OCAP | OCAP Updates
Ontario Coalition Against Poverty is a direct action anti-poverty organization that fights for more shelter beds, social housing, and a raise in social assistance rates.
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Mass Delegation to End HSF Discrimination

City Hall | Bay and Queen | Wednesday, October  12 | 1 pm
Meet by giant Toronto sign in the square
Facebook | #HSFJustice, #FightToWin

The Housing Stabilization Fund (HSF) is a crucial fund that poor people in the city rely upon to pay emergency costs to obtain or retain housing. The City’s HSF policies, however, systematically discriminate against disabled people and families with children by nullifying or greatly reducing their HSF entitlements.They do so by labeling money set aside for raising children and for necessary health-related benefits (such as the Special Diet or Guide Dog allowance) as “excess income.” The policy affects more than 30,000 social assistance recipients who apply to this fund each year.

Join the fight to end this discrimination on Wednesday, October 12 and be part of the mass delegation to Mayor John Tory & Councillor James Pasternak (head of the committee that oversees the HSF administration). Help us make it clear to the City that we will not allow them to run a policy that is discriminatory. Poor people’s lives are impacted by these policies and our lives are too important to be compromised by bureaucratic negligence, incompetence or an unwillingness to act.

On June 15 of this year, a mass OCAP delegation descended on City Hall to demand justice for Laura Bardeau, a disabled mother of two children who was being denied access to the Housing Stabilization Fund (HSF). Struggling to survive on sub-poverty social assistance rates, Laura and her kids needed the money to purchase furniture they had lost to bed bugs. But instead of granting them the funds, the City refused to issue a single cent by claiming that Laura and her kids had income “in excess.”

Together, along with Laura and her kids, we fought back and won the Bardeaus’ the full amount they were entitled to. We also forced the City to release its HSF adjudication policies, which they had thus far kept under wraps. The policies confirmed that the City is systematically discriminating against disabled people and people with kids. We will be releasing a report exposing the City’s discrimination on our website tomorrow.

Together we won justice for Laura Bardeau, its now time to win it for all HSF applicants. Fight To Win!

OCAP Demands Justice for Disabled Children in Greece

On October 5, a delegation of OCAP members and supporters delivered a letter of protest to the Greek Consulate in Toronto.  In solidarity with the Emancipation Movement of People with Disabilities in Athens, we demanded justice for disabled children, confined under appalling conditions in a centre in Lechaina and in other facilities around the country.  Our allies in Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) held an action at the Greek Embassy in London, UK on the same day.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_xx8zp_jCM&w=560&h=315]

Our delegation was met at the entrance to the building by the First Counsellor at the Consulate who, with the RCMP watching over the proceedings, received the letter and heard our demand for justice for these children.  He promised to convey our message to the Greek officials responsible for the matter and was made to understand that OCAP was prepared to take such further action as our comrades in the Emancipation Movement of People with Disabilities feel is necessary.

OCAP is proud to have taken an action in support of those resisting austerity, social abandonment and the particular abuses faced by disabled people in Greece.  In response to the OCAP delegation, Antonios Rellas from the EMPD wrote: “Mighty greetings from Athens, thank you very much for your invaluable help in the fight for the dignity of disabled persons living in institutions.”

Click here for additional background.

This Thursday – OCAP Speaking Series #10: Out in the Cold


Audio from event now uploaded, click here to listen! http://chirb.it/8LazKr

Free Event with a meal, childcare, wheelchair access and tokens

CRC at 40 Oaks

40 Oak Street, Toronto, Ontario M5A2C6

Join us for our monthly free speaking series on topics central to organizing around poor people’s issues! A new topic is presented every month and all events are open to the public.

Come on out, invite your friends and please share widely!

This month’s topic is: Out in the Cold: The Crisis in Toronto’s Shelter System

As the dangerous level of overcrowding in Toronto’s homeless shelters worsens, the City is moving in to close one of the largest shelters in the downtown in an effort to clear the area for upscale redevelopment. What happens next depends on us.

Join us to find out!

Speaker: Cathy Crowe, Street Nurse & long-time organizer around issues of homelessness, along with an OCAP Member

Come for the meal at 6pm and stay for what promises to be a a very informative and engaging session!

Our Website is Being Fixed

Our website is currently down and in the process of being fixed. It might take a few weeks for the original site to be back up. In the meantime we’ve setup this temporary website to post updates on actions and events. We’ve set it up so that you can access it by typing in our usual ocap.ca web address.

Thank you for your patience.