[Hpn] FW: Toronto Mayoral Candidates Positions On Housing & Homelessness ("Gimme Shelter" -- from the Globe and Mail)

Graeme Bacque gbacque@colosseum.com
Wed, 10 Sep 2003 23:56:51 -0400


This is a multi-part message in MIME format.

------=_NextPart_000_0000_01C377F7.348BA3E0
Content-Type: text/plain;
	charset="iso-8859-1"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit


-----Original Message-----
From: TDRC [mailto:tdrc@tdrc.net]
Sent: Wednesday, September 10, 2003 5:13 PM
To: TDRC Office
Subject: Toronto Mayoral Candidates Positions On Housing & Homelessness
("Gimme Shelter" -- from the Globe and Mail)


      The Globe and Mail today (Wednesday September 10th) ran an in-depth
interview / roundtable piece outlining the positions of the five leading
Toronto mayoral candidates with respect to housing & homelessness issues:

      'Gimme shelter'
      In the third part of The Globe's round table, the principal mayoral
candidates -- David Miller, John Tory, Barbara Hall, Tom Jakobek and John
Nunziata -- spell out their positions on housing issues to moderator David
Crombie.



David Crombie: If someone left this city 25 or 30 years ago and came back
and looked at all the changes, the one thing that would tip their eye is
that we have people in droves begging on the streets. I wonder if you can
tell us exactly what you would do to deal with the homeless issue.

Mr. Miller: I think there's three top priorities. The first is Michael
Wilson, who's written a report for the provincial government which hasn't
yet been acted on. It deals with mental-health issues among the homeless,
and it calls for 14,000 units of supportive housing to be built for people
who are homeless who have mental-health challenges. And that's critically
important.

Everybody I speak to in the mental-health field says somebody who's living
on the streets who has mental health challenges needs a roof, a friend, and
ultimately a job, and that is a real way to keep people off the street,
because it gives them a real alternative, and it has the support they need,
and I support that report.

The second thing is, the city needs to show leadership on housing. The
biggest group growing in homelessness is families, because of the costs of
rents in Toronto. Toronto's a very expensive place to live. And so there's
two parts, I think, that are very important. One is the city's Let's Build
program, which is a program targeted to move people out of shelters into
housing. The money's already there. It's a revolving fund, there hasn't been
enough leadership to make the projects happen. . . . We can do much more
there. The second is, we need to build both affordable rental and affordable
home-ownership housing in partnership with the private sector and non-profit
groups, and part of the answer to that is doing it through development, part
of it's through renewal of our own portfolio, like Regent Park, and part of
it's through innovative ideas like Options for Homes.

Mr. Nunziata: As a human being and as a citizen of the City of Toronto I
just find it totally unacceptable that we allow people to sleep in the dead
of winter, minus-25-degree temperatures, on our streets, in our civic
square, and we walk over them. And that's the sad reality today. And so I
don't accept the status quo.

In the days ahead I'm going to outline my plan to deal with the homeless
issue, and it's called Operation Compassion. It would be unlawful to sleep
in public places under my administration. I believe that those who sleep on
the streets of Toronto in sub-zero temperatures are people that need help,
they need medical help. So they're not homeless in the sense of the word
that if you provided them with a home or a condominium that they would go to
it and stay there. The reality is, we're spending over $180-million a year
on the homeless issue. Some have estimated that is about $2,000 a month per
person, which is enough to finance the purchase of a modest home.

I believe that the problem is not in the thousands, in fact it's in the
hundreds, that it's not as large a problem as some people would suggest. In
fact, one of the major inadequacies in the city is that we don't have a
system whereby we can track and follow individuals that sign into hostels
and shelters and who are on the streets of Toronto. I visited Seaton House
last week, and we have individuals living in Seaton House, believe it or
not, that have been there for years and years. One individual was there for
35 years until he died. And there's a group of a hundred men that are at
Seaton House, where the purpose of that unit is to manage their addiction.
So what we are doing, as taxpayers, is providing them with a glass of wine
every hour. These individuals should be in hospitals. They need help. They
shouldn't be in a hostel where we're simply managing their addiction, simply
ensuring that they're not drinking solvents and sniffing gasoline. By
feeding them wine every hour, I think we're doing more harm.

