Toronto outlines homeless shelter plan for winter

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People who are homeless in Toronto are currently up against overcrowded shelters and services struggling to help everyone today the city outlined its latest winter shelter plan now the last update was in October and was harshly criticized by homeless Advocates the cbc’s Megan Fitzpatrick has the details the city announced a plan back

In October for uh its winter shelter program and at that time announcing that uh its plans for opening warming centers and respit centers there was some critic ISM of that plan saying it wasn’t going to go far enough and today the city did announce some adjustments and some

Additions to that plan announcing that in partnership with Covenant House another 24 respit 24-hour respit Center would open specifically for youth experiencing homelessness it will have about 30 spots available in it also announcing that the Better Living Center will open at exhibition place as another new respit center that will operate

Throughout the winter and that will have about 240 spots available able in it the city also announcing that it will extend some of the hours of its existing dropin centers this winter now City officials here saying um they that the shelter system in the city is stretched remains

Full uh they often have to turn people away who are seeking shelter every night in the city close to 10,000 people uh are being given shelter through the city’s shelter programs and uh in partnership with the Red Cross City officials saying close to 50% of the people using shelters on a nightly basis

Are Refugee claimants this has been a growing Trend in Toronto in recent months um and the City of Toronto is calling on the federal government to pay its share of providing shelter for these Refugee claimants they say immigration is a federal jurisdiction it is not a municipal one yet Toronto taxpayers have

Been footing the bill for these shelter spaces recently the provincial government announced some funding but it is Contin conent on the federal government matching that funding so City officials here today saying the federal government needs to step up and pay the bill with the federal government missing an action I think we’re really

Recognizing the Peril that people are in this winter nobody nobody wants to see a person arriving from abroad um in a sundress wearing flip-flops and facing a winter in Toronto it’s really crucial that the federal government uh pays its bill there’s a $200 million bill due this year um IUS are not accepted

Anymore Toronto is looking for $2 200 million dollar to be reimburse that amount for 2023 what it has spent so far on providing shelter for these Refugee claimants and they’re projecting the cost to be about $250 million for 2024 today they also made a call on Ottawa to extend the Canada housing

Benefit they say the money that has flow to Toronto uh through that benefit has been very helpful uh helping people pay for rent uh who are experiencing homelessness so getting them out of the shelter system that opens up space in the shelter system relieves pressure on the system and provides housing for

People who need it uh Toronto officials saying the funding they have for that program is due to run out soon uh and they’re calling on Ottawa to extend it City officials here saying they are working hard on their end to help convince Ottawa to send more money to

The city and may remain hopeful that that will be a successful effort Megan Fitzpatrick CBC News Toronto

The City of Toronto outlines its latest winter plan to combat overcrowded homeless shelters. Among the new developments is a temporary shelter at the Better Living Centre, on the grounds of Exhibition Place and four warming centres that open when temperatures drop to -5 C.

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