The City of Calgary Joint Encampment Team (JET) addresses encampments in Calgary communities. This program helps 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 (health services 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.
While JET is not aimed at ending homelessness, it does help address the social and bylaw enforcement issues and help streamline process for cleaning up encampments within Calgary.
How we handle reports of encampments
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.
Report an encampment
If you encounter an encampment:
- Call 311 to report it.
- Do not enter the camp.
- If you believe someone’s safety is in jeopardy, or if you see a violent or criminal situation occurring, call 9-1-1.
- If you see items that you suspect are stolen, call CPS Non-Emergency Line 403-266-1234.
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.
Please note, it can take up to 30 days to resolve an encampment complaint.
Encampments that are reported to The City are addressed in the following way:
Day 10 - Site Visit
Location of encampment is identified and the PAL team is notified.
PAL Team will visit encampment site within 10 days of complaint being received.
If the encampment is on private property, the land owner will be notified. If the encampment is on City property:Continue to Step 3
Day 15 - Inactive Site
If site is inactive, the camp is scheduled for cleanup within 5 business days, subject to weather conditions and staff resources.
Skip to Step 6
If site is active:Continue to Step 4
Day 10 to 20 - Active Site
If site is active, PAL Team creates rapport and works with encampment occupant(s) to refer to appropriate social agencies or channels of support as necessary, and provides education on the bylaws related to camping on City owned public land. This happens as quickly as possible, depending on occupant's circumstances and available resources.Continue to Step 5
Day 20 - Vacate Notice
Occupant(s) are asked to vacate the encampment. They are usually given 24-72 hours to vacate. If they are waiting for housing or entry into programming it could take longer.Continue to Step 6
Day 30 - Site Cleanup
Encampment is scheduled for cleanup, within 5 business days, subject to weather conditions and staff resources.
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.