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Calgary's approach to encampments

​​ ​The City of Calgary is piloting a program to better address encampments in Calgary communities. This program will help The City better respond to issues surrounding illegal encampments including:
  • Cleaning up and removing encampments from public property
  • Helping encampment occupants connect with social services (mental health and addiction support, housing)
  • Increasing the safety of those who work around illegal encampments by bringing in the services most appropriate for dealing with the dangerous materials often found in encampments including uncapped used syringes, combustible materials, faecal matter and body fluids.
This pilot program will last one year (through 2018), before being evaluated for its effectiveness and sustainability. This program does not aim at ending homelessness, but will help address the social and bylaw enforcement issues and help streamline process for cleaning up encampments within Calgary.

Report an encampment

​​To report an encampment, call 311.

If you encounter an encampment, do not attempt to engage with encampment occupants, or try and resolve the encampment yourself. The City has professionals who are trained and have the experience to address illegal encampments to ensure the safety of everyone concerned.

Please note, it can take up to 30 days to resolve an encampment complaint.


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How we handle reports of encampments

The City has a special team of Community Peace Officers called the Partner Agency Liaison (PAL) team who address encampments. The PAL team has created a unique working model to address illegal encampments. This model focuses on creating positive working relationships and open communication channels with numerous social agencies and businesses who work to support vulnerable populations.

Encampments that are reported to The City are addressed in the following way:

  • Location of encampment is identified and the PAL team is notified.
  • PAL team visits the camp, creates rapport with those living in encampment, connects them to appropriate social agencies or channels of support as necessary.
  • PAL educates their clients (the citizens experiencing homelessness) on the bylaws related to camping on City owned public land.
  • The camp is then scheduled for clean-up. This process can take up to 30 days during the warmer months and can take longer in the cooler months as it may be unsafe for staff to access the site.