Amid a campaign aimed at stopping the demolition of homeless camps, the city said no clearing is currently scheduled.
Advocates for those facing homelessness, especially in light of the COVID-19 epidemic, called on the city to increase its support for the homeless population.
In an online campaign over the past few days, several posts suggested that the city remove the homeless camps and evict the people who live there.
Using the hashtag, the #NoEncampmentEvictions Bar Association, including a number of high-profile actors and musicians, has called on the city to suspend planned layoffs and increase services needed for the city’s homeless population.
However, in a statement to CP24.com on Friday evening, city spokesman Brad Ross said the city had no immediate plans to remove any of the camps.
“It is unfortunate that it is spreading false information and causing unnecessary concern to the homeless unnecessarily,” Ross said. “Camp clearings are not scheduled. We continue to provide people with a safe indoor space, on a personal basis.”
The city has previously said that the camps will be cleared only after everyone in the area is provided with a safe indoor space and a notice will be issued to give people time to collect their belongings.
Today, however, there are more than 6,000 shelters in Toronto – some of which were added in the summer to create safer places due to the epidemic – and the city has acknowledged that the system is currently operating at capacity most nights.
“Despite this work and government investment, the demand for shelter is higher than ever before, and the system has been in or near capacity most nights,” the city said. The longest announcement Thursday. “For this reason the city continues to open up new space and calls on government partners to continue cooperative work to implement more housing solutions.”
The city also issued a warning about the dangers of makeshift shelters and pods that have sprung up at the camps, saying “these structures could pose a significant increased risk to those who use them and to anyone nearby.” ”
The city said it would add 620 additional shelters this winter, as well as an additional warming center on days with severe cold weather warnings.
In a statement released Friday afternoon, several NDP MPs in Toronto called on the regional government to do more to help Toronto’s homeless population, warning that “winter is coming and people can’t go anywhere.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated Toronto’s homelessness and homelessness. Shelters are efficient, and leisure and drop-in centers are sprawling. “
MPs called for a regional moratorium on layoffs, new rental income for rental units and funding for immediate shelter and hotel space, as well as investment in overdose prevention, mental health and harm-reduction services.