Living on the Streets: Toronto vs MTL

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Source: http://www.globalresearch.ca/

https://archive.org/embed/RealDeRealEnMp3“>Download here

On March the 15th, the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) officially released its report Out in the Cold on the state of the Toronto shelter system . The study’s findings are based on numerous interviews with service users and workers. It points out to a shelter system in crisis, plagued by constant overcrowding, harsh living conditions and a city government unwilling to take action.

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Source: OCAP report “Out in the Cold”

CKUT reporter Chloe interviewed one of the writers of this report for a summary of the OCAP’s findings. Some of the statistics are hard to believe. For instance, 81% of the people surveyed stated that they had been denied a shelter bed because the shelters were full (see the chart above)! Equally shocking, in most shelters occupancy levels exceeded 90% every night. This is highly problematic given that  overcrowded shelters lead to a high stress environment, a poor night’s rest and health issues. Luckily, OCAP volunteers and engaged citizens are taking action against this situation. Check out this video to get an idea of the scope of the protests happening in Toronto. 

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Francois Boissy

To get a sense of the state of the shelter system in Montreal, we also interviewed Francois Boissy who is the director of operations at La Maison du Pere, one of the largest homeless shelters in the city. He points out some of the differences between the way the cities of Toronto and Montreal deal with their homeless populations.

Aside from the administrative aspect of the shelter systems of Toronto and Montreal, an important question remains: “how does it feel, for people on the ground, to experience the shelter system in both cities?” Michel, an ex-homeless man that lived on the streets for two years from 2009-2011, explained to our reporter his personal experience with Montreal shelters. In this fascinating interview he talks about the reasons why he became an itinerant in the first place, the different shelters he slept in,  food conditions and how shelter services helped him get out of the streets. We are truly grateful for his trust in sharing this story, the full interview is available for stream and download below.

Download here

More More I want More!

  • For the history of the Toronto shelter system click here. 
  • Find a critical (but pretty short!) analysis of the Montreal shelter system here
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Pre-Moving Day Live Housing Panel

Image Credit: This.org magazine
Image Credit: This.org magazine

Click HERE to download the Mp3 file.

On the eve of July 1st, the Moving Day, CKUT Community News Collective got to renew a tradition of holding a Housing Panel on June 30th to inform our listeners about their housing rights as tenants and answer some of the pressing questions. Anouk Millet, Aaron Maiden and Sheila Ferrando along with Emma Noradounkian, who helped with topics research, sat down with Emilie Joly of FRAPRU, Alexandra Pierre of Project Genesis and Fred Burrill of POPIR to discuss the housing questions that are always asked, but the answers to which are hardly known by many.

Did you know about this right?

If it’s your move-in day and there are obvious problems with your apartment, you can “refuse to take a position at a dwelling”. Take pictures to prove it!

~ POPIR & Project Genesis

The panel consisted of roughly three categories such as basic rights, Régie du logement, rights in application and campaigns as well as activism. Kateryna Gordiychuk was live tweeting to get the word out for those who couldn’t listen, and to get radio-lovers and housing rights enthusiasts to participate.

Did you know about this right?

“Your lease renews automatically. Under no circumstances you have to leave your apartment. [… Moreover], the landlord is responsible for the temperature of your apartment”. Montreal’s winter doesn’t seem so scary now, huh?

~POPIR

The housing panel was not only an informative information session for everyone interested, but also a great way for CKUT News Collective to discover a potential for live-panels and in-call questions.

Did you know about this right?

“Rental contract is an agreement between a leaser and a leasee. I say, sign, and complain!”

~ FRAPRU

Read our tweets posted during the live panel HERE. We thank everyone who made the panel possible and special thanks is to our knowledgable guests!