Let’s be clear: everyone wants tent cities to be a thing of the past, their residents included. But encampments afford residents the chance to live in stable communities close to support services, like respite and health centres. They offer them the freedom to live with companions of their choosing and semi-private places to store their belongings. Government-provided alternatives, like shelters and single-occupancy hotel rooms, come with substantial downsides such as rampant theft and violence—and that’s on the off chance they have space. Encampments are often the lesser of two evils.