I believe we're doing harm by providing blankets and putting loonies and
toonies in tin cups. We're exacerbating the problem. By making it unlawful
to sleep in public places, to declare those individuals to be adults in need
of protection, I believe that the overwhelming majority would voluntarily
comply, just as they complied by the law that says you can't sleep in the
subway system. . . . Unfortunately it suits the agenda of some people to
suggest that there isn't room in our shelter system. There's no reason for
that pregnant woman, who's eight months pregnant, lying on the streets of
Toronto, to be begging. There's a place called Robertson House, and I invite
you all to visit. It's a beautiful place for pregnant women and women with
children, that find themselves, for whatever reason, unable to have
accommodation.

I would also make it unlawful to beg in the streets of Toronto. People have
to beg for food, shelter, or clothing? Then there's something wrong with our
social-welfare system, and that's where we ought to be directing our
efforts. We do more harm by putting money in their tin cups because it goes
up their noses, for some, in the form of crack cocaine. It's used to
purchase drugs and alcohol in other cases, so it's wrong. What we ought to
be doing is ensuring that our social safety net is there to protect those
people, and that's what I intend to do as mayor of the City of Toronto, to
do the politically incorrect thing and to try to help these people in a
compassionate way by bringing them in for help.

Some should be in mental institutions. During the provincial election
campaign I'm going to challenge the political leaders to see if they're
prepared to do what's right for these individuals. It was a mistake to
de-institutionalize some of these individuals who can't care for themselves.

And finally, David, that's my plan. . . . It's always easy to criticize, and
my four opponents here . . .[are] suggesting I'm going to send paddy wagons
and jail people, which is not the case. . . . Building housing, spending
hundreds of millions of dollars, putting a moratorium on the construction of
new shelters, is not the answer. It's a cop out.

Mr. Jakobek: Well, first of all my plan was out before John Nunziata's. . .
. And secondly, I'm sorry, but I listened very carefully and I smell a
police state, and it starts off with the premise of a bylaw that says you
can't sleep on the street, and that worries me. This is Toronto, it's not
New York, and I don't want a New York solution.

I have to say, David, that Seaton House is a very difficult clientele, and
it's not the one that I would pick as an example. It's hard to say what
shelter is better than another, but I've been very impressed, recently, with
the work of the 107 Sherbourne. And it's not one-shoe-fits-all, but I think
it's closer to where we need to go.

I do agree that the status quo's not acceptable. . . . Giving people simply
a place to sleep, which is what we've had to do, does not break the vicious
circle of mental illness, it does not break the vicious circle of drug
addiction or alcohol abuse or, for that matter, street culture.

We need to re-change our way of thinking. I tell you that it's going to take
two years and a lot of effort to reconstruct and eliminate and change the
shelters we have, and they have to change. Some of them are abysmal, some of
them don't even meet the international standards for refugees. I totally
disagree with the city's shelter plan, which talks about all these little
shelters, because in order for us to break that vicious cycle we have to
have physicians, people who have psychiatric backgrounds, people who are
good social workers, people who are there 24 hours a day, seven days a week,
365 days of the year, so that we're not just giving a person a place to
sleep, we're trying to help them. And that's going to cost money; and that's
going to require a certain economy of scale. And so you can't do it with a
shelter of only thirty beds. You can't afford it. You might be able to do it
with a larger shelter.

With respect to the housing part -- and I just want to get the numbers
clear -- it's really just over $100-million as opposed to $180-million a
year that we spend on shelter housing, and it really comes down to about
$1,800 a month per shelter bed. . . . Housing is not the only issue, but . .
. you can't negate housing as an issue. You have to have a plan for how
you're going to build more affordable housing. . . . On the list of things
you want from the Province of Ontario, you know, my No. 1 issue is to
increase the shelter allowance the province gives people who are receiving
assistance because it's more expensive to live in Toronto.

