While emergency shelter at the Radisson Hotel has proven to be a success in helping the homeless during the pandemic, residents in nearby areas say it has worsened crime and made them afraid to walk in their own neighbourhoods.

When the pandemic hit, officials moved quickly to find housing that would allow shelter residents to self-isolate, moving almost 100 men to the Radisson Hotel near Fairway Road. The move was transformative: the stable housing allowed social agencies to provide better health and addiction care, reduced the number of violent incidents, and led to more men move into permanent housing.

But neighbours say they are eager to see residents move out at the end of September or early in October.

They say shelter residents root through garbage and dump it on people’s property. They complain about open drug use and drug dealing, people relieving themselves in public and discarded needles and other paraphernalia.