Wednesday, July 22 at 11 am | Peter St. Referral Centre | 129 Peter St. (at Richmond)
The state of homelessness continues to grow and reach bigger crisis levels in the City of Toronto.
With the added problem of COVID, the situation is rapidly deteriorating. The shelter system capacity has been cut in half and has not been replaced adequately by hotels or housing. Including all of the backup respite sites, there has still been a loss of over 500 spaces. The Peter St. referral centre remains closed and there is nowhere to refer people to for safe space as the shelters are both full and hazardous to people’s health. The only housing being built in the City remains unaffordable and inaccessible, while the Province is moving to make thousands more homeless through Bill 184 and by lifting the moratorium on evictions.
For the well over a thousand people already sleeping on the streets and in the parks there is no where else to go. Still they face threat of displacement and criminalization by the City. Instead of providing basic needs for people to live like housing, the City continues to invest over $1.1 billion a year into racist, violent policing.
Call out the City and demand action to confront this crisis we are facing.
We demand the City:
- Social Housing Now: the City do whatever it takes to buy, expropriate, build social housing now to deal with homelessness (including expropriating 214-230 Sherbourne Ave immediately).
- Defund the Police: the City defund the police 50% now and fund basic needs and services such as hotels and housing.
- No Shelter and Housing Cuts: no cuts to the housing and shelter budget
- Encampment Eviction Moratorium: the City reimplement the moratorium on all encampment relocations and evictions and it be kept in place for the duration of the pandemic and a minimum of 12 months.
- Hotels and Housing for All: End the use of congregate living settings and ensure everyone has a private room and bathroom. Lift restrictive rules in existing and future hotel; and, new units need to be opened in the downtown core.
- Moratorium on Tenant Evictions: the Mayor to use his emergency powers to implement a moratorium on tenant evictions.
- Stop Bill 184: the City call on the Province of Ontario to stop Bill 184 and the creation of more homelessness.
John Clarke – Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
Desmond Cole – Activist, Journalist, Author
Zoe Dodd – Toronto Overdose Prevention Society
Greg Cook – Shelter Housing Justice Network and Outreach Worker at Sanctuary
ALSO- Speaker from Parkdale Organize