(June 21, 2020) There are an estimated 1,500 to 2,500 people sleeping in encampments across the city, right now, Diana McNally, the training and engagement coordinator at Toronto Drop-In Network, a coalition of 58 drop-in centres across Toronto told BlogTO.
These are people who have moved out of the shelter system she said because of the 600 of the 6,000 people in the shelter system have contracted COVID-19.
The encampment at Moss Park (Queen and Sherbourne) has been growing. There are no water facilities and two port-a-potties to serve the homeless people there.
A moratorium on clearing these homeless encampments was lifted last month. Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam had been informed by city staff that they’re no longer offering shelter beds but only hotels or apartments with enhanced support such as 24-hour security, meals, room cleaning and medical assistance.
But McNally told Blog TO that moving encampment occupants into temporary housing can be traumatic.
“In terms of safety, I still think that [encampments] are the safest option barring putting people into permanent housing,” she said. “There are offers of temporary housing and hotels but it can be wildly damaging to put someone into a temporary space just to evict them three or four months down the line.”
Click here for the full story from Blog TO. Large encampment in Moss Park highlights urgent need for more housing in Toronto.