Homeless Crisis: Demand Effective Social Assistance from Provincial Candidates
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No Canadian should be living on the streets. We can only estimate the true number of people facing homelessness in Toronto, as there is a large portion of the homeless population that remain relatively unseen. "Homes First" reports that there were over 4,000 recorded homeless people using shelters in Toronto in 2017. By 2018, the number of people depending on shelters have increased to well over 5,000. The problem is rapidly growing and we need political will to address this crisis.
Affording a one bedroom apartment is almost impossible in Toronto. As of now, the average market price for a bachelor apartment in Toronto is $1,019 per month and Ontario citizens in need of social assistance only receive between $721 and $1,151 each month.
Social assistance was cut by a staggering 21.6% in 1995. When former Premier Dalton McGuinty was elected in 2003, there was hope that the social assistance cuts would be reversed. The recent 3% increase in social assistance is far from solving the problem. This increase does not effectively help those who are struggling nor those who are at risk of homelessness. As a result, such people are less likely to find the necessary resources to improve their conditions.
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has reported that the people who are on Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Programs, nearly 895,000 remain in severe poverty due to current social assistance situation. Taking the significant increase of homelessness into account, it is proven that cutting social assistance is not the answer and is instead exacerbating the problem!
With elections approaching in Ontario, join me in asking all candidates to include a concrete plan to address homelessness and the housing crisis within their platform. We are demanding candidates include a 25% increase to social assistance in this year’s provincial election platforms, to cover current basic living expenses in Toronto. The renowned National Housing Strategy (2017) shows the federal commitment for change. With that being said, it is very important that all three levels of government take part in their obligations to protect and provide for our citizens. Raising social assistance alongside the National Housing Strategy is a sustainable plan towards the solution.
We live in a developed country and there is no excuse for anyone residing in our country to be subject to inhumane living conditions.
Please sign this petition if you support raising social assistance and putting an end to the current homeless epidemic. Homelessness will only be resolved once people can afford a place to call home!
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