OCAP Campaign to stop closures of homeless shelters in

OCAP campaign to stop closures of homeless shelters in the downtown core and gentrification. 

“….We will be staging actions… throughout the summer. Contact the Office of the Mayor at (416) 397-2489 or mayor_tory@toronto.ca and let him know you demand adequate provision for the needs of the homeless and that you oppose their removal from the central part of the City. There will be no peace for the wealthy while the attack on vital services continues unabated.”

For what it’s worth my letter to John Tory

Hello John Tory,
I am writing in protest of the scaling back of shelters in the downtown core and any plan that would see shelters moved to inner suburban areas. While it may be necessary to add shelters to areas outside the downtown core, removing shelters from downtown Toronto would cause immeasurable harm to the homelessness community.

I live in a community with a women’s shelter close to downtown Toronto. I have also been involved in an arts group in the shelter for the past 5 years. This shelter is an important part of the community along with the other low income housing. unfortunately, gentrification is shrinking the low income inhabitation of the neighbourhood and thus the cultural and class diversity is also diminishing. This is really disheartening. As a society, I believe we benefit from the scant opportunities we have to share space across class difference and learn from the different paths we each walk. I am unmeasurably enriched by the work and conversations with women at the shelter in terms of my understanding of the society in which we live. Homelessness and poverty are ethical problem which we must face politically and as a society. Pushing these issues out of our sight will only increase the vulnerability of those who are already the most vulnerable. What we should be moving towards is greater supports and inclusion for homeless and low income folks.

Sincerely,
Kim Jackson
Red Wagon Collective

John Tory’s response:

Kim,

Thank you for your email regarding Toronto shelters. My office receives many letters from residents of Toronto with ideas on how we can make our city a better place to live, work and play. I will pass your thoughts onto staff in my office who deal with our Shelter Support and Housing policy files for their consideration.

We live in a good city, a really good city. My goal in the next four years is to unite us as one Toronto and turn a good city into a truly great one.

Thank you again for taking the time to write and share your ideas.

Sincerely,
John Tory
Mayor of Toronto

This response in no way indicates a commitment to low income inhabitation in the city of Toronto. What is John Tory’s idea of a truly great city?  a mega city with mega events and tons of condo’s and fancy parks? play for who? we know who… not us. 

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