As Toronto City Council’s Budget Committee begins public hearings today on the draft 2013 municipal budget (which includes cuts to housing and homelessness funding and services), street pastor Doug Johnson Hatlem reports that there are at least five confirmed deaths of homeless people over the past month. That’s the most number of confirmed deaths in one month in more than two years. There are several more homeless deaths under investigation, but not yet confirmed. On the second Tuesday of every month, Johnson Hatlem and others gather at the Toronto Homeless Memorial to remember those who died on the city’s streets over the past month. The draft 2013 Toronto municipal budget includes an overall cut of $128 million in the city’s Shelter, Support and Housing budget – down to $665 million in 2013 from $793 million in 2012 and $923 million in 2011. Among this years funding and service cuts are a 50% cut in funding for new affordable housing, and a cut of 41,172 bednights in the city’s homeless shelter system.