a recipe for further division within our community.

We implore you to consider the voice of the residents of Cobourg and Northumberland County. Our mental health, safety, and well-being need to be prioritized in these discussions. The impact of this development goes beyond municipal and county lines; it affects the fabric of our community and requires collective attention and collaborative solutions.

As we express our concerns, we also recognize the complexity of this issue. However, it is crucial to ensure that the development aligns with the best interests of the community. We request your support in amplifying our concerns, urging a comprehensive review of this proposal, and seeking alternative solutions that benefit everyone involved.

Thank you for your time and consideration. We look forward to your support in safeguarding the charm and security of our town.

Resident Cindy McAdam Battersby, who “owns a 5,000-square foot home with a sprawling backyard and outdoor pool in Cobourg, Ont”

January 10, 2024 – Owners of Cobourg Orthopaedic & Sports Injury Clinic – COSIC next to 310 Division St ask for rules for Transition House similar to those in Whitby

Dr. Hillary Allen and husband Mr. Jeff Crowley are the owners of 304 Division St. sitting directly south to 310 Division, and 301 Division St., which sits directly across the street.

From the Durham Region and Whitby Operational Agreement:

  • Code of conduct for shelter occupants, with consequences
  • 24/7 onsite private security
  • Mobile private security patrols in the neighbourhood of the shelter day and night
  • Cap emergency shelter beds at 45
  • Community Liaison Committee (CLC) consisting of neighbouring residents, business owners, town and region staff, police, shelter staff and fire department officials was created to allow ongoing productive communication and to mitigate issues with stakeholders related to the shelter as the arise.
  • Officials committed to enhanced garbage and drug paraphernalia removal at private residences, businesses, and public spaces within a 500 metre to 1,000 metre radius around the shelter property on a continual basis.
  • Prioritize Whitby residents who are in need of sheltering services.
  • Acknowledge that a low-barrier shelter space is not a “no barrier” shelter space. Living in community with other people means following the enforceable principles of a code of conduct, bylaws, and laws that apply.
  • Direct shelter phone number provided to allow timely communication with staff regarding immediate issues as they arise in the neighbourhood.
  • Dedicated on-site smoking area nine metres away from entrances to mitigate loitering on sidewalk and neighbouring properties.
  • Construct a 10-foot fence around the property line of the shelter to provide privacy and security for neighbouring residents and shelter occupants.
  • Acceptable use included supportive housing, legal counselling, administrative space, and classroom space, with all future space uses to be discussed with the CLC and the Town of Whitby.
  • No safe-injection site.

December 30, 2023$25,775 raised to provide shelter, stoves and safety equipment to encampment residents by a small group of neighbours led by Jenni Frenke and Tony Mercieca

This solution will cost only $800 per person/couple for a special wood stove tent/ wood stove/ smoke alarm/ fire extinguisher/ash pail and shovel set. We are looking to raise enough money to provide shelter for 25 people/couples as well as a communal tent for a kitchen and others who need a place to stay warm for the night.

The wood stove that was chosen in consultation with the Cobourg fire department.

December 13, 2023 – NIMBY business and property of nearby properties ask for pause, more public consultation

Unfortunately, vandalism, theft, explicit drug use, trespassing, intimidation, dumping (of) garbage, public urination and defecation, as well as verbal and physical assaults, continue to be daily occurrences on our properties and at our businesses — more so than in any other neighbourhood in Cobourg, or likely Northumberland County

we are genuinely concerned about the state of chaos that has become commonplace in our neighbourhood and extending into the downtown over the last four years, as well as the lack of meaningful progress to improve these issues.

Over the last four years, as a result of the opioid crisis, Transition House changed their model of care, becoming a low-barrier emergency shelter and drastically, negatively altering the neighbourhood.

Jeff Crowley, owner of Cobourg Orthopaedic & Sports Injury Clinic – COSIC, 304 Division St. and 310 Division St.

We have found discarded substance paraphernalia, garbage, weapons and personal belongings. We have been accosted by individuals in mental health crisis or under the influence of substances.

We have been woken up in the middle of the night to fights in the middle of the road, to individuals being injured by vehicles. We have (had) individuals bang on our building, and yell and scream at the top of their lungs.

We are not saying that the residents (who) move into 310 Division St., have been or will be individuals that we have had interactions with, but we are concerned that the relocation of Transition House to 310 Division St. – and the vision to expand the number of accommodation spaces and increased service delivery, will increase the number of instances and interactions impacting our safety and security, and our quality of life.