But we need to also build it, and one of the ways the city can help it, over
and above what we have been doing, is you need to turn around and say,
"Okay, if you build affordable rental accommodation, we're not going to
charge you the development charges, we're not going to charge you these
building-permit fees, and we're going to try to get you off faster than
slower." That's some of the things we can do that aren't necessarily costly,
but they help the problem and they help us deal with what's on the street.

Ms. Hall: The status quo is absolutely unacceptable, and I think the growing
homelessness in our city is a crying shame. Everyone in the city has
experiences like me where they . . . see a man -- mostly men, but also
women, and now there's an increased number of families in shelters -- but
men going down the streets . . . to the ravines, to the parks, to the
benches, to find a place to sleep.

The city alone cannot solve this problem, and it's essential that the mayor
of Toronto continue to work with mayors across the country, mayors in
Ontario, and community groups and civic leaders who understand the impact of
this, to bring the federal government and the provincial government back to
addressing the housing needs of Canadians in a significant way.

But there are things the city can be doing at the same time. There are a lot
of community groups, faith groups, unions out there who want to be building
housing, and who are putting their land and their resources out to help
build housing, and often the bureaucracy and red tape at city hall increases
the costs significantly, waiting for years to go through the approval
process. And so I would expedite the approvals and have a regular report at
every council meeting as to where the non-profit affordable housing projects
are in the process.

We have a large number of shelters in this city, and many of them have
become dead-end places for people. And I'm concerned that so much of the
city's response is in building more shelters. I will work to get people out
of the shelters, and often they need addiction and mental-health support.
They need life-skills support, they need job training to help them get out.

There are a lot of people in the shelters today who want to be involved in
voluntary initiatives to get them ready to get jobs, to help them get first
and last month to get into housing. The city already does a little bit to
help get people into jobs and into permanent housing, but I will accelerate
that.

We need to work to make sure that the shelter allowance or rent subs are
available so that people who just need affordable housing can get into some
of the vacant units out there that aren't currently affordable. There are a
lot of people who slept in shelters last night with their children, and the
only barrier to them being back in a working, normal kind of life is having
enough money to pay the rent on affordable apartments that are currently
unavailable.

There's no magic wand. People are homeless for a lot of different reasons,
and we need a strategy that will work on each of those.

Mr. Miller: Barbara, it all sounds very compassionate, but you've promised
to freeze the number of shelter beds. What that's going to mean is the
people who are living in hotels on Kingston Road and motels, those families
. . . are going to be stuck there.

Ms. Hall: No, it doesn't. My policy means that we're going to get those
families out of those shelters on Kingston Road and give them the rent
supplement they need to move into a house or an apartment, free up those
beds, as opposed to putting all of our resources into new dead-end shelter
beds.

Mr. Tory: The status quo is clearly not acceptable for the people living on
the streets, it's not acceptable to the citizens of the city, it shouldn't
be acceptable to the city government. Where I would differ from John in
particular is that I think it's fine to say you're going to take them to
hospitals and to hostels. The hospitals are full. They don't have room in
there for people who need urgent health care, let alone people we're going
to take off the streets. . . . We'll get into a cycle of them being in and
out of the street.

The hostels will tell you . . . it isn't a matter of how much room they
have, it's that they don't have the resources in those hostels to deal with
the people off the streets who have serious [problems]. Last night I was
told that as many as 90 to 95 per cent of the people sleeping on the streets
are people with serious mental illness and drug problems, so it isn't just a
bed they need to sleep in. It's not just a place they need to be taken for
the sake of saying, "Lie down here and have a bed." They need help.

