MARCH ON CITY HALL! OPEN NEW EMERGENCY SHELTERS NOW! Wednesday, February 17, 11AM, Queen & SherbourneSubmitted by ocap on Mon, 02/01/2016 - 22:22.
TORONTO'S HOMELESS SHELTERS ARE BURSTING AT THE SEAMS
March on City Hall
Wednesday, February 17
Assemble: Queen and Sherbourne, 11.00 AM
Urgent Action Needed: No More Homeless Deaths
Demand Funding for Warming Centres and Shelters in the 2016 City Budget!
The City of Toronto is currently going through the budget process for 2016. Despite rhetoric about 'poverty reduction', there is no funding to keep vital Warming Centres open in the future or reduce overcrowding in the homeless shelter system.
Shelters are maxed out, operating over 90% every night (against the City's own policy), Out of the Colds - a charity based system that runs on fumes - is also maxed out, and Warming Centers are packed when they are open. Last winter we saw two homeless deaths in the City in the span of 24 hours before Warming Centers were even open. In 2013 and 2014, OCAP and many allies fought long and hard to see Warming Centers opened as an emergency measure amidst this crisis. Now the City is refusing to continue funding or to face the crisis of overcrowding in the shelter system by increasing overall shelter space.
OCAP statement released on the occasion of the City of Toronto's first extreme cold weather alert of 2016. On January 4, overnight temperatures went below -25C in parts of the city
Now that the first extreme cold weather alert has been called in Toronto, it is necessary to stress that the present inadequate measures to try and stave off the risk of freezing deaths can in no way be considered a reasonable or adequate response.
The extreme and disgraceful levels of overcrowding in the shelters create a situation where shelters are impossible to access for many and the conditions in them are an assault on the health and dignity of homeless people. This places lives at risk at all times and, certainly, during cold weather deemed less than 'extreme'.
3rd Thursday of every month (starting Jan. 21)
St. Luke's Church
353 Sherbourne Street
Free Event with: Snacks, Childcare, Wheelchair Access, Tokens
Starting January 21st, join OCAP for a new, free speaking series on a bunch of topics central to organizing around poor people's issues! A new topic will be presented every month and all events are open to the public. Come on out, invite your friends and please share widely!
January 21st - Welfare and ODSP
Speakers: AJ Withers and John Clarke
- Why is social assistance designed the way it is?
- Why do we need to raise the rates?
- How can you get everything you can out of OW and ODSP?
This year, OCAP hit a rare milestone in anti-capitalist community organizing: we turned 25 years old! Over the years we have learned a lot about organizing and some of that has been compiled into an online course so we can share what we know with others.
Below is the interview Justin Podur did with course instructors John Clarke and A.J. Withers about the course which was published in The Bullet.
At the beginning of September, Toronto Social Services adopted a new policy with regard to the ID that would be required of people who are not Canadian citizens.
OCAP Members Occupy Rotunda at City Hall as Council Approves George Street "Revitalization"
October 27, 2015
To the Members of Toronto City Council:
The meeting of City Council on November 3rd and 4th will deal with the proposal to clear out the homeless from George Street. You will be dealing with a recommendation from the Executive Committee to pass this measure.
The ‘revitalization’ process that you seem ready to set in motion constitutes a reckless and brutal attack on the homeless. It’s far from clear just how your Administration imagines it’s going to be able to relocate the hundreds of men that will be removed but we may be sure that the intention is to push them to the fringes of the City in the interests of an agenda of upscale redevelopment.
On October 6, we sent each of you a letter asking you to tell us who among you would be ready to accept a homeless shelter in your wards and how you would propose to ensure that transportation and services would be provided to those being relocated. Not one of you replied.
Toronto City Council is preparing to remove hundreds of homeless shelter beds from George Street in the downtown east. This is part of a drive to dismantle the shelter system in the central area and drive the homeless out to suburban locations. Without providing an adequate service network and access to transit, this plan would impose hardship and danger on homeless people. However, it’s far from certain that it’s even possible for the City to do this. The 124 bed Hope Shelter at College and McCaul closed in April and no replacement facility has been found to date. The risk is that the City will proceed with the closing down of the shelters on George Street without being able to provide any kind of viable alternative.