News on the Issues

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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>>


A Personalized Tweak Helps Homelessness Programs Work Even Better

March 09, 2015
Over the last two decades, North American cities have been giving homeless people a place to live before any other treatment. The programs mostly work, but now researchers are seeking improvements. more>>


Intervention results in more stable housing for homeless adults

March 04, 2015
A program that included scattered-site supportive housing using rent supplements and case management services led to more stable housing for homeless adults with mental illness in four cities in Canada, compared with usual access to existing housing and community services, but the intervention did not result in significant improvements in health-related quality of life, according to a study in the March 3 issue of JAMA. more>>


Downtown Homeless Shelter Shutting Down

March 04, 2015
Five weeks after the city took extraordinary steps to free up more bed space for the homeless, the Salvation Army has announced its shutting down one of its downtown hostels. 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>>


Feds commit $86M to combat homelessness in Toronto

February 19, 2015
Toronto will receive $86 million over the next five years from the federal government to help alleviate homelessness in the city, it was announced Friday. more>>


John Tory embarrassed by number of homeless people sleeping on Toronto streets: Surely we can do better

February 10, 2015
Mayor John Tory says he has a deep concern about the number of people sleeping on the streets of Toronto and the encampments that persistently pop up in the downtown. more>>


Special challenges face those helping homeless people outside downtown

February 10, 2015
The place Stephen Brausewetter has called home for almost three years is a cramped, ramshackle tent, hidden in a gully surrounded by trees, just out of sight of comfortable middle class homes in Scarborough. more>>


Hardly home free

February 10, 2015
In a winter thats killed at least four homeless people, Ontario has set itself an ambitious goal to tackle the problem anew. Critics are skeptical, but there are successes elsewhere. Debora Van Brenk reports. more>>


Twenty-five per cent of homeless people surveyed in Toronto report vision problems

February 09, 2015
Twenty-five per cent of homeless people surveyed in Toronto had vision problems up to and including blindness, four times higher than the rate of the overall population in North America, a new study by St. Michaels Hospital has found. more>>


Advocates praise funding for LGBTQ homeless shelters

February 04, 2015
Funding for 54 LGBTQ beds included in this years proposed budget, at a cost of $600,000. more>>


An Open Door and a meal play key role in helping homeless

February 04, 2015
Drop-ins are the unsung heroes in Torontos efforts to help homeless and isolated residents. more>>


Gimme Safe Shelter

February 04, 2015
Why are the homeless dying? Some would rather take their chances outside in the freezing cold than risk the dangers of an overcrowded shelter system more>>


Ontario asks Mike to help reduce poverty

February 04, 2015
Ontario is taking an important step to help break the cycle of poverty by establishing an Expert Advisory Panel on Homelessness. more>>


Advocates praise funding for LGBTQ homeless shelters

February 02, 2015
One in five of Torontos homeless youth will have access to a shelter tailored specifically to their needs if this years proposed budget is passed, with funding designated to create 54 beds for young people who identify as a sexual minority. more>>


Covenant House partners with city to aid sex-trade workers

January 30, 2015
TORONTO - Covenant House is stepping up to give young women and girls caught in the grip of the sex trade a way out. On Jan. 29, Covenant House Toronto executive director Bruce Rivers launched the city's first specialized longer-term transitional housing program that will be designed specifically for female victims of sex trade, sex trafficking. The housing will be in an undisclosed location in the city. more>>


Tory fattens coffers for homeless industry (Toronto Sun)

January 26, 2015
The activists and advocates who help prop up the homeless industry must have been ecstatic. After more than a few sit-ins by the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) brood and regular like clockwork appearances at the citys community services committee, it only took 51 days in office for the newly-minted Mayor John Tory to insert 181 permanent emergency shelter beds into the 2015 budget. Not only did Tory fatten the homeless industry coffers by $3.1 million for these new beds, more>>


