News on the Issues

This page contains information on news on issues of relevance to drop-ins and the drop-in participants.

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Homeless-shelter stunt raises eyebrows in Leaside

October 07, 2015
Ad agencys fake creation on behalf of Raise the Roof had locals very upset more>>

Toronto overdose deaths jump dramatically

September 25, 2015
A 41% rise in nine years is blamed in part on increasing use of heroin and fentanyl. more>>

'Tale of two cities': Toronto food bank challenges 'most livable' label

September 25, 2015
Toronto often ranks high on lists of the world's best places to live, but for tens of thousands of food bank users coping with high housing costs, Canada's largest city might not feel so livable, a new report says. more>>

Food bank use grows in Toronto's suburbs, drops in city core

September 25, 2015
Report examined food bank visits in city since the 2008 more>>

Affordable housing advocates urge action on growing crisis

September 14, 2015
Four out of every 10 renting households in Canada spent almost a third of their income on rent, above the level that experts say is sustainable, affordable housing advocates said Thursday more>>

Conviction results in substantial fine after fatal Toronto rooming-house fire

August 28, 2015
A Provincial Offences Court has announced a conviction and levied a fine of $60,000 plus a $15,000 victim surcharge against the owner of an illegal rooming house at 189 Sheridan Ave., Toronto, in which a tenant died in a fire. The owner, Konstantin Lysenko, entered into a period of probation for 18 months with the standard conditions and an additional condition that he not possess or manage any rental property for the 18-month probation period. more>>

Ontario justice system punishes mental illness

August 21, 2015
A troubled young man brandishing a pair of scissors is shot and killed by police. A suicidal woman is placed in solitary confinement for her own protection. A desperate boy finally gets the mental health care he needs, but only after he is charged with assault. more>>

Queen's Hotel tenants say they're being ousted on short notice

August 14, 2015
A community leader in Parkdale and the local MPP say a group of vulnerable tenants are being illegally evicted from a Parkdale hotel that operates as a rooming house more>>

Free Vaccines for Youth

April 24, 2015
Toronto Public Health offers free immunization services for youth under the age of 18 years who do not have a health care provider or a health card. more>>

Filmmaker Shelley Saywells Lowdown Tracks at Hot Docs Documentary film follows lives of five Torontonians impacted by homelessness

April 24, 2015
Every song sung on the curb has a story. Thats the message in Saywells documentary Lowdown Tracks, premiering at the 2015 Toronto Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival. Set in the streets of Toronto, Saywell and musician Lorraine Segato of The Parachute Club follow the lives and voices of five homeless Torontonians, all of whom have very different stories with one common thread  music. Its their original music that runs through the entire film, serving as the soundtrack to their life on harsh city streets. One of the things we really wanted to do and hoped that we succeeded in doing was showing that these are people, with incredible stories, and talent and passion and they deserve to be listened to, Saywell told The Villager. more>>

Surfing couches for homeless youth

April 18, 2015
The Door Youth Centre held a Couch Surfing event at Robinsons Independent Grocer on April 18. Local celebrities were invited to take shifts occupying the couch to raise awareness of the problem of youth homelessness more>>

Homeless to Harvard: Toronto dropout accepted to Ivy league school

April 15, 2015
Toni Morgan, 32, is crowdfunding $71,000 to cover her tuition and housing costs more>>

Ontario Launches Public Consultations to Improve Access to Affordable Housing

April 14, 2015
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing Ontario is launching consultations to support a renewed Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy to ensure that the document supports the Province's goals of improving outcomes for people and ending homelessness. more>>

Toronto poverty reduction groups band together to help shape city strategy

April 13, 2015
Commitment 2 Community campaign attracting a wide array of stakeholders more>>

Evergreen Drop in Schedule April 2015

April 10, 2015
Evergreen Drop in Schedule April 2015 more>>

Rooming House Review  Public Consultation

April 10, 2015
The City of Torontos Rooming House Review  Public Consultation is a project facilitated by Public Interest. more>>

Series of 14 rooming house review sessions kicked off in Parkdale

April 10, 2015
When it comes to rooming houses in Parkdale, the frustration is clear  too many tenants are subjected to substandard living conditions and feel helpless to change it. Between having requests for repairs go unanswered for months and feeling severely policed by their landlord, some agree rooming houses feel less like a home and more like a jail. more>>

2015 TEF Business Plan Competition for Social Enterprises

April 09, 2015
The Toronto Enterprise Fund is pleased to announce the launch of its 2015 Business Plan Competition. The competition is open to non-profit social enterprises that provide transitional or permanent employment for people who are marginalized. A social enterprise is a business operated by a non-profit that sells goods and services in the market place, for the dual purpose of generating income and achieving a social, cultural or environmental goal more>>

