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Provincial government needs to step in to address COVID-19 shelter crisis

TORONTO -- Mike Schreiner made the following statement on the crisis in shelters across Ontario:

 

TORONTO — Mike Schreiner made the following statement on the crisis in shelters across Ontario:

“I’m calling on the Ford government to step up and address the current crisis situation in shelters across Ontario.

COVID-19 is ripping through shelters across the province from Toronto to Hamilton to Thunder Bay.

Isolation centres are full, shelters are bursting at the seams, and many infected patients are forced to isolate ‘in situ’ and can’t access the treatment they need.

The result? Unhoused Ontarians are forced to sleep outside in frigid temperatures amid extreme cold warnings.

This is what happens when we have a provincial government that has no plan to address the housing affordability and homelessness crisis.

Ontario Greens are calling for:

  • Immediate delivery of of N95-quality masks and rapid tests (when more become available) to shelters
  • Increased capacity at isolation centres, recovery beds and hotel shelter spaces
  • Indoor air quality improvements in shelters
  • Mobile vaccination sites at shelters
  • Uploading a minimum of 50% of shelter costs to the province — while still allowing municipalities to maintain management control
  • Investments in 100,000 affordable rental units and 60,000 permanent supportive spaces to end chronic homelessness

For too long the Ontario government has ignored the needs of unhoused Ontarians.

It’s time for Doug Ford to finally make tackling homelessness a priority and step in to address the COVID-19 and capacity crisis in Ontario shelters.”