all text below Gord Perks newsletter
Refugees and asylum seekers in our City are facing a crisis in accessing shelter and other supports. The federal government needs to take responsibility for providing funding and housing supports to these individuals and families.
The City’s shelter system is at a breaking point. Over the last few years, we have grappled with the rising demand for shelter spaces while facing significant financial constraints. While the City has increased shelter occupancy from supporting 4,000 people in 2016, to 9,000 people today, we are still unable to meet the demand for hundreds of additional spaces each night. The Federal government already owes the City more than $97 million this year alone for providing housing and other supports to refugees.
Every month, there are roughly 500 families and individuals who are unable to find housing who are now turning to the shelter systems. Community organizations providing front-line services to refugees have issued a joint public statement calling for urgent action to address the refugee housing crisis. We need to act quickly, especially before the winter months.
I will be working with my Council colleagues to call on the federal government to renew their funding commitments and ensure they have a long-term plan in place for supporting refugees and asylum seekers. I encourage you to reach out to your MP Arif Virani on this matter as well.
I also encourage you to take action by signing this Progress Toronto petition: https://www.