• Respite centres are welcome, but just stop-gap measure for homeless

    Ottawa provides no funding for the city’s emergency shelter system, and the province’s contribution is fixed, no matter the increase in those in need of a bed. And neither senior government is kicking in enough money to repair the subsidized housing that currently exists, never mind building more… the cost of having 5,253 people on Toronto streets added up to $420,000 a night… putting the homeless into social housing would be just $34,000 a night.

  • Ontario takes an important step toward a fairer bail system

    The key point in the new policy is that accused persons should not have to provide a surety, except in exceptional circumstances, in order to be released… Ontario has opened “bail beds” in halfway houses. People can be sent there, instead of to jail, if they are homeless… Jails were created for those convicted of crimes. The new bail policy will go a long way to ensure that Ontario’s prisons stop being used as expensive warehouses for the disadvantaged, the racialized, Indigenous peoples, and the mentally ill.

  • For Indigenous People, Homelessness Is More Than Lacking a Home

    Historic Displacement Homelessness… Contemporary Geographic Separation Homelessness… Spiritual Disconnection Homelessness… Mental Disruption and Imbalance Homelessness… Cultural Disintegration and Loss Homelessness… Overcrowding Homelessness… Relocation and Mobility Homelessness… Going Home Homelessness… Nowhere to Go Homelessness… Escaping or Evading Harm Homelessness… Emergency Crisis Homelessness… Climatic Refugee Homelessness

  • Housing to Health helps clients turn place to live into a home

    Housing to Health (H2H), the first housing initiative in York Region that aims to secure housing for the chronically homeless… succeeded in housing 30 of its hardest to house community members… H2H focuses mainly on ensuring participants remain housed. “We try to wrap supports around the individual” … given that many participants have a history of trauma, addiction, and mental health struggles, “we try to help maintain a good relationship,”

  • Once Upon A City: Poor house helped Toronto’s destitute

    The House of Industry provided both temporary and permanent accommodations. Residents were often required to do chores in return for help… Abandoned children and orphans were often placed as indentured servants in homes and farms around Toronto, where they were given room and board (and perhaps wages) in return for their work. A farm’s survival relied heavily on the work of children back then… By 1947, the House of Industry’s clients were primarily the elderly poor

  • A perfect storm: homelessness, mental health, criminal law and no shelter beds

    We are told that the cost of rent is a function of the market. There is widespread public support for benefits for people who cannot work because of disabilities. At a minimum this should include enough money to pay rent and buy food. Instead, my clients are being warehoused in jails while their friends sleep and die on Toronto’s streets.

  • Make data on homeless deaths public

    The city should release not just the number of homeless deaths, as it recently did for the first time, but other information it now collects, too, such as on gender, unofficial cause of death, and location of death… we know very little about how these people ended up on the street or how they died. Were these opiate overdoses, suicides, deaths by exposure? And therefore what are the policy responses we should be demanding of governments?

  • Social workers failing Toronto’s homeless

    … caseworkers seem to think their job starts and ends with meeting a client the one time it takes to get them on OW. What about the service plan they’re supposed to develop and regularly update to give clients the training or supports they may need to get back on their feet?“ … The city and the (Ontario) government need to step up” … Ontario Works (people) are not doing their jobs to get us back on our feet.”

  • Homeless battled unsafe shelters during the Great Depression

    Late in 1938… Mayor Day had introduced new requirements for single unemployed men using the hostels… The men were expected to work seven hours in return for a week’s lodging and food at Wellington House and other institutions for the homeless. Thought of paying the out-of-work for their labour on the relief project was judged beyond consideration… some who undertook their seven hours work were actually turned away from city hostels, which were filled to capacity.

  • Caring for vulnerable children starts with caring for parents

    … the government’s flawed information on homeless births is not only a problem of inadequate data collection. It is also a symptom of a greater issue: the stigma attached to homelessness which impedes pregnant, homeless women from disclosing their status and seeking support… To address the root of this issue the province should make access to housing support more readily available to pregnant women and integrate such services within the health care system to encourage women to reach out rather than conceal their challenges.