Wednesday, February 20, 2008

We should perhaps be grateful that we have the time and rest to observe things like eclipses. Canada's homeless have no such luxuries in their day to day dtruggle just to exist. A windchill of -41 can be tolerated if you can get back in to a warm place whenever you please. Down in Toronto, Canada's biggest city provincial and civic cutbacks have meant that there is often "no room at the inn", and homeless people are exposed to the bitter elements to survive as they will. The following is an appeal for your help from the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) about the present shelter crisis in Toronto. Their website also has a downloadable pdf entitled 'They Call it Struggle for a Reason' that goes into depth about the issue. Check it out.
" Emergency – Hostel Beds are Full Committee Room 1City Hall11amThursday, February 21, 2008
In the past 2 years 300 beds have been removed from Toronto’s hostel system Four people from OCAP and TDRC investigated the hostel system MondayFebruary 18, 2008. They visited hostels and made phone calls throughoutthe evening to assess Toronto’s hostel bed capacity. They alsointerviewed people in the streets about their situation. By 10:50pm therewere no hostel beds for men or couples in the whole hostel system,including the Out of the Cold shelters.
This is a very dangerous situation. Not only do crowded hostels createviolence and psychological damage, but many people will face the bracingcold of February and can sustain cold injuries and even perish. The Riverdale shelter closed in the summer of 2007. It now remains anempty building and should be employed to deal with this emergency. Aswell, other buildings should be made available immediately.
Deputations regarding the lack of hostel beds and homeless people’scondition will be presented to the Community Development and RecreationCommittee at 11am Thursday February 21, 2008.
**Ontario Coalition Against Poverty10 Britain St. Toronto, ON M5A 1R6416-925-6939** "

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