SHJN — July 2022 Update: Fund The People

Hello there!

Update from SHJN:

As we move through the summer months, we invite you to take a look at SHJN’s monthly newsletter for July, which includes information about how to stay in touch with network as we organize for the fall.

With Toronto City Hall now on summer break and a municipal election scheduled for October, many of meetings and committees where issues related to housing and homelessness are discussed will now be on recess until 2023. So now, more than ever, SHJN wants to hear from you on issues related to housing, evictions, shelter access and encampments. Please reach out to SHJN so we can continue to share important information and concerns from the community.

Image: Queen’s Hotel Tenants Coalition, Parkdale People’s Economy, March 2020


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SHJN — June 2022 Update: The Fight Continues

Hello there!

Update from SHJN:

The SHJN steering committee is sending out this communication to provide an update on the plans for the network in the months ahead. Since launching SHJN in December 2018, the network has benefitted from monthly general meetings where participants can share important updates on issues related to the shelter and housing crisis in Toronto, and can collaborate with other members of SHJN to plan actions and initiatives.

After running these monthly meetings for over 3 years—including two years of virtual meetings since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic—we have made the decision to pause our general meetings, with a plan to restart them as early as September 2022. We would like to use the next 3 months to reorganize the network, which will include working to expand the network of SHJN to include more participants, and increasing the network’s capacity to advocate for justice and accountability around issues of housing and homelessness. Some issues that we will continue to focus on as we move forward are:

· Shelter and encampment conditions

· Inadequate housing

· COVID-19 protection measures

We look forward to resuming our monthly meetings in the fall, and until this time SHJN will continue to be active and available. More information about how to stay involved and up-to-date with SHJN is included below.

Read the complete newsletter here.

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Homelessness in 2022 Ontario Election Parties Platform

Ontario Elections are ongoing, and as a result, SHJN Steering Committee agreed to share this quick guide in order to inform voters about Parties’ Housing Platforms.

On our website, you can click on our allies’ election toolkits to learn more about political parties’ platforms.

CFUW elections toolkit

isarc toolkit

In the link below you will find the summary of these homelessness platforms:

2022 Ontario Election – Homelessness – Platform Promises – as of 9-May

Also, visit our social media and spread this information. Take part, share and vote!

National Housing Strategy – Left Behind: social housing

Please see information about Left Behind: social housing by FRAPRU

Nearly 5 years ago, The National Housing Strategy was adopted by the federal government. First announced with great fanfare on 22 November 2017, Canadian Housing Day. Is the Strategy able to respond to the current housing crises: serious deterioration of the homelessness situation; scarcity of rental housing; sky-high rent; and the rise of phenomena such as ‘renovictions’, evictions and speculation? Will it really be able to “further the realization of the right to adequate housing” as the law adopted in 2019 requires?

We are pleased to share our new leaflet, updated after the last budget, in English & in French on that important question.

Please, don’t hesitate to share widely this document LefleatNHS

You can also share it from FRAPRU website.

In English

In French

Where there’s smoke, there’s no fire

By A.J. Whiters and Amie Tsang—originally posted in briarpatch

At the end of the third wave of COVID-19, the City of Toronto forcibly evicted about 30 unhoused people from Trinity Bellwoods Park. Videos from that day show police using pepper spray on supporters who showed up to protect their unhoused neighbours. New documents obtained through Freedom of Information requests show that in order to legitimize the violent evictions, City staff worked to control the media narrative around encampments, pre-determining media exclusion zones and inflating fire safety concerns in press releases.

Early in the morning on June 22, 2021, people living in and around Trinity Bellwoods Park noticed a temporary fence being erected around large areas of the park. The public would later find out that this fencing cost $139,109, while the private security and police protecting it added another $305,711. The fence was the physical enforcement of an exclusion zone, an area where police block public access – in this case, separating encampment residents from their supporters. And while members of the media are sometimes allowed inside exclusion zones (albeit with a police escort) to document what’s happening, at least five journalists say they were prevented from entering the exclusion zone that day.

Willms suspects his arrest was intended to “scare other journalists from crossing that fence.”

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