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Future uncertain for residents of bulldozed Regina homeless camp

The dwellings of around a dozen Regina residents experiencing homelessness were bulldozed after calls from the property owner.

“Feeling sad I guess, they’re tearing down half my home. But it happens,” Randy Netmaker, who lived at the encampment, told CTV News.

“They always push us Indians off to the side.”

Police, firefighters and a skid steer arrived at the encampment on the 1800 block of Halifax Street at around 8 a.m. Wednesday morning.

Netmaker has lived at the encampment for around six months. In that time he’s tried to get regular housing, but he says the process has been difficult.

“Every time I apply for a place, they seem to refuse us, I don’t know why,” he said.

“Maybe if I was by myself, but I’ve got my kids here. So I can’t just get my own place and forget about my kids, they need a place to live too.”

Groups that work with the unhoused stood by to lend assistance to those displaced from their homes.

Shylo Stevenson, a spokesperson for Warriors of Hope, told CTV News that many of the residents were trying to access housing but were facing barriers.

“We do have three that have no place to go right now, so we have them temporarily housed by mobile crisis for the day,” he said.

“Social services, we’ve been advised, is in an emergency meeting to discuss this and help navigate people through the system again where we will probably encounter those same barriers. No I.D, no bank account, no physical address.”

Netmaker is one of the residents who has housing for the moment, but he doubts anything will change in the long term.

“They said they are going to put me up in a hotel, probably just temporarily until they sweep it under the rug again like last year,” he said.

“They said they were going to get a place for homeless people but they never did.”

Several dozen people are living outdoors in the downtown area. The Heritage Neighbourhood Association calls it a crisis.

"This morning was really disheartening," Wendy Miller, executive director of the association, said. "We consider these tents a part of our community and neighbourhood as well and we worry about these humans so it’s somebody’s father, somebody’s son, somebody’s daughter, somebody’s grandma, grandpa, kokum, moshum and they’re people."

By the end of the day, the site had been completely cleared. The former residents will spend a day or two at a hotel with an expectation that they find housing quickly. Top Stories

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