Advocates for homeless people say their local government sent the wrong message after it moved benches following complaints from businesses.

The two benches located at Pine Street and Third Avenue in Timmins, Ont., were moved after a complaint from the city’s Business Improvement Area.

Mayor Steve Black said his goal is to support the businesses. He said that people congregating around those benches were “approaching customers” and those customers were “not comfortable.”

Jason Sereda of the Homeless Coalition of Timmins said that “pushing the problem somewhere else or labelling people who are homeless as part of the problem doesn't accomplish anything.”

“What we need to be doing is investing in resources for drop-in centres, emergency shelters and changing the perspective," Sereda said.

A 2015 study found that Timmins had 219 homeless people and 501 who were at-risk of homelessness. More than one-third of those people were Indigenous.

With a report from CTV Northern Ontario’s Kyle Gennings


The public benches on the corner of Pine St. and Third Ave. have been removed. The HCT understands that this was done...

Posted by Homeless Coalition of Timmins on Wednesday, July 11, 2018