Urgent Action Needed: No More Homeless Deaths!
Urgent Action Needed: No More Homeless Deaths
Demand Funding for Warming Centres and Shelters in the 2016 City Budget!
The City of Toronto is currently going through the budget process for 2016. Despite rhetoric about 'poverty reduction', there is no funding to keep vital Warming Centres open in the future or reduce overcrowding in the homeless shelter system.
Shelters are maxed out, operating over 90% every night (against the City's own policy), Out of the Colds - a charity based system that runs on fumes - is also maxed out, and Warming Centers are packed when they are open. Last winter we saw two homeless deaths in the City in the span of 24 hours before Warming Centers were even open. In 2013 and 2014, OCAP and many allies fought long and hard to see Warming Centers opened as an emergency measure amidst this crisis. Now the City is refusing to continue funding or to face the crisis of overcrowding in the shelter system by increasing overall shelter space.
ACT NOW: How you can help
As we continue to take action against the City on these issues, we are asking people to please take some concrete steps to demand funding for Warming Centres and Shelters in the 2016 City of Toronto Budget:
1) Contact your City Councillor and the Mayor today (phone, email or visit their office!) - tell them you want to see services for homeless people as a priority NOW!
Contact info for all Councillors and Mayor is available here
2) Sign this petition by Cathy Crowe to demand funding for warming centers and that the City keep to its own stated goal of keeping shelter occupancy below 90%
3) Speak Out: Deputations are currently happening for the 2016 Budget. You can see the schedule and sign-up here
4) Stay tuned for upcoming actions! OCAP has continued to fight the crisis in the Toronto shelter system by demanding more shelter space, increased services, and housing. We don't think we need to pick one or the other - we need shelter AND housing NOW! Also make sure to pass on this message to everyone you know and speak out far and wide around these issues!
We fought for and won warming centers and drop-ins through occupations of Metro Hall and City Hall and sustained agitation. Let's make sure we keep the pressure up and continue to fight for what people need! Keep in touch and look for upcoming actions!