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.

Current/Upcoming Issues & Events:

  • City of Toronto May 11th motion to resubmit bid on 214-230 Sherbourne and exploring purchase of other sites in the downtown east, including the Inglewood Arms: click here
  • City of Toronto Auditor’s Report on Shelter Hotel contracts and operations: Read about the report here.
  • Book Launch: Messages from the Ground Floor – A writing project from the ground floor of Regent Park Community Health Centre – we will share selected writing from members of the RPCHC ground floor programs – messages of hope, struggle and social change. Please see information on the time of the event as well as on the attached flyer
  • The Housing Development Crime: In 2015 a boutique condo developer purchased a rooming house in Parkdale called the Queens Hotel.
  • Using criminal tactics, 27 vulnerable people were evicted on to the streets within 7 days of receiving an illegal notice of eviction.
  • In the aftermath of that crime, several tenants died and many disappeared from their home community of Parkdale
  • A Community’s Response: Parkdale citizens / former Queen’s Hotel tenants and activists came together to create the Justice for the Queens Hotel Tenants Coalition. This link describes what happens when a community fights back against developers willing to destroy lives and neighbourhoods for profit gain.
Read the complete newsletter here.