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Community Information

Antler River Rally, Homelessness, and Encountering People Camping Rough at the River

On any given night, upwards of 2,000 Londoners are unhoused.

As many who have attended a cleanup will know, it is common for us to encounter people camping rough along the river.  Homelessness is a multi-factor issue that stems from the intersections of historical factors and ongoing social crises including (but certainly not limited to) affordable housing, mental health, addictions, and the ongoing legacy of colonial violence. 

It is Antler River Rally's policy and practice not to disturb or enter active camps (unless invited). We cleanup garbage around the camps and along the watercourse. We do not pickup items that appear to be in use, and where possible, we reach out to urban campers to inquire if we can remove any of their unwanted garbage. We regularly give out Tim Hortons cards so people can get a meal, and we practice respect and empathy when engaging with people camping rough.

At our cleanups, we often encounter needles and other equipment used for consuming drugs. We ask volunteers not to handle these items unless they are trained and comfortable doing so. Volunteers may simply make a note of the location of these items and inform a trained volunteer (trained volunteers are identified at the beginning of a cleanup).

At the beginning of each cleanup, the cleanup coordinator welcomes everyone and goes over the safety protocols. If you have any questions during a cleanup, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the coordinator(s) or experienced volunteers.

We thank our volunteers for helping to build a community of care and respect at the river.

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