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Up to 500 people sleep outside on any given night in Edmonton. Faced with a shortage of affordable and supportive housing, along with barriers to accessing shelters, individuals live in encampments throughout our River Valley and public spaces across the city.

The Encampment Response Team (ERT) addresses encampments on public land in partnership with Homeward Trust, Boyle Street Community Services and Bissell Centre. Edmonton Police Service and Edmonton Fire Rescue Services are also consulted.

ERT focuses on closing and cleaning up high risk encampments to ensure the safety and well being of individuals and to help connect people sleeping outside with housing and support services. 

Encampment Response during COVID-19

Individuals experiencing homelessness face barriers to accessing shelter and emergency resources that allow for adequate self-isolation and physical distancing during this time. City of Edmonton staff and community partners conducting outreach into encampments continue to:

  • Map and track people who are homeless and sleeping outdoors in all areas of the city

  • Conduct wellness checks by identifying who needs basic services such as food and healthcare

  • Identify individuals who may be showing symptoms of COVID-19 and connect them to assessment and treatment

  • Identify and respond to encampments deemed high risk for spread of infection, fire or safety concerns

  • Hand out information on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 

ERT is enforcing physical distancing requirements of at least six feet between encampments to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. Individuals are asked to relocate to prevent gatherings of 15 or more. 

Cleanup operations staff are in regular contact with Peace Officers on encampments to coordinate cleanup and to ensure encampment occupants are adhering to Alberta Health Services guidelines.

Report An Encampment

If you have concerns about an encampment or other issues like discarded needles, call 311 or use the 311 App.  To report a fire, medical emergency, or crime, call 911.

Here are other resources and ways you can help.

Support for Vulnerable Edmontonians in Extreme Weather Conditions

Caring for our city’s most vulnerable becomes especially critical in extreme weather conditions.

The City, Homeward Trust and community partners work together to determine when to enact the City’s extreme weather protocol. For more information, visit

Access To Transit

Providing Accessible Transit Here (PATH) is a City of Edmonton program that provides free monthly transit passes to individuals who are homeless or are at high risk of homelessness.

Edmonton's Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness

Edmonton’s Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness focuses on a ‘housing first’ approach where people experiencing homelessness are quickly found a home, and then given the support they need to keep that home. Here is the latest data that captures the most accurate picture of homelessness in Edmonton at any one time. 

For more information, visit

For More Information

311 Contact Centre

Online Contact 311 Online

In Edmonton: 311
Outside Edmonton: 780-442-5311

TTY 780-944-5555

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