Brantford’s Tent City

Brantford “Tent City” resident, Danny, walks a wooded trail towards his “home” in one of five pockets created by homeless residents like himself around the city. The tent cities have been popping up in parks, under bridges, along the river and trails this summer, bringing further notice to Brantford’s increasing drug and homelessness problem. Danny is quite candid about his reason for ending up in his current situation.

“The drugs. My family has a lot of brothers and sisters and all using drugs. I don’t blame my parents. I don’t blame anybody. It’s my own decisions. But in society everything is more expensive every day. The bottom was gonna fall out sometime”.

Danny, Tent City Resident

Danny discusses his plans to create a “Welcome Sign” for the tent city’s entrance because he says the residents are harmless and very friendly, but does acknowledge the uneasiness others may feel when they discover the camps. He adds, social assistance doesn’t cover the average cost of rent in the city, and
because there are more qualified candidates for living spaces when they do become available, he chooses to live in a tent during the warm months.

One local, grass-roots organization, the Brantford Guardian Angels, has become aware of the tent city locations and is doing what it can to help those residing there with bare necessities. Guardian Angels Founder, Tracey Bucci, says there’s a variety of reasons why it’s difficult for those she helps to stay in local shelters as an alternative.

“…the theft that goes on, the violence that goes on, the rules. People running shelters do their best but it’s not easy.”

Tracey Bucci, Founder, Guardian Angels

Brantford Guardian Angels relies on donations of supplies and visits the sites regularly to distribute.