Patchwork rooming house rules need overhaul, say critics

April 09, 2015
Advocates suggest the controversial housing type should be legalized across the city to protect low-income tenants. more>>

Funding guide for Community Safety Investment Funding Program

April 09, 2015
The City's Community Safety Plan is guided by three principles: 1. a balance between enforcement and prevention; 2. investment in youth; and 3. building on the strengths of neighbourhoods and communities. CSI supports these principles by funding projects that focus on preventing violence, and including funded activities that respond to the needs of youth. CSI criteria encourage applications from organizations that work actively to build on the strengths of neighbourhoods and communities. more>>

Access, Equity & Human Rights Grant Investment Funding Program funding guide

April 09, 2015
The funding provided through the Access, Equity & Human Rights Program (AEHR) is used by community organizations and residents to address human rights, accessibility, equity, discrimination and hate crime concerns in their neighbourhoods and communities.AEHR funds are awarded to organizations for enhancement or expansion to existing programs, or for new project requests. AEHR funding program provides time-limited funding to community-based projects that help the City of Toronto achieve its social, economic and cultural goals. more>>

Hidden Homelessness in the Suburbs

April 07, 2015
While homelessness is often thought of as a downtown phenomenon, experts warn of "hidden homelessness" in the suburbs. more>>

Food quantity and affordability not improving, StatsCan suggests

March 25, 2015
Being able to afford to enough nutritious food continues to be a struggle for some Canadians, according to a new report. Wednesdays report from Statistics Canada used five years of data from the Canadian Community Health Survey to compare rates of food insecurity. more>>

Toronto to continue buying motel/hotel room space to handle overflow from shelters

February 19, 2015
Councillor Ford critical of plan he says provides luxury rooms for the homeless more>>

Dying homeless find treatment, comfort through mobile palliative care program

Dying homeless find treatment, comfort through mobile palliative care program

August 06, 2014
TORONTO - They're too often the forgotten people  or the ones many of us turn a blind eye to as we pass a street corner where they might implore us for extra change: the homeless living rough outside through all kinds of weather or those precariously housed in a cot-for-the-night shelter or a decaying rooming house. more>>

LGBTQ youth homeless shelter on the horizon

June 27, 2014
New research, success in other cities and a key city report raise the confidence of advocates for queer street youth more>>

Housing improves plight of homeless people with mental illness, study finds

Housing improves plight of homeless people with mental illness, study finds

June 25, 2014
Providing housing to people who are homeless and suffering mental illness improves outcomes  and saves money, a Toronto study suggests. more>>

Ontario urged to allow women on welfare to keep child support

Ontario urged to allow women on welfare to keep child support

April 22, 2014
When she couldnt find work after completing a social work diploma last spring, Jennifer Gray and her 7-year-old daughter reluctantly moved into a homeless shelter. more>>


April 17, 2014
Inner City health Associates (ICHA) is pleased to announce that Dr. Leslie Shanks has been selected as its new Medical Director , effective May 1, 2014. more>>

Bringing services for those without, under one roof

Bringing services for those without, under one roof

April 10, 2014
Jeff is a 40-year-old HIV-positive man who lives on the street because conditions in shelters are too rough. Hes had trouble finding an apartment while he waits for his name to come up on Streets To Homes housing list. more>>

Socks for the Homeless

March 31, 2014
St. Mary's High School students in Owen Sound are doing their part to help the homeless.The students are collecting socks.Student Sarah Van Trigt encourages the community to also become involved. more>>

Civic leaders support call for Toronto anti-poverty plan

February 14, 2014
Toronto is home to about 20 per cent of Ontarios population but almost 30 per cent of the provinces poor, a gathering of civic and social leaders heard Tuesday. more>>

Court of Public Opinion personally serves Premier Wynne with summons

Court of Public Opinion personally serves Premier Wynne with summons

February 14, 2014
Two members of the Put Food in the Budget steering committee personally served Premier Kathleen Wynne on Tuesday with a summons to appear for trial next Wednesday, February 19. Just before 1 p.m., Tracy and Andrea presented the summons, printed on a 2x3 foam board, in the lobby of the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Toronto (see picture below) more>>

Finding Refuge from Torontos Cold Streets

January 24, 2014
TORONTO - Richard Dunbar has lived on the street for two years since being evicted for non-payment of rent. Nevertheless, the 56-year-old survives quite nicely  even on winters coldest nights  travelling from church to synagogue every day to partake in that days Out of the Cold program. more>>

