Guelph Homeless Eviction Notice ‘Made in Error’
Residents of Guelph were alarmed by social media reports of eviction warning notices at a downtown encampment, dated Feb. 8, stating that living on city property was prohibited and eviction notices would follow in 12 hours. This caused confusion and concern among the community.
However, it was later clarified by Gail Hoekstra, executive director of Stepping Stone (the organization that posted the notices), that these notices were mistakenly issued and have been removed.
The intention was to inform individuals about temporary hotel shelter opportunities funded by the county’s Reaching Home program. Colleen Clack-Bush, deputy CAO of the City of Guelph, acknowledged the mistake, emphasizing that the message about imminent eviction was incorrect and not reflective of the city’s policies.
Efforts were made to retract the incorrect flyers, especially around St. George’s Square, to prevent the spread of misinformation. The origin of the flyers remains unclear, with city officials focusing on disseminating accurate information. Despite concerns about the enforcement of a public space use bylaw, Clack-Bush assured that no such enforcement was taking place, as the bylaw had not yet been considered by the council.
She confirmed that the encampment residents were not being evicted and many had already moved to hotels offered by the county, with plans underway to manage any belongings left behind.