Warming centre services have been extended at two Toronto drop-ins following pressure from activists.
As extreme cold weather grips the city, the names of four people who died on Toronto streets in the month of February were added to the Homeless Memorial yesterday.
“The City of Toronto’s negligence means that at today’s Homeless Memorial we added four names of men who died in February,” Cathy Crowe, Toronto street nurse and homeless advocate, writes on Facebook. “One was a 28-year-old Indigenous man whose death has been widely reported as he was unable to get a mat overnight in the filled to capacity overnight drop-in/warming centre. Another was a man in his 30s.”
The two City-funded drop-ins were slated to end service today and be ‘closed for the season. Crowe has been vocal, demanding that the City find a way to continue to provide these much-needed warming centres.
Last night, Mayor John Tory sent out a news release to announce that St. Felix Centre and Margaret’s Toronto East Drop-In Centre will continue 24-hour service for the cold weather drop-in programs.
Thanks to City staff, St. Felix Centre & Margaret's for finding a way to keep 24-hour cold weather drop-in services going past March 15. pic.twitter.com/vrKeX4ghzJ
— John Tory (@JohnTory) March 15, 2017
“Mr. Mayor, the shelters are full, Out of the Colds are full and are shutting down for the season, homeless people are dying, and disproportionately Indigenous people are dying. I fear how many names we will add to the Homeless Memorial March 14,” Crowe states in her petition.