I talked to someone in the city government in the last couple of days and I
said, "How long would it take to get a big push on getting some additional
units of supportive housing?" -- and it's true, the problem that we're
talking about for those particular people sleeping on the streets is in the
hundreds, not in the thousands, although I'm not meaning to minimize that
number. And the person said to me, "It'll take three or four years to get
more supportive housing funded and built." Well, that's the part, to me,
that's most unacceptable of all, and I think what we have to do is we have
to focus on getting results.

You've got to mobilize not just the government. If it takes them three or
four years, then let's find some other people that can do it. Let's go to
the non-profit sector. Let's go to private individuals. Let's go to the
governments -- other governments -- and say, "We need to be able to set a
six-month target and say we're going to have 500 more of these supportive
housing units for people with drug and alcohol problems on stream, in place,
and ready to go in six months." Not four years. Then you can start talking
about taking people off the streets because you have a place to take them.

With respect to the panhandling that you sort of mentioned in your
introductory remarks, I think we have to be a little bolder on that. I mean,
we've got a Safe Streets Act in place, but it's too restrictive. It says in
front of ATM machines and banks, I think, are the two places you can stop
people from handling. Well, I guess I understand why they put it in that
way, because that's where people go to get money, but you've got to go
beyond that and say either that it's going to be a lot more places in the
city you can't do that. And I'll take a chance on having the law challenged
in court.

from:
http://www.globeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/TPStory/LAC/20030910/UDEBAM1
0/TPNational/Toronto



**********************************
1% 1% 1% 1% 1%....
For more information and to endorse the 1 % Solution,
visit our website at www.tdrc.net

Toronto Disaster Relief Committee (TDRC)
6 Trinity Square, Toronto, ON M5G 1B1
Phone: 416-599-8372 Fax: 416-599-5445
EMAIL: tdrc@tdrc.net WEBSITE: www.tdrc.net

------=_NextPart_000_0000_01C377F7.348BA3E0
Content-Type: text/html;
	charset="iso-8859-1"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN">
<HTML><HEAD>
<META http-equiv=3DContent-Type content=3D"text/html; =
charset=3Diso-8859-1">
<META content=3D"MSHTML 6.00.2800.1226" name=3DGENERATOR>
<STYLE></STYLE>
</HEAD>
<BODY bgColor=3D#ffffff>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial color=3D#0000ff size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV class=3DOutlookMessageHeader dir=3Dltr align=3Dleft><FONT =
face=3DTahoma=20
size=3D2>-----Original Message-----<BR><B>From:</B> TDRC=20
[mailto:tdrc@tdrc.net]<BR><B>Sent:</B> Wednesday, September 10, 2003 =
5:13=20
PM<BR><B>To:</B> TDRC Office<BR><B>Subject:</B> Toronto Mayoral =
Candidates=20
Positions On Housing &amp; Homelessness ("Gimme Shelter" -- from the =
Globe and=20
Mail)<BR><BR></FONT></DIV>
<DIV>
<P>
<TABLE cellSpacing=3D0 cellPadding=3D0 width=3D"100%" border=3D0>
  <TBODY>
  <TR>
    <TD class=3DbnTitle colSpan=3D2>
      <H6><FONT size=3D3><FONT face=3DArial>The Globe and Mail today =
(Wednesday=20
      September 10th) ran an in-depth interview / roundtable&nbsp;piece=20
      outlining the positions of the five leading Toronto mayoral =
candidates=20
      with respect to housing &amp; homelessness issues:</FONT></H6>
      <H6><FONT face=3DArial><FONT =
size=3D2>&nbsp;</H6></FONT></FONT></FONT>
      <H6><FONT face=3DArial size=3D7>'Gimme =
shelter'</FONT></H6></TD></TR><B><FONT=20
  face=3DArial size=3D2>
  <TR>
    <TD class=3DbnByline colSpan=3D2><SPAN class=3DcmntDeck>In the third =
part of The=20
      Globe's round table, the principal mayoral candidates -- David =
Miller,=20
      John Tory, Barbara Hall, Tom Jakobek and John Nunziata -- spell =
out their=20
      positions on housing issues to moderator David=20
  Crombie.</SPAN><BR></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE></P>
<P></B><B>David Crombie: If someone left this city 25 or 30 years ago =
and came=20
back and looked at all the changes, the one thing that would tip their =
eye is=20
that we have people in droves begging on the streets. I wonder if you =
can tell=20
us exactly what you would do to deal with the homeless =
issue.</B></P><!-- /Summary -->
<P><B>Mr. Miller:</B> I think there's three top priorities. The first is =
Michael=20
Wilson, who's written a report for the provincial government which =
hasn't yet=20
been acted on. It deals with mental-health issues among the homeless, =
and it=20
calls for 14,000 units of supportive housing to be built for people who =
are=20
homeless who have mental-health challenges. And that's critically =
important.</P>
<P>Everybody I speak to in the mental-health field says somebody who's =
living on=20
the streets who has mental health challenges needs a roof, a friend, and =