Chloe Craig, whose family owns 8 affordable rental units in the property next door to 310 Division

The proposed acquisition of 310 Division Street is particularly troubling given the current challenges faced by our downtown core. Increased crime rates, violence, garbage, loitering in business entryways, and the presence of drug paraphernalia are issues that are already affecting the well-being of our community. Accelerating such changes without proper consultation raises concerns about the accelerated degradation of the downtown core in Cobourg.

I understand the urgency of addressing homelessness, but it is equally important to consider the impact on the existing community. This decision should be a conversation, not a directive. I urge the Council to ensure that the voices of homeowners and business owners are heard and that their concerns are given due consideration in this significant decision-making process.

David Battersby correspondence

By turning this building into a shelter, you are forever changing the landscape of Division Street. Residents and retailers are already struggling with drug and crime issues created by Transition House, etc. are now being forced to reckon with reduced housing values due to increased violence, and growing drug issues created by the permanent placement of this facility. It’s simply unbelievable that you would purchase a building on behalf of the shelter and not include the town in the conversation.

Ann and James Grozier

December 7, 2024 – Change.org petition asking to “Join us in safeguarding Cobourg’s charm and security.” started

December 6, 2023 – Northumberland County finalizes purchase of 310 Division St for $2.3 million

310 Division St., Google Maps

A 47-bedroom complex at 310 Division St, formerly the Cobourg Retirement Residence, which closed in early 2023. It is anticipated to open in the Spring of 2024.

Transition House is Northumberland’s only emergency shelter for adults experiencing homelessness. With escalating demand for services, staff have increasingly been grappling with the limitations of the current century-home facility. The shelter has just four rooms, each equipped with bunk beds, and can accommodate a maximum of 22 individuals. Staff can further accommodate up to seven individuals through arrangements with local motels, as an overflow measure.

The purchase of 310 Division Street will enable Transition House to consolidate operations to a single site, ensuring consistent wrap-around services for all clients. With 47 units and shared kitchen amenities, the vision is for a multi-purpose facility. Approximately 35 emergency shelter spaces will address immediate need and, over the longer-term, transitional housing accommodations and other services will create pathways out of homelessness. This plan builds upon the recommendations from a third-party review of the shelter system commissioned by the County earlier this year. The review recommended a minimum of 25 shelter spaces for adults, in addition to the creation of supportive and transitional housing spaces.

Northumberland County and Transition House

Delegation: Dr. Hillary Allen & Mr. Jeff Crowley

December 5, 2023 – Mayor Lucas Cleveland holds Town Hall, answers questions

November 17, 2023 – Encampment located at 390 King Street East, former Brookside Youth Centre Property is located on Infrastructure Ontario land

Town of Cobourg sends letter to Infrastructure Ontario

Confirming that the Minister of Infrastructure, as the owner of the Brookside Property and IO who is responsible for it’s management, have responsibility to take all steps deemed reasonable and necessary to ensure that any persons entering on the premises are reasonably safe while on the premises and further that the Ministry and IO should immediately take reasonable steps to make the premises safe.

Infrastructure Ontario response to letter from resident

Letter from Infrastructure Ontario
To marya – commenter on Cobourg news Blog – in response to her letter a month ago.
15 November 2023 – 10:29 am

Thank you for sharing your concerns regarding the property at 390 King Street East, Cobourg.

The province has been continuously engaged with the County of Northumberland and the Town of Cobourg, including police and fire authorities. For inquiries specific to by-laws, please contact the Town of Cobourg directly.

Outreach workers from Northumberland County Community & Social Services and partner agencies have been engaging with individuals tenting on the property to support transition from the encampment to community services. Individuals tenting on the property are encouraged to access safe shelter alternatives and other community resources.

In addition, Infrastructure Ontario has implemented additional security protocols to help improve safety and security at the site. This includes hiring security patrols, engaging with local police services, as well as installing new safety equipment in the area.

Please be aware there are legal implications that must be considered in our management of this matter.

Best,

Infrastructure Ontario

Cobourg News Blog

November 11, 2023 – Cobourg Police: “concerns raised online about community safety and crime … do not align with the reports we have been receiving”

Between 1:30 pm and 4:00 pm on November 11, uniform officers and special constables canvassed 116 homes. They spoke with 90 individuals from the neighbourhoods of Cottesmore Avenue, Meredith Avenue, Thomas Street, Jane Street, Brook Road North, Rolling Street, and King Street East (between Cottesmore Avenue and Brook Road North).

