Shelters

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.

Extreme Cold Weather and the Toronto Homeless Shelter System: January 2016


Image description: A shopping cart full of bags and clothing is parked in front of the skating rink at Toronto City Hall. In the background, a person walks across the square.

OCAP statement released on the occasion of the City of Toronto's first extreme cold weather alert of 2016. On January 4, overnight temperatures went below -25C in parts of the city

Now that the first extreme cold weather alert has been called in Toronto, it is necessary to stress that the present inadequate measures to try and stave off the risk of freezing deaths can in no way be considered a reasonable or adequate response.

The extreme and disgraceful levels of overcrowding in the shelters create a situation where shelters are impossible to access for many and the conditions in them are an assault on the health and dignity of homeless people. This places lives at risk at all times and, certainly, during cold weather deemed less than 'extreme'.

Extreme Cold Weather and the Toronto Homeless Shelter System: January 2016


Image description: A shopping cart full of bags and clothing is parked in front of the skating rink at Toronto City Hall. In the background, a person walks across the square.

OCAP statement released on the occasion of the City of Toronto's first extreme cold weather alert of 2016. On January 4, overnight temperatures went below -25C in parts of the city

Now that the first extreme cold weather alert has been called in Toronto, it is necessary to stress that the present inadequate measures to try and stave off the risk of freezing deaths can in no way be considered a reasonable or adequate response.

The extreme and disgraceful levels of overcrowding in the shelters create a situation where shelters are impossible to access for many and the conditions in them are an assault on the health and dignity of homeless people. This places lives at risk at all times and, certainly, during cold weather deemed less than 'extreme'.

Open Letter to Toronto City Council: Shelter Closures Threaten Deadly Winter!


Image description: Picture of bus shelter at Yonge and Dundas, where a man froze to death in the winter of 2015. Flowers are laid across the bench and a sign reading "HOW MANY MORE?"is propped against the glass wall

October 27, 2015

To the Members of Toronto City Council:

The meeting of City Council on November 3rd and 4th will deal with the proposal to clear out the homeless from George Street. You will be dealing with a recommendation from the Executive Committee to pass this measure.

The ‘revitalization’ process that you seem ready to set in motion constitutes a reckless and brutal attack on the homeless. It’s far from clear just how your Administration imagines it’s going to be able to relocate the hundreds of men that will be removed but we may be sure that the intention is to push them to the fringes of the City in the interests of an agenda of upscale redevelopment.

On October 6, we sent each of you a letter asking you to tell us who among you would be ready to accept a homeless shelter in your wards and how you would propose to ensure that transportation and services would be provided to those being relocated. Not one of you replied.

SHAMEFUL OVERCROWDING IN TORONTO’S HOMELESS SHELTERS


Image description: Black and white picture of sign from an OCAP protest. Both signs depict simple drawings of houses and feature the slogan SHELTER NOW

Toronto City Council is preparing to remove hundreds of homeless shelter beds from George Street in the downtown east. This is part of a drive to dismantle the shelter system in the central area and drive the homeless out to suburban locations. Without providing an adequate service network and access to transit, this plan would impose hardship and danger on homeless people. However, it’s far from certain that it’s even possible for the City to do this. The 124 bed Hope Shelter at College and McCaul closed in April and no replacement facility has been found to date. The risk is that the City will proceed with the closing down of the shelters on George Street without being able to provide any kind of viable alternative.

SHAMEFUL OVERCROWDING IN TORONTO’S HOMELESS SHELTERS


Image description: Black and white picture of sign from an OCAP protest. Both signs depict simple drawings of houses and feature the slogan SHELTER NOW

Toronto City Council is preparing to remove hundreds of homeless shelter beds from George Street in the downtown east. This is part of a drive to dismantle the shelter system in the central area and drive the homeless out to suburban locations. Without providing an adequate service network and access to transit, this plan would impose hardship and danger on homeless people. However, it’s far from certain that it’s even possible for the City to do this. The 124 bed Hope Shelter at College and McCaul closed in April and no replacement facility has been found to date. The risk is that the City will proceed with the closing down of the shelters on George Street without being able to provide any kind of viable alternative.

OCAP Occupies the Former Hope Shelter, Kicking Off #Shelterforall Campaign!


Image description: 3 OCAP members in orange safety vests stand on the roof of a brick building after hanging a banner reading "WE WON'T BE PUSHED OUT: More Shelter and Housing Now!"

OCAP MEMBERS OCCUPY ROOF OF FORMER HOPE SHELTER

Today, September 18, OCAP members occupied the roof of the former Hope Shelter at College and McCaul Street, to protest the loss of 124 shelter beds due to Hope's closure and to draw attention to the ongoing crisis in the city's shelter system.

REQUEST FOR ENDORSEMENTS: What is Wrong with the City of Toronto’s “George Street Revitalization Project”?


Image description: black and white photo of a sign above the entrance to Seaton House. It reads "Seaton Houses only three kinds of men: somebody's father, son or brother"

Sign on to this statement! Demand the City of Toronto enforce its own shelter standards and prevent the ongoing gentrification of the Downtown! To add your organization to the list of endorsers, email ocap@tao.ca or via Facebook and Twitter.

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Seaton House on George Street is the City’s largest men’s shelter. In 2013, over 3,000 men used one of the 540 beds there. The GSRP proposes to turn Seaton House into a long-term care home, emergency shelter, assisted living residence and service hub. There are serious concerns about Seaton House and its conditions but the ‘revitalization’ is a bad idea because…

Fight Back Against Social Cleansing!: A Public Meeting on the City's Plans for the Downtown


Image description: A black and white stencil of three shopping carts

No Social Cleansing in Toronto! Save Downtown Homeless Shelters and Services!

Meal and Community Meeting

Wednesday, April 15
6.00 PM
St Luke’s Church (353 Sherbourne, at Carlton)

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