ultimately a job, and that is a real way to keep people off the street, =
because=20
it gives them a real alternative, and it has the support they need, and =
I=20
support that report.</P>
<P>The second thing is, the city needs to show leadership on housing. =
The=20
biggest group growing in homelessness is families, because of the costs =
of rents=20
in Toronto. Toronto's a very expensive place to live. And so there's two =
parts,=20
I think, that are very important. One is the city's Let's Build program, =
which=20
is a program targeted to move people out of shelters into housing. The =
money's=20
already there. It's a revolving fund, there hasn't been enough =
leadership to=20
make the projects happen. . . . We can do much more there. The second =
is, we=20
need to build both affordable rental and affordable home-ownership =
housing in=20
partnership with the private sector and non-profit groups, and part of =
the=20
answer to that is doing it through development, part of it's through =
renewal of=20
our own portfolio, like Regent Park, and part of it's through innovative =
ideas=20
like Options for Homes.</P>
<P><B>Mr. Nunziata:</B> As a human being and as a citizen of the City of =
Toronto=20
I just find it totally unacceptable that we allow people to sleep in the =
dead of=20
winter, minus-25-degree temperatures, on our streets, in our civic =
square, and=20
we walk over them. And that's the sad reality today. And so I don't =
accept the=20
status quo.</P>
<P>In the days ahead I'm going to outline my plan to deal with the =
homeless=20
issue, and it's called Operation Compassion. It would be unlawful to =
sleep in=20
public places under my administration. I believe that those who sleep on =
the=20
streets of Toronto in sub-zero temperatures are people that need help, =
they need=20
medical help. So they're not homeless in the sense of the word that if =
you=20
provided them with a home or a condominium that they would go to it and =
stay=20
there. The reality is, we're spending over $180-million a year on the =
homeless=20
issue. Some have estimated that is about $2,000 a month per person, =
which is=20
enough to finance the purchase of a modest home.</P>
<P>I believe that the problem is not in the thousands, in fact it's in =
the=20
hundreds, that it's not as large a problem as some people would suggest. =
In=20
fact, one of the major inadequacies in the city is that we don't have a =
system=20
whereby we can track and follow individuals that sign into hostels and =
shelters=20
and who are on the streets of Toronto. I visited Seaton House last week, =
and we=20
have individuals living in Seaton House, believe it or not, that have =
been there=20
for years and years. One individual was there for 35 years until he =
died. And=20
there's a group of a hundred men that are at Seaton House, where the =
purpose of=20
that unit is to manage their addiction. So what we are doing, as =
taxpayers, is=20
providing them with a glass of wine every hour. These individuals should =
be in=20
hospitals. They need help. They shouldn't be in a hostel where we're =
simply=20
managing their addiction, simply ensuring that they're not drinking =
solvents and=20
sniffing gasoline. By feeding them wine every hour, I think we're doing =
more=20
harm.</P>
<P>I believe we're doing harm by providing blankets and putting loonies =
and=20
toonies in tin cups. We're exacerbating the problem. By making it =
unlawful to=20
sleep in public places, to declare those individuals to be adults in =
need of=20
protection, I believe that the overwhelming majority would voluntarily =
comply,=20
just as they complied by the law that says you can't sleep in the subway =
system.=20
. . . Unfortunately it suits the agenda of some people to suggest that =
there=20
isn't room in our shelter system. There's no reason for that pregnant =
woman,=20
who's eight months pregnant, lying on the streets of Toronto, to be =
begging.=20
There's a place called Robertson House, and I invite you all to visit. =
It's a=20
beautiful place for pregnant women and women with children, that find=20
themselves, for whatever reason, unable to have accommodation.</P>
<P>I would also make it unlawful to beg in the streets of Toronto. =
People have=20
to beg for food, shelter, or clothing? Then there's something wrong with =
our=20
social-welfare system, and that's where we ought to be directing our =
efforts. We=20
do more harm by putting money in their tin cups because it goes up their =
noses,=20
for some, in the form of crack cocaine. It's used to purchase drugs and =
alcohol=20
in other cases, so it's wrong. What we ought to be doing is ensuring =
that our=20
social safety net is there to protect those people, and that's what I =
intend to=20
do as mayor of the City of Toronto, to do the politically incorrect =
thing and to=20
try to help these people in a compassionate way by bringing them in for=20
help.</P>
<P>Some should be in mental institutions. During the provincial election =

