Jan 14, 2009

Toronto & GTA people: Please take action

Please repost/twitter/facebook - keep the homeless from freezing.

In Toronto we have, as in all large cities, a homeless crisis. Twenty years without building new public housing (or, really, affordable housing) means that on days like today (-22 degrees Celsius) many of the homeless are freezing to death.

Street Helpline Service: 1-866-392-3777
**Please call if you see homeless/cold ppl - WE can get them shelter but need to know where they are 1st!

Store it in your cell phone so you can call when you are out without digging around!

The City has a service for the homeless and marginally housed. During cold snaps like today, these people because even more invisible since we are trying so hard to get out of the cold ourselves. Please, PLEASE, if you see homeless/obviously suffering with weather/mentally ill and not dressed for cold people, CALL THIS NUMBER AND LET THEM KNOW. They have a van, food, and the City has opened up almost 200 more shelter beds today.

It only takes a second, and you won't have to give any personal information. The City has supports in place but they need help from us citizens to tell them WHERE to send it!

I called Trinity-Spadina councillor Adam Vaughn's office this morning after he was on CP24 talking about this. CP24 didn't provide the number and I couldn't find it anywhere on the City's website. I spoke with Rebecca Hewitt in his office and she provided the number and encouraged me to spread the word. So please, if you have a social media website you use, or even just a memo you can tack up by the water cooler in your office, or ANYTHING - please spread the word. No one should freeze to death outside when this kind of support is available.

Thanks very much, stay warm, and remember the Golden Rule. Speaking as someone who used to be homeless, it is gratifying to see how much support is available and kind of a bummer to see how little the information is publicized. So I thought I'd help out.

1-866-392-3777 24 hours a day

And if you live outside Toronto, please consider calling YOUR city council and asking them what kind of help THEY have for these situations. Almost every major city has a Street Team and a similar setup. Why not get that number so you can help in your area too? Citizenship is a responsibility, not a right - and part of being a good citizen is watching out for ALL your fellow peoples. It feels good and SAVES LIVES. Thanks for reading this. Stay classy, readers. :)