Seaton House on George Street is the City of Toronto’s largest men’s shelter. In 2013, over 3,000 men used one of the 540 beds there. The George Street Revitalization Project proposes to turn Seaton House into a long-term care home, emergency shelter, assisted living residence and service hub. While these services are important, Health Providers Against Poverty shares other community organizations’ concerns around potential loss of shelter beds and the Annex Harm Reduction Program. The loss of this managed alcohol program will force men who are alcohol dependent to sleep on the streets. In August 2015 the shelter system occupancy was at 93%, despite promises made by the City last year to not surpass 90% occupancy. We cannot afford the loss of any more shelter beds, until people who are homeless in Toronto have access to alternative, safer long term housing.
For more information, please see the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty statement.