campaign I'm going to challenge the political leaders to see if they're =
prepared=20
to do what's right for these individuals. It was a mistake to=20
de-institutionalize some of these individuals who can't care for =
themselves.</P>
<P>And finally, David, that's my plan. . . . It's always easy to =
criticize, and=20
my four opponents here . . .[are] suggesting I'm going to send paddy =
wagons and=20
jail people, which is not the case. . . . Building housing, spending =
hundreds of=20
millions of dollars, putting a moratorium on the construction of new =
shelters,=20
is not the answer. It's a cop out.</P>
<P><B>Mr. Jakobek: </B>Well, first of all my plan was out before John=20
Nunziata's. . . . And secondly, I'm sorry, but I listened very carefully =
and I=20
smell a police state, and it starts off with the premise of a bylaw that =
says=20
you can't sleep on the street, and that worries me. This is Toronto, =
it's not=20
New York, and I don't want a New York solution.</P>
<P>I have to say, David, that Seaton House is a very difficult =
clientele, and=20
it's not the one that I would pick as an example. It's hard to say what =
shelter=20
is better than another, but I've been very impressed, recently, with the =
work of=20
the 107 Sherbourne. And it's not one-shoe-fits-all, but I think it's =
closer to=20
where we need to go.</P>
<P>I do agree that the status quo's not acceptable. . . . Giving people =
simply a=20
place to sleep, which is what we've had to do, does not break the =
vicious circle=20
of mental illness, it does not break the vicious circle of drug =
addiction or=20
alcohol abuse or, for that matter, street culture.</P>
<P>We need to re-change our way of thinking. I tell you that it's going =
to take=20
two years and a lot of effort to reconstruct and eliminate and change =
the=20
shelters we have, and they have to change. Some of them are abysmal, =
some of=20
them don't even meet the international standards for refugees. I totally =

