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Protestors in Timmins oppose location of homeless shelter

About 40 people who say they've been impacted by an increase in crime since the Living Space homeless shelter moved into their neighbourhood have taken their messages to the street.

They gathered in Hollinger Park on Friday and walked to Timmins City Hall, waving placards. Some said: 'Move Living Space' while others read: 'We want our city back.'

Annette Lacroix, a business owner and neighbour of Living Space said, they love the area.

“Our neighbourhood is well-maintained, our street we have the same neighbours we’ve had for several years,” Lacroix said.

“Since Living Space has been there, there’s been issues with other homes that have had to be boarded (up). Nothing’s being done. Nobody wants to be accountable for anything. I have had several meetings with Living Space. We need to relocate so people start feeling safe again.”

Other participants had similar concerns:

Alana Lortie said she feels especially vulnerable

“I need two new knees, I have degenerative scoliosis and osteoarthritis,” said Lortie.

“So I mean, what am I going to do to defend myself?”

“I love my fellow man and want change for everyone walking the street,” said Dan Schaffer, business owner.

“But the bottom line is every -- and I mean every -- episode of ‘Intervention’ ends with families saying enough is enough, we are done helping. We, as citizens in Timmins, are a family and we have to say as a group, enough is enough we’re done helping, too.”

Many of the people here said they've tried to get help from city hall over the past few years – without success.

“We’ve reached out to the mayor when it was George Pirie, now Michelle (Boileau),” said Chris Lamarche, a business owner.

“Everyone has bleeding hearts and no one wants to do anything but the taxpayers and the businesses are now suffering.

Boileau didn’t come out of city hall to speak to the protestors, but said she'll be waiting to meet with concerned residents at the McIntyre Community Centre for a town hall meeting.

“I want to hear about people’s experiences, what they’re witnessing, what they’re feeling and I also want to hear about what ideas people may have,” she said.

The meeting is scheduled June 15 from 7-9 p.m. Top Stories

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