[Hpn] Fwd: HOMELESSNESS IN TORONTO---ABOUT TO BE A CRIME?

Graeme Bacque gbacque@colosseum.com
Sat, 15 Jan 2005 17:54:28 -0500


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Subject: 	HOMELESSNESS IN TORONTO---ABOUT TO BE A CRIME?
Date: 	Sat, 15 Jan 2005 17:21:17 -0500
From: 	burch@web.ca
To: 	e-left-l@list.web.net


The City of Toronto is considering ways to enact the old philosophy of
"Rich and poor are equally prohibited from sleeping under bridges".

Cathy Crowe is circulating the following statement, including a web link and
information about a City of Toronto Policy and Finance Committee meeting
that will hear deputations on this proposal.

Brian
burch@web.ca


Particular issue around human rights, public space use, criminalization of
homelessness. CC

This report was made public around 4 pm yesterday (Friday) afternoon (LINK
IS BELOW). Michael Shapcott and I were both briefed prior to it's release -
(note it was only in a draft stage at that time!) I wanted to give you an
immediate heads up on TDRC's Friday afternoon analysis of the homeless piece
and seek other input from you. Please pass this on to any colleagues.
Michael has done an analysis of the housing portion of this report and will
send it out to folks shortly. There are articles in the Saturday SUN, STAR
and GLOBE. CBC radio also covered this.

The report moans and groans about the state of homelessness and housing and
then focuses with a fetish on "outreach" strategies as if they were suddenly
a new discovery and strategy to end homelessness. This is reminiscent of
Claudette Bradshaw's focus on "coordination" of services. Here are some of
my thoughts and I look forward to hearing any additional analysis from you.

The report is of course a reactive one to the pressures of right wing
councillors and the Toronto SUN rant that reached a frenzy last summer and
fall. The report's "authors" are 4 departments: the CAO Shirley Hoy, the
City Solicitor, the Commissioner of CNS Eric Gam, and the Acting
Commissioner of Works and Emergency Services.

* SCPI monies will be allocated to the level of 1,500,000 to hire up to 6
new outreach workers. I am told these will be city staff positions. It's
ironic that some of the best outreach workers and organizations in the City
who work with people sleeping outside, will not be provided with this
funding for their work, especially ones that work with people with serious
health problems and are shelter intolerant. Of course, they likely know this
kind of strategy will not work.

* although part of the new outreach workers job will be to focus on income
assistance, ODSP is not specifically highlighted, nor is there a direction
for City shelters to begin to aggressively work to get people on ODSP so
they could move some people from shelters to housing, freeing up space in
existing shelters.

* a Street Outreach Steering Cttee will be formed. Another committee! It
will include police participation. Enough said.

* there is no recognition that on any given night there may be only a
handful of shelter beds available (let alone more than one or two detox
beds) or that there is a bedbug infestation and tuberculosis outbreak
impacting on safe access to the shelter system.

* there is no recognition that 110 Edward St. closes end of May and the Out
of the Cold program closes in the spring, both spilling hundreds of people
back out onto the street. There is no plan for new replacement shelter beds
for either of these programs. Historically outside sleeping becomes more
prominent when winter emergency shelters close. Nor is there a plan to open
new targeted shelters such as for elderly men or women, or first nations
people, or a safe house or a warming centre or a harm reduction
facility......

*there is no recognition that there is no magic solution to find housing for
people (apart from new housing money), although if the City can leverage
rent supplement monies it is feasible that they will use that to house
people from Nathan Phillips Square which in fact will be an incentive then
for other people to come to the square to sleep.

* the new Service Protocol (attachment 2) is vague and that is a red flag
for civil liberties.

* the amendment to By-law 1994-0784 is specific. It will now say "no person
can camp"(includes sleeping in the Square during the day or night, whether
or not a tent or temporary abode of any kind is used) in the square. "

from, Cathy Crowe

So, will Toronto decide to criminalize homelessness in front of its City
Hall?

Deputations are Wednesday, Jan. 19 at 9:30 at Policy and Finance Committee,
Committee Room #1. It is item #1. Michael and I are each on list already.
Contact info for clerk is
Patsy Morris, 416-392-9151 or pmorris@toronto.ca

The report is at:
http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/2005/agendas/committees/pof/pof050119/it001.pdf
  





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      <th align="right" nowrap="nowrap" valign="baseline">Subject: </th>
      <td>HOMELESSNESS IN TORONTO---ABOUT TO BE A CRIME?</td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
      <th align="right" nowrap="nowrap" valign="baseline">Date: </th>
      <td>Sat, 15 Jan 2005 17:21:17 -0500</td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
      <th align="right" nowrap="nowrap" valign="baseline">From: </th>
      <td><a class="moz-txt-link-abbreviated" href="mailto:burch@web.ca">burch@web.ca</a></td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
      <th align="right" nowrap="nowrap" valign="baseline">To: </th>
      <td><a class="moz-txt-link-abbreviated" href="mailto:e-left-l@list.web.net">e-left-l@list.web.net</a></td>
    </tr>
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<br>
<pre>The City of Toronto is considering ways to enact the old philosophy of
"Rich and poor are equally prohibited from sleeping under bridges".