The top community concerns brought forward by residents were:

  • Feeling unsafe while walking in the neighbourhood.
  • Concerns with people trespassing on their property.
  • Concerns with property being stolen from backyards and porches.
  • Concerns with people going through garbage and recycling.
  • Finding drug paraphernalia in the area.
  • Speed and traffic concerns.
  • Street lighting.

When asked what they would like to see done to address concerns, the top responses were:

  • Increased police presence through foot patrols, especially at night.
  • Implementation of CCTV cameras in and around neighbourhoods.
  • Speed and traffic enforcement in the area, especially around schools.
  • Better neighbourhood lighting.
Cobourg Police Media Release

November 6, 2023 – Cobourg DBIA proposes Welcoming Streets and Neighbourhood Pilot Program

Conditionally approving $22,300 towards the estimated total budget of $57,300.

November 1, 2023 – Mayor Lucas Cleveland provides update on encampments

September 20, 2023 – Residents of the encampment at 390 King Street East (Brookside) are served notice to move

Notice was served by security on Monday at around 4 p.m. stating they needed to move on within 48 hours.

Northumberland County and it’s partners keep saying that transitional housing space is available, but it changes on a daily basis and has yet to be enough for all those at the encampment.

September 11, 2023 – Global News: Homelessness in Cobourg, Ont., remains a growing concern as officials seek solutions

September 9, 2023 – Virginia Bailey tells her story about how the encampment started and how she got to this point

September 8, 2023 – Northumberland County uses the Trespass to Property Act to evict residents of 600 William Street, they move to 390 King Street East, the former Brookside Youth Centre Property

Gave 24-hours notice before a private security firm and the Cobourg Police would take action to clear the property.

Notice posted at Brookside encampment September 8, 2023

September 8, 2023 – Northumberland County and partners “remain committed” to meeting the needs of unsheltered residents

The aim of collaborative encampment response between local service providers is not to displace people experiencing homelessness to other locations, but to support people to resolve their homelessness through engagement with services

Accessing services is voluntary. Enforcement of public property violations occurs only after multiple offers of support have been made without success, and individuals have been notified that they are required to vacate the property. Occasionally, though rarely, enforcement of removal from public property is required. However the goal has always been, and remains, voluntary resolution of encampment through offers of service.

County Director of Community and Social Services Lisa Horne

September 5, 2023 – Cobourg Council authorizes Northumberland County to use Integrity Investigative Solutions Limited (IISL) and Cobourg Police Services to enforce Trespass to Property Act to remove the unauthorized encampment in response to staff report about encampment on the County property at 600 William Street

County Council, having considered the update from County staff, and being satisfied that all practically possible and locally available options for alternative shelter and access to social services offered by the County and its community partner have been offered or made available to the persons encamped at 600 William Street, Cobourg, and having considered the actual and potential operational impacts to County services, including ambulance and community paramedicine services, as well as impacts to the property itself and other nearby properties, and considering the County’s obligations to the public and County staff including under the Occupiers Liability Act, the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Ambulance Act, support and endorse the operational steps taken by County staff to date, and authorize and direct staff to exercise the County’s remedies pursuant to Trespass to Property Act to remove the unauthorized encampment in general accordance with the plan described in the staff update; and

County Council hereby designate Integrity Investigative Solutions Limited (IISL) and Cobourg Police Services as agents of the County for the purposes of exercising any authorities under the Trespass to Property Act.

August 24, 2023 – Cobourg advises residents that the encampment located by the Cobourg West Pier has been vacated

The Town of Cobourg would like to advise residents that the encampment located by the Cobourg West Pier has been vacated. Town of Cobourg staff will be on site in the following days to conduct cleaning and remediation of the area. Residents are asked to please refrain from visiting the area around the Waterfront Nature Park to allow crews to complete this work.

Following receipt of multiple resident complaints, on Monday, August 7th, Municipal Law Enforcement staff attended an encampment located by the west pier. Based on their assessment of the site, Officers found that the encampment was in violation of the Parks By-law, Nuisance By-law and Trespass to Property Act. Staff have been working internally and with community supports offered through Northumberland County Community and Social Services and various community agencies on a response to the situation occurring on public lands. Partners including NHH Community Mental Health Services outreach workers, and the Cobourg Police Homeless Addiction Resource Project (HARP) team have been actively engaged with the occupants, enabling individuals to access provincial social assistance and with the goal of transitioning those temporarily sheltering on municipal park lands to community services.

