A transitional shelter slated for closure under current Toronto budget plans has had a positive impact on the health and lives of homeless men. “Without the Dells, I wouldn’t be where I am at today… it saved my life,” says David Oliver in a powerful story in today’s Toronto Star by reporter Brendan Kennedy. In the Star story, the Wellesley Institute’s housing expert Michael Shapcott warns of a “one-two punch” from the combined effect of the proposed sell-off of more than 700 affordable homes and the closing of three transitional shelters for seniors. “We’re choking off the housing options for low-income Torontonians, we’re shutting down the shelters that are a necessary part of the process to help people move from chronic homelessness into housing, and two of those sets of policies together really create a vicious loop.” Shapcott also notes that closing the three shelters won’t be doing any favours to taxpayers, as the budget decision will just push the costs over to the more expensive prison, police, hospital and health-care systems. The newspaper report includes details on the housing and homelessness cuts, which go before Toronto City Council later this month, along with the direct experiences of three formerly homeless men who are navigating through the transitional shelter system.
Full Toronto Star story
Wellesley Institute background info on proposed 2012 budget cuts
Wellesley Institute backgrounder on proposed sell-off of Toronto Community Housing Company homes