Vigil Outside the Peter Street Referral Centre
Thursday, November 7th, 2019 | 5:30 PM | East of Richmond & Spadina
Light Meal Provided | Facebook Event
Homeless People Die as Referral Centre Turns People Away
Vigil Outside The Peter Street Referral Centre
129 Peter Street |
Shelters and respite centres are failing to meet the needs of the homeless in the midst of the City’s worsening housing crisis. This summer shelter occupancy rates have exceeded the highs of last winter and even respite sites, which provide cots, chairs or mats on the floor for people to sleep on are at capacity. The Peter Street referral centre is intended to be a last resort for those in need of a shelter bed. On a nightly basis dozens of people are forced to spend the night in chairs and on the floor in the centre’s waiting area because there is nowhere to refer people to. When the waiting area is packed to capacity others who have travelled to the centre in hopes of securing safe shelter are being turned away and told to come back later.
On October 5th the body of Kevin Dickman was pulled out of the Don River. Despite repeated efforts and extensive support, he was unable to access shelter or a safe space to go. We do not know why Kevin was by the Don River. We do know that the shelters are full and for many who are homeless or in crisis there is nowhere to go and no hope for housing. The outcome of the shelter and housing crisis is tragic and deadly. Kevin is only one of many lives we are losing to homelessness.
The shelter system is already at a breaking point and as the winter approaches the need will only intensify. The abandonment of homeless people this winter will have deadly consequence.
On November 7th community members will gather at a vigil to remember lives lost to homelessness and demand that the City immediately:
-Open 2000 shelter beds to replace the inadequate accommodations provided in respite sites and meet the growing need for safe shelter
-Publicly call on the Provincial and Federal governments for urgent assistance to begin the immediate construction of social rent-geared-to-income housing