Today, Social Planning Toronto was joined by 30 nonprofit organizations and agencies in addressing a letter to Mayor John Tory pressing him to open more homeless shelter space. Responding to dropping temperatures and badly overcrowded shelters, the letter stated the urgent need to safeguard against the increased risk of exposure and death for homeless individuals this winter.
“Between 1985 and 2016 this city has seen the deaths of over 800 individuals as a result of homelessness; in the last two years alone, more than 80 homeless people have died”, the letter reads. “As the weather intensifies and we experience frigid temperatures, people who are homeless experience an increased risk of dying due to over-exposure to the extreme cold.”
The group also emphasized the need for a long-term solution to the city’s housing and homelessness challenges, specifically an affordable housing strategy.