Metcalfe Foundation Funding Program

January 20, 2014
The Metcalfe Foundation has released information about the Inclusive Local Economies Program and the Metcalfe Renewal Program. Program guidelines are available for downloading. more>>

Helping the homeless through the winter cold

January 20, 2014
TORONTO - Some homeless projects warm hearts  this one warms bodies. BY JENNY YUEN ,TORONTO SUN FIRST POSTED: SATURDAY, JANUARY 18, 2014 07:08 PM EST In a Caledonia Rd. warehouse Saturday, over 200 volunteers packed 3,000 blackduffel bags with donated goods  everything from toiletries to sleeping bags  which will be distributed to 195 Toronto-area partner agencies next weekend. more>>

Ontario helps people replace food lost during ice storm

December 30, 2013
Toronto residents who have experienced prolonged power outage who need help will be able to collect a gift card at one of 15 Ontario Works Toronto offices beginning Tuesday, December 31 and ending Friday, January 3, 2014. more>>

City of Toronto News Releases

December 23, 2013
For up to date information on the storm and warming centres open in Toronto. more>>

Toronto Police Service opens 13 police buildings as warming centres

December 23, 2013
Click "read more" and follow the link for a full list more>>

New agency aiming to help Toronto

October 16, 2013

Toronto Housing Wait List Passes 90,000 Households, 165,723 People

September 27, 2013
Torontos affordable housing wait list has grown to a staggering 90,060 households as of the end of August, according to Toronto Housing Connections (which maintains the list). Those households include a total of 165,723 women, men and children  an increase of 4% in the past year. more>>

Study finds risk of violence against Aboriginal women reduced by 40 per cent when socio-economic position is considered

September 27, 2013
If Aboriginal women had the same income and education levels as non-Aboriginal women, their risk of being abused by a partner could drop by 40 per cent, according to a new study by researchers at St. Michaels Hospital. more>>

Two New Communities Join National Program to End Youth Homelessness

September 13, 2013
TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Sept. 12, 2013) - Communities across Canada are joining a major national effort to significantly change the course of youth homelessness across Canada. Saint John, New Brunswick and Wellington County, Ontario are the latest communities to join the Mobilizing Local Capacity to End Youth Homelessness Program (MLC). The MLC program is an innovative approach to ending youth homelessness because it builds on local community strengths and connects them to national and international change makers to prevent, reduce and end youth homelessness. more>>

Fed: Homeless Advocate Doug Johnson Hatlem Leaving Toronto

Fed: Homeless Advocate Doug Johnson Hatlem Leaving Toronto

July 24, 2013
Street pastor Doug Johnson Hatlem is leaving town. First, Corey Mintz serves him a bread-laden meal. more>>

Helping Hand for Toronto's Homeless: Goar

July 24, 2013
Reeling from the cancellation of a provincial housing benefit, the city and anti-poverty activists pitch in to help. more>>

Ted McMeekin talks but who can act on social assistance rates?

July 24, 2013
Social Services Minister's lack of power makes consulting him pretty much pointless more>>

City council has voted in favour of increasing emergency services

April 04, 2013
City council has voted in favour of increasing emergency services for Torontos homeless by temporarily activating so-called flex beds. The only dissenting vote came from Mayor Rob Ford. more>>

StART Mural Program

March 22, 2013
StreetARToronto or StART is a new, pro-active grant program that aims to develop, support, promote and increase awareness of street art and its indispensable role in adding beauty and character to neighbourhoods across Toronto, while counteracting graffiti vandalism and its harmful effect on communities. This year's proposals are due April 15, 2013. more>>

Toronto Council rebuffs debate on shelter crisis

Toronto Council rebuffs debate on shelter crisis

February 21, 2013
A motion from Councillor Adam Vaughan would have made it possible for Council to debate the shelter issue immediately, rather than waiting till a city staff report is delivered next month. The motion needed 30 votes to pass and was unsuccessful (24-20). more>>

Limited Improvements, Serious Concerns

October 31, 2012
Poverty Free Ontario has released its analysis of the Final Report from the Social Assistance Review. more>>

Mental health and addicitons:  How Ontario and Toronto can improve lives while saving billions.

Mental health and addicitons: How Ontario and Toronto can improve lives while saving billions.

June 22, 2012
Toronto lawyer Sarah Shartal writes about the importance of investing in drop-ins as service delivery hubs to improve the health and quality of life of people in vulnerable situations. more>>