The Church of the Holy Trinity is surrounded by camping tents, each one big enough for two or three of Toronto’s homeless residents.

Amanda Stroud moved into the encampment four weeks ago after struggling to find space in the city’s overwhelmed shelter system.

“There’s nowhere else for me to stay,” she said, standing outside a small canvas tent Friday morning. “The shelters are full, I don’t have any housing opportunities. This is home.”

Since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the city has seen a dramatic increase in homeless encampments across the city as inhabitants find themselves without shelter space and apprehensive of facilities that have become vectors for the deadly virus.