FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 13, 2012
CITY MUST DEAL WITH CRISIS IN HOMELESS SHELTER SYSTEM
PRESS CONFERENCE/RALLY AT SEATON HOUSE, 339 GEORGE STREET
THURSDAY, JUNE 14, 10.30 AM
On Tuesday, June 12th, there was a major violent incident at Seaton
House men’s shelter – a shelter resident was struck on the head with a
fire extinguisher and badly hurt. This is the fourth reported
incident of violence at a homeless shelter in the past few weeks.
Yesterday, the body of a dead homeless man was discovered under the
stairs of a business on Parliament St.
The violence we are seeing on the streets and in shelters is no
coincidence. There is a chronic lack of housing in Toronto and a
severe crisis in the shelter system; this is leading to injuries and
deaths of homeless people in this city.
The shelter system is in crisis because it is severely underfunding
and cannot provide adequate numbers of beds or tolerable conditions.
Government cutbacks created this crisis and with more cuts coming down
– including closing shelters in Toronto – the pressure on the shelters
will only increase in the months ahead.
On June 26, the Community Development and Recreation Committee of City
Council will be considering a staff proposal to close the 55-bed
School House shelter that is right next door to Seaton House. Plans
for redevelopment of George Street place a question mark over the
future of Seaton House itself.
OCAP is mobilizing for the June 26th Committee meeting and calling on
all community allies to join in fighting to keep open every
desperately needed shelter facility, and to open up enough bed spaces
so that those facing homelessness can live under conditions that no
longer breed the misery, tension, insecurity and violence that
“We serve notice to the political decision makers. They have created
and tolerated these deplorable conditions. If they vote to close the
School House, we will mobilize to take it back from them. If they
continue to force people to live in overcrowded shelters, we will act
to open up the spaces people need to survive.” says OCAP.
For more info call OCAP at (416) 925-6939, or cell: (416) 826-4796
www.ocap.ca / email@example.com