[Hpn] Toronto: End Homelessness MARCH Sat 6 May 11am City Hall to Queen's Park Park

Tom Boland wgcp@earthlink.net
Fri, 05 May 2000 17:54:14 -0700 (PDT)


Media advisory
May 4, 2000

Homelessness: "Poverty in the pursuit of death"
Second annual March to End Homelessness
Sat., May 6 * 11 a.m.
Toronto City Hall to Queen's Park

Committed volunteers from faith communities who shelter the homeless in
church basements will join with homeless people, housing advocates and
other allies for the second annual March to End Homelessness on Saturday,
May 6.

The march begins at 11 am at Nathan Phillips Square (Toronto City Hall)
with a performance by the Raging Grannies. The group will march to the
Ontario Legislative Building at Queen's Park. The event is co-sponsored by
the Social Justice Committee of Bloor Street United Church and the Toronto
Disaster Relief Committee.

"The idea for the march came from Bloor Street United Church in December
1998," says Ken Ranney, one of the organizers. "We wanted to do something
about the appalling and scandalous fact of homelessness. Last year, the
march drew people of compassion from all sources to show their support for
the homeless and to put pressure on elected officials to end homelessness."

"Homelessness is no accident, it is a result of government policy," says
Ranney. "Politicians could make homelessness a vanishing species, but they
do not. They have, in fact, made it worse. It seems our elected officials
approve of homelessness. Poverty diminishes life, poverty clamps life in a
vice from which there is no escape. Poverty means suffering and poverty
causes death at an early age. And nowhere is it easier to see poverty in
the pursuit of death than in the homeless, who die at a rate more than five
times the rate of the general population."

There are a growing number of homeless people dying on the streets of
Toronto. More than 65,000 people will stay in homeless shelters in Toronto
this year, including more than 6,000 children. More than 110,000 tenant
households in the city are on the brink of homelessness. Since tenants make
up more than half of the city's households, that means about one in every
eight households in Toronto are at risk of homelessness.

Homelessness is on the rise throughout Ontario, in places like Barrie,
Hamilton-Wentworth, Kitchener-Waterloo, North Bay, Ottawa-Carleton, Peel
and Peterborough. The rich community of Oakville opened its first homeless
shelter in 1999.

Across the province, more than 300,000 households are on the brink of
homelessness - that's about one in every four tenant households.
Homelessness is growing rapidly. There are an average of 500 applications
for evictions filed every week in Toronto, and plenty more in other parts
of the province.

For information:
Ken Ranney, March to End Homelessness @ 1-905-697-1066
Kira Heineck, Co-ordinator, TDRC @ 416-703-8482, ext. 411


Housing for all

The One Percent Solution - a national
strategy to end homelessness in Canada

Michael Shapcott
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
E-mail - mshapcot@web.net



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