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Milton-Parc parents concerned about new homeless encampment near play area


A new homeless encampment has popped up in Montreal's Milton-Parc neighbourhood. While residents say they are open to cohabitation, they also say its proximity to the youngest members of the community makes them feel unsafe.

A backyard play area is a haven for children growing up in the heart of the city, but lately, parents are keeping them away.

"We don't feel safe for all those kids. It's really – it's a problem," said Marie-Michelle Garon, a local resident.

Milton-Parc residents say the encampment popped up about two weeks ago near Prince-Arthur Street, It's across from the communal area in an alley where dozens of children play, often unsupervised.

Parent Alejandro Quintero said he's now on guard when his son spends time there.

"I don't feel at ease, letting him, him going out with his friends," he said.

According to neighbours in the area, there are about four people living underneath tarps at the site.

Since they moved here, neighbours say drug paraphernalia has littered the alley. Parents worry about drug use in such close proximity to the playground.

"When you have drug problems and mental health problems, you never know what's going to happen," said Garon.

Police and City of Montreal have been called multiple times, and social workers have visited the site, but the encampment hasn't budged.

"I feel like everybody just sends each other the ball," said Quintero.

The city refused to give an interview on the subject, but in a statement to CTV News it said a partner of the Plateau-Mont-Royal borough for social cohabitation issues has been notified, adding "they are in contact with the vulnerable people concerned with the aim of directing them to the appropriate resources."

"The city has to find a plan because the homeless situation is just going to get worse. And these problems like this are going to occur more and more," said Garon.

The concerned parents say the camp continues to grow, and they hope the city steps in before it becomes a larger problem, preventing children from safely using a space to play. Top Stories

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