Free TTC during Extreme Cold Weather Alerts

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Last year over an 18 month period 145 homeless people in Toronto died, affected by cold temperatures. The City of Toronto is working towards adding 1000 more beds by 2020, but currently many of our city's shelters are at, or over capacity, and accessing shelters with availability is extremely challenging with no transportation.

The devastating, recent death of a Toronto woman, who was found trapped in a clothing donation bin in Toronto's west end, is yet another tragic call for urgent, practical supports for our homeless community. Homelessness is a complex issue with no quick fixes, but we need to implement pragmatic initiatives that can reduce these heartbreaking, preventable deaths.

Providing free access to TTC during times of extreme weather advisories is an immediate, harm-reduction approach that allows homeless people to access warmth and temporary shelter.

Of course we need long term changes and improvements to assist people experiencing homelessness, but that does not address the immediate basic human need for warmth. 

This is a call to Mayor John Tory, and The City of Toronto who have full authority over the TTC's mandate and structure. We are asking for immediate action to prevent further weather-related deaths among our homeless population by allowing free TTC service during times of Extreme Cold Weather Alerts. 

Thank you for your care and concern in this matter, and may we continue to build a safe and supportive city where no one is left behind. 

 

Thank you,

Jenna Bowler-Cooke

 

Resources:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/crystal-homeless-clothing-donation-bin-vigil-1.4974209

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/toronto/article-toronto-homeless-told-to-leave-tent-cities-because-of-cold-despite/


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