We’ve heard when times get tough the tough get going, but where do they go?
Call them homeless, call them displaced just don’t call them terrible names and don’t bother bother calling the police on them. They are fully aware. The newly displaced are part of our community here in our neighborhood and across parks in the city. The pandemic has created a lot of encampments all over the city including our neighborhood here in Fort York. These are our fellow humans going through a rough time between shelters.
When possible give what you can. Food, clothes, anything, talk to them smile, send love. Kindness is the first thing you can give a displaced person. From mental health to being disoriented from family to addictions and isolation. Whatever the case may be, all human beings deserve our respect and dignity, regardless of their circumstance. It’s called humankind for a reason.
Home and condo builders, heavy civil contractors and unions who are part of the residential construction council of Ontario have joined forces to raise $1 million to help pay for intensification project at 25 Leonard Ave. that is owned and managed by the Saint Claire’s multi faith housing society. 22 homeless people are now moving into the brand new affordable apartments near Kensington market in Toronto.
As efforts continue to rehome the city’s homeless, hundreds of people experiencing homelessness have been relocated as COVID-19 continues to impact the cities most vulnerable.
On Tuesday, June 23, 2020, the city announced ongoing measures have, since April, successfully relocated 550 people for 43 encampments around the city in the interim housing, city rented hotel rooms and shelters – including 121 individuals from in and around Moss Park.
A new plan calls for 44 low income Bachelor apartments to be ready by September. The building is to be reserved for people experiencing homelessness and will also provide affordable housing for people with low incomes. City staff say that Covid 19 Pandemic, which had hit homeless shelters especially hard spurred the decision to fast track the project. So far 610 covid-19 cases have been linked to city shelters. As of June 24 five shelter users have died of covid-19, city staff say.
On Tuesday, Toronto mayor John Tory said increase costs and rehousing the cities homeless and supporting the shelter system during the pandemic is expected to cost $185.2 million by years end.
Abi Bond, executive director of the city housing secretary it said the project is being designed to help the homeless tenants transition permanently from the streets to their own homes. Supports will include meal services, providing or connecting residence to primary health services, community supports and services such as education, employment and life skills. Those supports will also address mental health issues.
Homeless encampments continue to proliferate across the city of Toronto with more and more tense popping up in public parks in squares by the day as vulnerable people seek space safe spaces to live amid the pandemic.
Up to 2,500 people are now estimated to be sleeping within such encampments from the newly formed 10 cities of Moss Park, Dufferin Grove, Allan a Lamport Stadium Park and Trinity Bellwoods to various mediums in green spaces alongside local roads.
Never before have we see tent cities appear in such great numbers and so many public spaces across Toronto. It’s unignorable and to most people, completely understandable. COVID-19 has ripped through the shelter system in recent months infecting more than 600 people that stayed in city run facilities since March.
Strides have been made by city officials in terms of finding alternate accommodations for those in living for those living in dire circumstances right now, but activist say it’s not nearly enough, are you doing that more permanent, affordable rental housing is what’s needed to combat the homeless this crisis. As it stands now, many individuals in the city have two options are to comes to sleeping at night. Enter potentially unsafe shelter, or a wreck to donate a tent outdoors.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford says vulnerable people should do the former because you just can’t camp in a park.