Immediate Action for Toronto's Homeless Shelters

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Being homeless is truly an unpleasant experience and given the COVID-19 pandemic, this makes the situation even worse for the homeless population in Toronto—leaving them to be the most vulnerable.

The City of Toronto provided shelters to the homeless and moved residents to other centres for overall density, but many are failing to offer two metres of distance between users. The conditions in these shelters are severely crowded to the point where people are almost sleeping, eating, sneezing, and coughing on each other. Not only are the homeless at risk but also the shelter workers and medical staff who are putting their lives on the line.

This is a violation of human rights for those in this situation to forcefully accept standards that are dangerous to their health which falls below the standards applied to everyone else (housed public).

The city has planned to create permanent housing solutions to end homelessness, but most of these plans (i.e. modular housing) are going to take months before opening and in that period, we can only imagine how many more will be affected by COVID-19. Three confirmed deaths have already been reported to date. 

We ask that The City of Toronto take appropriate immediate actions and consider the following demands:

  • establish an injunction of how many people can congregate at a time in the shelter
  • increasing funding to homeless shelters
  • provide more spacing between beds
  • provide more enhanced personal equipment to staff
  • increase proactive testing in shelters

Let's lessen the risk for our frontline workers and the homeless population in these shelters. Please sign the petition to advocate for better conditions in homeless/emergency shelters during this unfortunate time!