Christeen Thornton looks around a large clearing in a densely forested area of Rotary Park in downtown Oshawa.

Until recently it was a tent city littered with clothing and used needles, with some areas looking like a “laundry room gone wild,” according to Thornton, a local homeless advocate and founder of Direct Intervention Reaching Everyone (DIRE).

But for many of the city’s homeless, it was home.

Workers recently finished clearing it out, and the people who lived in the camp “just moved on,” explained Oshawa’s mayor, John Henry, in an email to CBC Toronto.