Mar 19, 2013

Frontline workers report that individuals are frequently denied shelter beds in Toronto. Even more unsettling, the number of deaths among homeless individuals increased dramatically in 2012.

In response, the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) organized an emergency meeting on February 15th 2013. HPAP members joined as OCAP set up an “emergency shelter” in front of the Mayor’s office in Toronto City Hall.

On March 4th 2013, the Shelter, Support, and Housing Administration issued an Update on Emergency Shelter Services to the Community Development and Recreation Committee.

Subsequently, on March 18th 2013, the Committee heard from frontline workers, community members, and city councillors concerned about the increasing number of individuals being turned away from shelter beds in Toronto. HPAP member, Anne Egger, shared her concerns regarding the current state of Toronto’s emergency shelter services in a letter to the committee.

The Toronto Star article, Two Inconvenient Truths About Toronto’s Shelter System, summarizes some of the barriers that individuals trying to access a shelter encounter.

City Hall Emergency Shelter Feb 15 2013 5 City Hall Emergency Shelter 2013