We are just a few weeks into 2019 and already four Toronto residents, who experienced homelessness, have lost their lives on our streets. On Tuesday, January 22, 2019, Councillor Gord Perks and I stood with a dozen housing advocates, including Victor Willis from the Parkdale Activity-Recreation Centre, Cathy Crowe from the Shelter and Housing Justice Network and Rafi Aaron from the Interfaith Coalition to Fight Homelessness to demand City Council declare Toronto's homelessness and housing crisis a state of emergency.
Housing is a human right. Toronto’s lack of deeply affordable housing, supportive and transitional housing and mental health services are having deadly consequences. We are facing a homelessness crisis that requires a co-ordinated emergency intergovernmental human rights based response. As part of this declaration, we are asking City Council to direct Toronto’s Office of Emergency Management to take immediate steps to augment services for homeless individuals and to seek the support of the Red Cross in managing the harm inflicted by the housing and homelessness crisis.
We cannot do it alone! Read our full letter presented to the Planning and Housing Committee which outlines our five key recommendations. This item was passed with amendments at the Planning and Housing Committee and will be going to City Council for debate on January 30, 2019. Please share widely!
On January 30, 2019, we will be packing Council Chambers to send a clear message to City Council: we are in a state of emergency and we must call on all orders of government to address Toronto's homelessness and housing crisis. Save the date! More info to come.
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