Homeless people in Toronto are dying at a rate of more than two per week on average

The Church of Holy Trinity may have to build a bigger memorial in order to record the deaths of those experiencing homelessness. Last week during our street walk we came across the Toronto Homeless Memorial which was started by the Church of Holy Trinity. Sadly, those experiencing homelessness in Toronto are dying at a rate of more than two per week (Ormbsy & Wallace, 2017). I find that this is ridiculous considering how wealthy a city like Toronto is, and to have people living and dying on the street is unacceptable; policy makers need to look into their actions and really focus on ending the homelessness issue. These are people who have family members and are loved but are unable to receive the help they need to, and action must be taken. 

Flowers rest on the Toronto Homeless Memorial, an unofficial record of homeless people in the GTA who have died since the 1980s. The city's homeless death rate for 2017, if it continues at two per week through December, would top 100 — the most ever recorded in Toronto.The Church of Holy Trinity’s Toronto Homeless Memorial has set a staggering record of death rates for the year of 2017. Let alone there has been 27 homeless deaths in three months  (Wallace, 2017).

The city’s funding needs to be properly allocated to accessible resources such as harm reduction sites, shelters, and warming centers (Ormbsy & Wallace, 2017). These resources contribute largely to the reduction in deaths of those experiencing homelessness. Let alone, another major factor is there is a decrease of affordable housing within the city. With the increase in housing prices there is an increase in homeless deaths, and this negative association should not be seen. In 2015 the number of household on waiting lists was 171 360, and typically these households have to wait on an average of three to five years to receive housing (ONPHA, 2016). Therefore, if households have to wait this long in order to receive affordable housing then they are sometimes left to the cold streets. The streets are rough, and I am not surprised that the amount of homeless deaths have increased, what else was expected when they are to do when obtaining housing is impossible. It also comes alarming during the winter and summer months since the city experiences many wind-chilling and heat-wrenching days. Opening areas for those experiencing homelessness to stay warm or cool is a problem itself for the city, so to provide someone an area to rest there head would be a greater problem. I don’t see solutions rising anytime soon to slowing the rate of homeless deaths until we begin to put the money where it is needed. Also, if with people not viewing those experiencing homelessness as actual people, then the list will increase because the homeless will feel as if no one would care if they died anyways. 

Sources:

ONPHA. (2016). ONPHA’s final report on waiting lists statistics for Ontario (Rep.). Retrieved http://qc.onpha.on.ca/flipbooks/WaitingListReport/files/assets/common/downloads/publication.pdf

Ormbsy, M., & Wallace, K. (2017). 27 homeless deaths in Toronto in just three months. The Toronto Star. Retrieved from https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2017/05/25/27-homeless-deaths-in-toronto-in-just-three-months.html

Wallace, K. (2017). Toronto Homeless Memorial [Photograph]. Toronto Star File Photo, Toronto.

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