disagree with the city's shelter plan, which talks about all these =
little=20
shelters, because in order for us to break that vicious cycle we have to =
have=20
physicians, people who have psychiatric backgrounds, people who are good =
social=20
workers, people who are there 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 =
days of the=20
year, so that we're not just giving a person a place to sleep, we're =
trying to=20
help them. And that's going to cost money; and that's going to require a =
certain=20
economy of scale. And so you can't do it with a shelter of only thirty =
beds. You=20
can't afford it. You might be able to do it with a larger shelter.</P>
<P>With respect to the housing part -- and I just want to get the =
numbers clear=20
-- it's really just over $100-million as opposed to $180-million a year =
that we=20
spend on shelter housing, and it really comes down to about $1,800 a =
month per=20
shelter bed. . . . Housing is not the only issue, but . . . you can't =
negate=20
housing as an issue. You have to have a plan for how you're going to =
build more=20
affordable housing. . . . On the list of things you want from the =
Province of=20
Ontario, you know, my No. 1 issue is to increase the shelter allowance =
the=20
province gives people who are receiving assistance because it's more =
expensive=20
to live in Toronto.</P>
<P>But we need to also build it, and one of the ways the city can help =
it, over=20
and above what we have been doing, is you need to turn around and say, =
"Okay, if=20
you build affordable rental accommodation, we're not going to charge you =
the=20
development charges, we're not going to charge you these building-permit =
fees,=20
and we're going to try to get you off faster than slower." That's some =
of the=20
things we can do that aren't necessarily costly, but they help the =
problem and=20
they help us deal with what's on the street.</P>
<P><B>Ms. Hall: </B>The status quo is absolutely unacceptable, and I =
think the=20
growing homelessness in our city is a crying shame. Everyone in the city =
has=20
experiences like me where they . . . see a man -- mostly men, but also =
women,=20
and now there's an increased number of families in shelters -- but men =
going=20
down the streets . . . to the ravines, to the parks, to the benches, to =
find a=20
place to sleep.</P>
<P>The city alone cannot solve this problem, and it's essential that the =
mayor=20
of Toronto continue to work with mayors across the country, mayors in =
Ontario,=20
and community groups and civic leaders who understand the impact of =
this, to=20
bring the federal government and the provincial government back to =
addressing=20
the housing needs of Canadians in a significant way.</P>
<P>But there are things the city can be doing at the same time. There =
are a lot=20
of community groups, faith groups, unions out there who want to be =
building=20
housing, and who are putting their land and their resources out to help =
build=20
housing, and often the bureaucracy and red tape at city hall increases =
the costs=20
significantly, waiting for years to go through the approval process. And =
so I=20
would expedite the approvals and have a regular report at every council =
meeting=20
as to where the non-profit affordable housing projects are in the =
process.</P>
<P>We have a large number of shelters in this city, and many of them =
have become=20
dead-end places for people. And I'm concerned that so much of the city's =

