Emergency Press Conference and Rally: Thursday, June 14th
Emergency Press Conference and Rally
Thursday, June 14th
339 George St (just north of Dundas)
Late on Tuesday night an incident occured at Seaton House men's shelter where a man was severely beaten. We do not yet know the outcome of this event, but what we do know is that there has been an alarming number of violent incidents in the shelters over the last several weeks. Whatever specifically triggered this incident, the underlying causes of it are obvious. The lack of housing and income that government policies have created leads to be people being forced into homeless shelters where they face intolerable conditions of overcrowding and the stresses this creates. Shelters are more often than not at capacity, dorms are packed, often people are forced to wait in line for basic access to a toilet.
This incident, and the others that have taken place down the road at Queen and Sherbourne, take place on the same month that City of Toronto politicians will consider and very possibly approve the closing of the School House shelter when it comes to Committe on June 26th. Despite overcrowding and capacity issues at other shelters, the School House shelter, which is convenientely right next door to Seaton House, has for the past several months not allowed for intakes and has instead been attempting to move men out.
We reject the idea that the City is 'solving' the problem of homelessness by housing people. People are being dumped on the fringes of the City without supports and in often precarious and deplorable situations that they can't survive in. No level of government is really creating housing and Toronto is actually selling off its social housing stock.
The closing of the School House and the bigger plans around the redevelopment of George Street, if implemented, will not prevent the kind of situation that took place in Seaton House. It will just happen somewhere else on a bigger scale. These incdents of violence and some cases death, are preventable. We demand the City take action on the conditions in shelters, that it not shut down much needed spaces like the School House, and instead more resources and housing be immediately handed over to poor communities!
Ontario Coaltion Against Poverty
www.ocap.ca / 416-925-6939