Cathy Crowe is circulating the following statement, including a web link and
information about a City of Toronto Policy and Finance Committee meeting
that will hear deputations on this proposal.

Brian
<a class="moz-txt-link-abbreviated" href="mailto:burch@web.ca">burch@web.ca</a>


Particular issue around human rights, public space use, criminalization of
homelessness. CC

This report was made public around 4 pm yesterday (Friday) afternoon (LINK
IS BELOW). Michael Shapcott and I were both briefed prior to it's release -
(note it was only in a draft stage at that time!) I wanted to give you an
immediate heads up on TDRC's Friday afternoon analysis of the homeless piece
and seek other input from you. Please pass this on to any colleagues.
Michael has done an analysis of the housing portion of this report and will
send it out to folks shortly. There are articles in the Saturday SUN, STAR
and GLOBE. CBC radio also covered this.

The report moans and groans about the state of homelessness and housing and
then focuses with a fetish on "outreach" strategies as if they were suddenly
a new discovery and strategy to end homelessness. This is reminiscent of
Claudette Bradshaw's focus on "coordination" of services. Here are some of
my thoughts and I look forward to hearing any additional analysis from you.

The report is of course a reactive one to the pressures of right wing
councillors and the Toronto SUN rant that reached a frenzy last summer and
fall. The report's "authors" are 4 departments: the CAO Shirley Hoy, the
City Solicitor, the Commissioner of CNS Eric Gam, and the Acting
Commissioner of Works and Emergency Services.

* SCPI monies will be allocated to the level of 1,500,000 to hire up to 6
new outreach workers. I am told these will be city staff positions. It's
ironic that some of the best outreach workers and organizations in the City
who work with people sleeping outside, will not be provided with this
funding for their work, especially ones that work with people with serious
health problems and are shelter intolerant. Of course, they likely know this
kind of strategy will not work.

* although part of the new outreach workers job will be to focus on income
assistance, ODSP is not specifically highlighted, nor is there a direction
for City shelters to begin to aggressively work to get people on ODSP so
they could move some people from shelters to housing, freeing up space in
existing shelters.

* a Street Outreach Steering Cttee will be formed. Another committee! It
will include police participation. Enough said.

* there is no recognition that on any given night there may be only a
handful of shelter beds available (let alone more than one or two detox
beds) or that there is a bedbug infestation and tuberculosis outbreak
impacting on safe access to the shelter system.

* there is no recognition that 110 Edward St. closes end of May and the Out
of the Cold program closes in the spring, both spilling hundreds of people
back out onto the street. There is no plan for new replacement shelter beds
for either of these programs. Historically outside sleeping becomes more
prominent when winter emergency shelters close. Nor is there a plan to open
new targeted shelters such as for elderly men or women, or first nations
people, or a safe house or a warming centre or a harm reduction
facility......

*there is no recognition that there is no magic solution to find housing for
people (apart from new housing money), although if the City can leverage
rent supplement monies it is feasible that they will use that to house
people from Nathan Phillips Square which in fact will be an incentive then
for other people to come to the square to sleep.

* the new Service Protocol (attachment 2) is vague and that is a red flag
for civil liberties.

* the amendment to By-law 1994-0784 is specific. It will now say "no person
can camp"(includes sleeping in the Square during the day or night, whether
or not a tent or temporary abode of any kind is used) in the square. "

from, Cathy Crowe

So, will Toronto decide to criminalize homelessness in front of its City
Hall?

Deputations are Wednesday, Jan. 19 at 9:30 at Policy and Finance Committee,
Committee Room #1. It is item #1. Michael and I are each on list already.
Contact info for clerk is
Patsy Morris, 416-392-9151 or <a class="moz-txt-link-abbreviated" href="mailto:pmorris@toronto.ca">pmorris@toronto.ca</a>

The report is at:
<a class="moz-txt-link-freetext" href="http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/2005/agendas/committees/pof/pof050119/it001.pdf">http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/2005/agendas/committees/pof/pof050119/it001.pdf</a>
  



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