This campaign from The Toronto Alliance to End Homelessness (TAEH) was launched last week and received a lot of attention from Canadian national press although it’s a local campaig. Perhaps this is because of the approach that responds to the zeitgeist and applies to many subjects.
The campaign from TAEH is part of a bigger initiative from the city of Toronto named Toronto for All. The name says it all, the aim to build a inclusive society. For homelessness it means that the city don’t believe in traditional shelter models. Most of Toronto’s shelters are located downtown, but a recent report suggests it would be better having smaller shelters in communities that can be integrated with support services.
There are people who are homeless in every part of Toronto. It is time to bring the services and housing supports they need to where they are, instead of forcing folks to leave their communities in order to find shelter and supports.
And for that diversity and tolerance in the city is needed.
Kira Heineck, the executive director of the Toronto Alliance to End Homelessness:
If there is friction between the outwardly expressed statement ‘of course we need shelters for homeless men’ and an inwardly held belief, ‘just not anywhere near my house,’ then we need to challenge ourselves — or find the tools we need to challenge others.”