response is in building more shelters. I will work to get people out of =
the=20
shelters, and often they need addiction and mental-health support. They =
need=20
life-skills support, they need job training to help them get out.</P>
<P>There are a lot of people in the shelters today who want to be =
involved in=20
voluntary initiatives to get them ready to get jobs, to help them get =
first and=20
last month to get into housing. The city already does a little bit to =
help get=20
people into jobs and into permanent housing, but I will accelerate =
that.</P>
<P>We need to work to make sure that the shelter allowance or rent subs =
are=20
available so that people who just need affordable housing can get into =
some of=20
the vacant units out there that aren't currently affordable. There are a =
lot of=20
people who slept in shelters last night with their children, and the =
only=20
barrier to them being back in a working, normal kind of life is having =
enough=20
money to pay the rent on affordable apartments that are currently=20
unavailable.</P>
<P>There's no magic wand. People are homeless for a lot of different =
reasons,=20
and we need a strategy that will work on each of those.</P>
<P><B>Mr. Miller: </B>Barbara, it all sounds very compassionate, but =
you've=20
promised to freeze the number of shelter beds. What that's going to mean =
is the=20
people who are living in hotels on Kingston Road and motels, those =
families . .=20
. are going to be stuck there.</P>
<P><B>Ms. Hall: </B>No, it doesn't. My policy means that we're going to =
get=20
those families out of those shelters on Kingston Road and give them the =
rent=20
supplement they need to move into a house or an apartment, free up those =
beds,=20
as opposed to putting all of our resources into new dead-end shelter =
beds.</P>
<P><B>Mr. Tory: </B>The status quo is clearly not acceptable for the =
people=20
living on the streets, it's not acceptable to the citizens of the city, =
it=20
shouldn't be acceptable to the city government. Where I would differ =
from John=20
in particular is that I think it's fine to say you're going to take them =
to=20
hospitals and to hostels. The hospitals are full. They don't have room =
in there=20
for people who need urgent health care, let alone people we're going to =
take off=20
the streets. . . . We'll get into a cycle of them being in and out of =
the=20
street.</P>
<P>The hostels will tell you . . . it isn't a matter of how much room =
they have,=20
it's that they don't have the resources in those hostels to deal with =
the people=20
off the streets who have serious [problems]. Last night I was told that =
as many=20
as 90 to 95 per cent of the people sleeping on the streets are people =
with=20
serious mental illness and drug problems, so it isn't just a bed they =
need to=20
sleep in. It's not just a place they need to be taken for the sake of =
saying,=20
"Lie down here and have a bed." They need help.</P>
<P>I talked to someone in the city government in the last couple of days =
and I=20
said, "How long would it take to get a big push on getting some =
additional units=20
of supportive housing?" -- and it's true, the problem that we're talking =
about=20
for those particular people sleeping on the streets is in the hundreds, =
not in=20
the thousands, although I'm not meaning to minimize that number. And the =
person=20
said to me, "It'll take three or four years to get more supportive =
housing=20
funded and built." Well, that's the part, to me, that's most =
unacceptable of=20
all, and I think what we have to do is we have to focus on getting =
results.</P>
<P>You've got to mobilize not just the government. If it takes them =
three or=20
four years, then let's find some other people that can do it. Let's go =
to the=20
non-profit sector. Let's go to private individuals. Let's go to the =
governments=20
-- other governments -- and say, "We need to be able to set a six-month =
target=20
and say we're going to have 500 more of these supportive housing units =
for=20
people with drug and alcohol problems on stream, in place, and ready to =
go in=20
six months." Not four years. Then you can start talking about taking =
people off=20
the streets because you have a place to take them.</P>
<P>With respect to the panhandling that you sort of mentioned in your=20
introductory remarks, I think we have to be a little bolder on that. I =
mean,=20
we've got a Safe Streets Act in place, but it's too restrictive. It says =
in=20
front of ATM machines and banks, I think, are the two places you can =
stop people=20
from handling. Well, I guess I understand why they put it in that way, =
because=20
that's where people go to get money, but you've got to go beyond that =
and say=20
either that it's going to be a lot more places in the city you can't do =
that.=20
And I'll take a chance on having the law challenged in court.</P>
<P>from: <A=20
href=3D"http://www.globeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/TPStory/LAC/20030=
910/UDEBAM10/TPNational/Toronto">http://www.globeandmail.com/servlet/Arti=
cleNews/TPStory/LAC/20030910/UDEBAM10/TPNational/Toronto</A></P>
<P>&nbsp;</P><!-- Addendum --><!-- Revisiondate --><!-- /Revisiondate =
--><!-- Memo --><!-- /Memo --><!-- /Addendum --></FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial =
size=3D2>**********************************<BR>1% 1% 1% 1%=20
1%....<BR>For more information and to endorse the 1 % Solution,<BR>visit =
our=20
website at <A href=3D"http://www.tdrc.net">www.tdrc.net</A></FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>Toronto Disaster Relief Committee =
(TDRC)<BR>6=20
Trinity Square, Toronto, ON M5G 1B1<BR>Phone: 416-599-8372 Fax:=20
416-599-5445<BR>EMAIL: <A =
href=3D"mailto:tdrc@tdrc.net">tdrc@tdrc.net</A> WEBSITE:=20
<A =
href=3D"http://www.tdrc.net">www.tdrc.net</A><BR></FONT></DIV></BODY></HT=
ML>

------=_NextPart_000_0000_01C377F7.348BA3E0--