Sharing – Regarding the clearing of encampment at Allan gardens post-election!
OPEN LETTER TO CHRIS MOISE CANDIDATE FOR COUNCILLOR WARD 13, OCTOBER 20, 2022
Dear Chris Moise,
As the frontrunning candidate to be the Councillor for Ward 13, Toronto Centre, we are asking what steps you will take to prevent the forced eviction of encampment residents from Allan Gardens after the election.
Saint Luke’s United Church, under the leadership of Rev. Jim Keenan, and the Out of the Cold Meal Program at Saint Luke’s have extended their pastoral care and community inclusion to our neighbours living across the street from the church.
We have developed a strong bond with these wonderful community members. We provide counselling, hot meals, water, clothing, harm reduction supplies, the use of our washrooms, as well as art and yoga classes.
We are witnessing a humanitarian disaster. People are being forced to live outside because the shelters are full. In the month of September on average 170 people per night were turned away from Toronto shelters. We know this number is much higher as people no longer call in for shelter beds having being denied them for two or more years.
Where will our friends go after they are evicted? The City has contracted guards to patrol the parks forcing people to scatter into remote places such as ravines, or ride public transit until it closes, others will be put into perpetual motion as they wander the City. These people will all be isolated and cut off from their support and social networks resulting in more suffering and deaths.
Forced eviction can never be a substitute for housing. However, it does inflict violence and trauma on the victims of the City’s failed housing policies.
If elected, we ask that you commit to doing everything possible to prevent forced evictions in the Ward and to be present to support our neighbours when these violent acts occur.
This violent act of displacement is imminent and we ask for your immediate response.
Rev. Jim Keenan
Minister, Saint Luke’s U.C.,
Co-coordinator, the Out of the Cold Meal Program, Saint Luke’s U.C.
Co-coordinator, the Out of the Cold Meal Program, Saint Luke’s U.C.,
Spokesperson, The Interfaith Coalition To Fight Homelessness