August 23, 2023 – Encampment residents at west beach in Cobourg move to the County Offices property at 600 William Street

West Beach area has now been cleaned up and re-opened to the Public.  The campers have moved to County property behind 600 William Street.

August 21, 2023 – Cobourg Council updates Parks, Open Space and Facilities By-law to outlaw encampments with a penalty of $200 to $10,000 per day, unless Northumberland County is satisfied that the number of locally available shelter beds is less than the number of individuals in need of shelter

17.2 Where the Northumberland County CAO, being ultimately responsible for Social Services as the Service Manager for the Town of Cobourg in consultation with the Town of Cobourg, is satisfied that the number of locally available shelter beds is less than the number of individuals in need of shelter, the Northumberland County CAO may permit such individuals to erect and be within temporary structures, on municipal lands without a permit otherwise required by this By-law for such time and subject to such conditions and restrictions as the
Northumberland County CAO may from time to time establish.

55.6 If an Officer is satisfied that a contravention of this By-law has occurred, the Officer may

a) make an order requiring the person who contravened this By-law to discontinue the contravening activity;
b) make an order requiring the person who contravened this By-law to do work to correct the contravention; and
c) exercise the Town’s rights pursuant to the Trespass to Property Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. T.21. 24.

55.7 Without limiting section 55.9, each person to whom an order is given pursuant to section 55.6 and who fails to comply with the order is guilty of an offence.

55.8 Without limiting sections 55.7 and 55.9, if an Officer is satisfied that a person to whom an order has been given pursuant to section 55.6 has failed to comply with the order, the Officer may cause to be done the work set out in the order at the person’s expense.

55.9 Each person who contravenes this By-law is guilty of an offence and, upon conviction, is liable to a fine of no less than $200 and no more than $10,000 for each day or part of a day on which the offence commences or continues.

55.10 No proceeding for damages or otherwise may be commenced against the Town, a member of Council or an officer, employee
or agent of the Town or a person acting under the instructions of the officer, employee or agent for any act done in good faith
in the performance or intended performance of a duty or authority under this By-law or for any alleged neglect or default
in the performance in good faith of the duty or authority

August 10, 2023 – Encampment set up on Town of Cobourg lands near the west beach/pier area

July 28, 2023 – Tenants removed from an unsafe residential building

On Thursday, July 27, 2023, the Town of Cobourg Fire Department conducted an inspection of a residence on Division Street that uncovered numerous fire and life safety concerns.

On Friday, July 28, a second multi-agency inspection was completed. Under the Ontario Building Code and applicable Health Protection and Promotion legislation, the building was ultimately deemed unsafe for occupancy due to several building code and public health violations posing a threat to those living in the dwelling and the adjoining unit.

Subsequently, the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPR District Health Unit) issued an Order to placard the dwelling citing health and safety issues associated with the accumulation of raw sewage in the basement likely to have an adverse effect on the health of those living within the premise.

All agencies continue to work with the owner to bring the building into compliance, to make it safe for residents to re-occupy. The dwelling will remain vacated until deemed safe by the Town of Cobourg.

“The Town Council supports and cares for the safety and well-being of all its residents. Safety concerns are taken seriously and approached collaboratively with local emergency services and partner agencies to provide the best outcome for those impacted. Actions by all the partner agencies have ensured the health and safety of residents.” – Lucas Cleveland, Mayor of the Town of Cobourg

Tenants have been removed from the property for their own health and safety and have been provided with temporary accommodation through the support of Red Cross. All agencies continue to work with the owner to bring the building into compliance for residents to safely re-occupy.

May 20, 2023 – Northumberland County receives a $2.2 million (48%) increase in Homelessness Prevention Program funding

This announcement is an increase of almost 50 per cent to our social service provider Northumberland County

This is a larger increase than the average across Ontario which signals the growth that our community is experiencing and signals the recognition, I think, I’ve long said this, I’ve felt rural Ontario was ignored by previous governments. We’re growing and we recognize that as a growing community we deserve the attention and support of your government…and we’re doing just that with this historic funding.

