ottawa homeless shelter

Members of trucker convoy have been harassing homeless shelter staff and residents

Ottawa has been a gridlocked, honking mess since late last week when members and supporters of the now-infamous "Freedom Convoy" started arriving in the capital to protest vaccine mandates.

Along with causing general mayhem in the city, the masses have apparently been hitting up homeless shelters in the area to try and get some free meals as they hunker down on Parliament Hill, and have even been accused of harassing shelter staff and residents.

All this as a GoFundMe for their cause has raised more than a whopping $9 million, most of which has been temporarily frozen by the crowdfunding platform unti. there is a clear plan from the organizer for how the monies will be spent.

Shepherds of Good Hope, one of the four main homeless shelters in Ottawa, shared an incident involving protesters who allegedly came into the organization's soup kitchen, demanded free food and harassed staff members over the weekend.

"Earlier today, our staff and volunteers experienced harassment from convoy protesters seeking meals from our soup kitchen. The individuals were given meals to diffuse the conflict," the group tweeted on Saturday.

"Our soup kitchen is committed to providing meals to people experiencing and at risk of homelessness in Ottawa. This weekend’s events have caused significant strain to our operations at an already difficult time."

The two-part post has gotten thousands of quote tweets, retweets and replies, as well as more than 20,000 likes in just two days as tensions in the city — and on the topic of the rally in general — remain dreadfully high.

Others on social media have similarly cited incidents of demonstrators seeking free food and shelter from social services, relieving themselves on people's lawns, and more amid what has grown into a very chaotic situation that is costing local police $800,000 a day to try and keep up with.

On top of the hours-long altercation with staff at Shepherds of Good Hope, members of the convoy also assaulted a shelter resident outside the centre's doors and made racist remarks to a security guard who game to the man's aid.

The organization's president and CEO told the Ottawa Citizen that there have been many disruptions over the last few days, and that staff are very discouraged — as are, clearly, residents of the city.

On the topic of the homeless, many are also finding it frustrating that the convoy has been able to garner so much support, both financial and otherwise, while those experiencing homelessness or food insecurity are consistently overlooked by the public.

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