Homelessness issue hits Walkerville neighbourhood
Residents in a Walkerville neighbourhood are looking for leadership to deal with the issue of homelessness in Windsor.
Residents on Moy Avenue are furious one of their neighbours offered her backyard to a group of homeless people after a police visit to the Street Help Homelessness Centre on Wyandotte Street.
Administrator Christine Wilson-Furlonger says police officers paid a visit last Friday after a complaint about shopping carts lining the side of a building next to a restaurant.
The owners of El Mayor restaurant confirm they called police because their customers were uncomfortable walking by the homeless.
“A lot of my customers are even scared to even go in the parking lot,” Hussein Abbas tells CTV Windsor. “I've had a lot of customers asking me to please walk with them back to their cars.”
Hussein claims people were setting up camp in his parking lot and shopping carts were scattered everywhere.
“I mean I have no problems with them coming here eating and everything, but for them to come and set up tents in my parking lot, to cause problems with my customers, that i can't have,” says Abbas.
Police took no enforcement action. Instead, staff at Street Help were told the shopping carts couldn't be left on private property.
That's when Kim McKintosh opened her backyard at 838 Moy to those looking for a place to stay. But police visited her house after complaints from neighbours, and officers told her to have her backyard cleared by Monday.
Joanne Messina has lived in the area for 30 years.
“We want help for them but I don't think we should have to give up our safety.”
Some of the homeless are back at Street Help, like Katherine Misangyi-Faubert, who has been living on the streets since May.
She tells CTV Windsor dealing with the stigma has been at-times overbearing.
“I am having a hard time to adapt and it's getting harder with the way that people -- not even the street people -- the people that are supposed to be living a normal life, they're being more immature at the end of the day then the street people. It's awful.”
Wilson-Furlonger wants the leaders of the community to find more housing for the homeless.
“What I want to see is our community leaders stepping up and looking at this issue for what it is, a lack of housing.”