MPP David Piccini, Northumberland-Peterborough South

It just opens up the window and we can start planning and considering

Our immediate action, first, was to hire the second person to be on the frontline at the Cobourg hospital for counselling and intake and so on. That addresses an immediate need with a high visibility problem and a very real health need – drug addiction and mental health services – so that’s fabulous as far as I’m concerned and then we address the other aspects of homelessness and need through other programs. The funding is amazing…it just gives us that leverage. It also means it will grow exponentially as you draw people in. Money attracts money, possibility attracts possibility and that’s what this is – it’s a kickstart.

Northumberland County Warden Mandy Martin

April 23, 2023 – Port Hope Council passes motion recognizing housing as a fundamental
human right, establishes a Housing Committee

WHEREAS Article 25 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognizes the right to housing and shelter; and

WHEREAS Canada’s National Housing Strategy Act recognizes the right to housing as a fundamental human right as defined in
international human rights law; and

WHEREAS Port Hope recognizes that challenges of homelessness and affordable housing exist in our community; and
WHEREAS all levels of government have a role to play in the protection of human rights, including the right to housing and shelter;

NOW BE IT RESOLVED that the Municipality of Port Hope endorses Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,
recognizing the right to shelter and housing as a fundamental human right;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this motion be sent to Northumberland County Council and all Northumberland County
lower-tier municipalities.

April 12, 2023 – Global News: Some Cobourg residents concerned for their safety, while others are hoping to educate

April 4, 2023 – Council rejects Sleeping Cabins, citing groups failing to follow formal processes

…. I was a big supporter of this initiative and I still recommend that individuals behind this initiative who want to see housing for our community members most vulnerable, those who want to see a change in policy, to look to agencies and organizations that are willing to follow the procedures and formal processes that are in place.  But when I see groups failing to follow the processes to which we are all held to account and those groups are associated with other groups – it’s hard for me to support any initiative when those individuals have shown blatantly that they choose not to respect the rule of law and the rules that have been set forth in this council.

Mayor Lucas Cleveland

March 23, 2023 – TweakEasyCBG responds, Public Health acknowledges the service

McLean said the goal is to demonstrate need and ability to run this site, while also collecting data in support of conversations around establishing a sanctioned, funded site locally.

When we think about the scope of the crisis — and the impact it’s having on our friends, family and community, three hours, one night a week, doesn’t sound like a lot — and it’s not a lot — but it’s a start and it’s as much an act of resistance as anything else. It’s about saying, ‘We need this service, we know how to provide it, and we’re going to do it.

Missy McLean, community organizer

We understand (TweakEasyCBG) is being established in response to drug poisonings and overdoses in our community with the intent to save lives,

Supervised consumption services — both sanctioned and/or unsanctioned — provide rapid access to naloxone, which may temporarily reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.

Dorothea Service, manager of healthy families and harm reduction with the health unit

March 20, 2023 – Officials urge unauthorized supervised consumption site (SCS) to follow procedures

What is being proposed in Cobourg is outside of the continuum of care; and, not being done in collaboration with health care and social service partners. This is both concerning and counterproductive to our shared goals.

MPP David Picinni

I do not in any way support this project as it is currently being run or the means in which it was implemented. I am confident that many residents in this community will not either. I am not against the use of safe consumption sites per se, I am however, 100% against this type of illegal activity. I can not and will not support illegal activity no matter how it is framed or justified just because there are some individuals in the community who are unwilling to do the required work and/or don’t have the patience to make changes through the appropriate and legal channels.

Mayor Lucas Cleveland

We do not arrest individuals for simple possession of illicit drugs alone, focusing on more serious cases raising public safety concerns.
Supporting harm reduction approaches like supervised consumption and treatment sites in communities can help prevent overdoses and increase access to health and social services. Establishing these sites must be done in a conscientious manner that does not result in unintended consequences negative to communities in terms of criminal activity.

Police Chief Paul VandeGraaf

February 21, 2023 – 7 delegations about the proposal to put “Sleeping Cabins” in the parking lot of the Memorial Arena on Furnace Street

6 were in favour and 1 presented a petition of 36 nearby residents who were against the idea.

December 16, 2022 – Northumberland Sleeping Cabins Collective proposes cabins as an emergency response to Cobourg and Port Hope’s homelessness crisis

A cabin can be built for $5000 although that’s just sleeping quarters – more detail is provided below.  Kitchen and washroom facilities would be provided with separate buildings and shared.

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