Food bank use has already reached record levels in 2022, and those on the front lines of our already strained shelter system are reporting similarly high levels of need.
Activists and advocates have been sounding the alarm about the staggering number of people being turned away at Toronto shelters due to insufficient capacity.
THREE CAUSES OF THIS CRISIS:
FOOD COSTS have risen by 11.4% (the largest single year increase since 1981), Toronto RENTS have spiked to $2,474 for a one bedroom (up 27% in Toronto since 2021)
Urgent need among NEWLY ARRIVED REFUGEES (from Ukraine and Afghanistan)
Instead of investing in longterm solutions to this escalating crisis, THE CITY OF TORONTO'S 2022 PLAN INVOLVES:
1. EVICTING tenants from shelter hotels
2. EVICTING encampment residents
3. REDUCING THE MINIMUM DISTANCE required between shelter beds FROM 2 METRES TO 1.25 METRES
Criticized by advocates as "WAREHOUSING HUMANS", city officials admit this planned change WILL NOT BE ENOUGH to accommodate the nearly 8,200 nightly requests -
an increase of +1,600 compared to November 2021.
Between insufficient shelter capacity and unwelcome shelter conditions, advocates warn that more homeless Torontonians will be sleeping outdoors this winter than ever before.
That's why Mazon is proud to support a network of grassroots shelter programs that offer warm beds, ancillary services, hot meals, AND meet clients where they are - in parks and on street corners, with respect and solidarity, throughout the cold months and beyond.