Report paints 'fuller picture' of mental health in Canada

January 26, 2015
OTTAWA -- Canadians are stressed out about having to care for older family members at a time when an aging population means more people will require such care, says a new report by the Mental Health Commission of Canada. more>>


We know exactly how to end homelessness in Canada

January 26, 2015
Housing First strategies are known to work  and they save us money more>>


Funeral held for homeless man who died in fire

January 26, 2015
A funeral was held Monday for a homeless man who died in Scarborough earlier this month. more>>


Frigid temperatures lead to hike in shelter usage in Toronto

January 26, 2015
City to free up shelter beds by creating more housing more>>


More needs to be done for the homeless: Tory

January 19, 2015
TORONTO - More needs to be done to address homelessness in the city, Mayor John Tory said Friday as he vowed to take a leadership role on improving mental health care. more>>


Suburban homelessness is a problem often neglected in Toronto

January 19, 2015
Gunner was a regular at meals for the homeless offered by St. Timothys Anglican Church on Sheppard Avenue East in Scarborough. The churchs rector, Rev. John Stephenson, said he was a tall, jovial if sometimes dishevelled man with a drinking problem. Gunner was a nickname. His real name was Grant. Dr. Stephenson said he always had a smile, but had a stormy relationship with a girlfriend. When he wasnt living with her, he found himself on the street. more>>


740 Homeless People have died on Toronto streets since 1985 ... We Think

740 Homeless People have died on Toronto streets since 1985 ... We Think

January 19, 2015
'We've got a system here [that's] almost like the Dark Ages.' more>>


Help for the homeless isn't complicated: Fiorito

January 19, 2015
To prevent the deaths of the homeless on the street, we need to provide homes, and the supports to keep them inside. more>>


Cooper_ Homelessness Exists Year-round

Cooper_ Homelessness Exists Year-round

January 19, 2015
Despite studies that show that addiction, substance abuse and mental health are all significant contributing factors to someone being homeless and having nowhere else to turn, many are turned away from shelters for the same reasons, Jordon Cooper writes. more>>


Toronto's homeless particularly vulnerable in winter

Toronto's homeless particularly vulnerable in winter

January 14, 2015
Documenting Toronto's homeless, hotographer Louie Palu has heard tragic tales as heartbreaking as any hes encountered in war-torn countries. more>>


No one should die on the street: How we can help Torontos homeless

January 14, 2015
Toronto needs to do better: It should go without saying that when the weather is cold the city should expand its offerings of shelter and drop-in services. Torontos politicians and bureaucrats seem surprised every winter that its cold. We have a moral obligation to protect our most vulnerable residents. Yet the 24-hour drop-in centre for women, promised for December, is not open. The warming centre for youth  part of this winters cold-weather response  will only begin later this month. Winter is in full force; why are these services not ready? more>>


Three dead men remembered at homeless memorial

Three dead men remembered at homeless memorial

January 14, 2015
Three men who either died on the streets or in a homeless shelter during the first 12 days of 2015 were remembered with candles, poetry and song at a memorial held Tuesday on the steps of a downtown church. more>>


Blaming lack of homeless services for recent deaths is jumping the gun

January 07, 2015
By mid-morning, things had returned to normal at the intersection of Yonge and Dundas. The police cars and the ambulance were long gone. Streetcars sailed by. Shoppers hurried in and out of the Eaton Centre. A guy in skinny pants put up a sale sign in the window of H&M. A young woman in a parka handed out discount vouchers. more>>


Torontos cold weather plan under scrutiny after two men die

January 07, 2015
On the days that two men died outside in frigid temperatures this week, Torontos system to help protect the homeless proceeded as usual: Public health officials checked the forecast before 7 a.m. and, finding that overnight lows werent expected to hit the -15 C threshold, did not issue extreme cold weather alerts. 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>>


ANNOUNCEMENT - NEW ICHA MEDICAL DIRECTOR

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
more>>


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>>