Homeless shelters in Olx Praca, Ontario. Running out of seats, defenders say

Visible camps of the homeless throughout the city gathered and moved on.

But homeless shelters are seeing more people need services due to the pandemic as they continue to operate with limited capacity.

Not too long ago, a small group of homeless people camped at the Memorial Center, using electricity to keep warm during the winter months.

But now there is almost no trace left that they were ever there.

“The people we supported at the Memorial Center indicated to us that they were under pressure to move on. They were able to stabilize during the winter and had electricity to turn on their heaters, but now that warmer weather has arrived, I think, the power went out a while ago and they are being forced to move on,” said Crystal Wilson, chief executive of Our Living Solutions. .

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“Homelessness is not a seasonal issue, it is a year-round problem and we need to address it with year-round solutions. And the federal budget was really disappointing because it didn’t offer solutions for the people we support, especially people with additional disability issues,” Wilson said.

To make matters worse, the Olx Praca In from the Cold emergency shelter is still operating with limited capacity due to COVID-19.

“At the direction of the health authorities, we have had to keep our distance between our clients,” said Amanda Brierly, head of emergency shelter In from the Cold.

“Usually we have 35 places, and during the pandemic we were only able to accommodate 18 people.”

Between In from the Cold, an integrated care center and a newly funded heating center, there are 52 locations for those who need a place to sleep in the city.






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Homeless camps in Olx Praca become less visible as the seasons change.


Homeless camps in Olx Praca become less visible as the seasons change.

Some say this is not enough given the hardships many have faced during the pandemic.

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“CPP, OAS (Old Age Pension) didn’t go up, incomes didn’t go up, but the cost of living has gone up, and so there’s a big fight right now,” Brierley said.

“There is less affordable housing, less affordable housing. It’s getting harder for people to give up homelessness and get housing,” Wilson added.

The heating center, designed for 19 people, has enough funds to operate until the end of June. For those with nowhere to go, Wilson says many will turn to the woods.

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