Does the City Value the Lives of Homeless Women?

OCAP Delegation Delivers Strong Message to City Hall:

August 25th, 2014

To Members of Council and City Staff,

We are here today to ask an important question and to deliver a message.

Do the lives of homeless women matter in the City of Toronto?

We ask this question as every day we face the reality of violence against women in our City. This violence is even more acute for women who don't have a place to live or a safe place to go especially at night.

In June, Council approved the recommendation from Community Development and Recreation Committee that the City move forward with the process for establishing two 24 hour drop-in centres for street-involved women. The community was hopeful in this decision, and for a brief time, we celebrated. But instead of seeing this process move forward this fall, we now face a delay until after elections and until 2015. This is despite the fact that Council and Committee gave direction to staff to move forward this year. To us in the community, this delay is unacceptable. We need safe space now.

24 Hour Drop-ins for Women in Toronto Shamefully Delayed; Important update about August 6th Budget Committee

After repeated sexual assaults on homeless women on the streets of Toronto and while the City shelter system for women in particular is in crisis and operating beyond capacity – women from the community fought to end the violence and for access to safe space.

In a report by City staff the call for two, 24-hour/after-hours drop-ins was supported by Shelter, Support & Housing as well as the Community Development and Recreation committee.

On June 10th, City Council supported the recommendation and voted to begin the process to create these drop-ins. City staff from Shelter Support and Housing Administration Staff were directed to present the funding needed to the upcoming budget committee on August 6 so that at least one space could be ready by the end of this year.

Despite the serious nature of this issue, City staff will not present its report on August 6. The issue of 24 hour drop-ins for women will NOT be on the agenda – deputations, therefore, are cancelled.

It remains unclear at this point what is to happen in order to move the development of this service forward. We are currently working to try to clarify information on this bureaucratic process, and as soon as we have further information we will send that out. However, what we do know is that August 6th is the last Budget Committee meeting, and August 25th is the last Council meeting – if this does come to the floor in August, because of the elections, the issue could be left until sometime in 2015 to proceed and become realized.

Our position is that delays cannot be accepted – money needs to be found and this issue needs to move forward IMMEDIATELY.

Important Update on 24 Hour Drop In Spaces for Women in the City of Toronto

Important Update on 24 Hour Drop In Spaces for Women in the City of Toronto + Join us on the streets for Reclaim the Streets 2014

Demand Support from City Councillors on the upcoming Vote at Council June 10th!!

What you can do:

1) Contact your City Councillor:

· Demand that they support the vote around 24 hour women’s drop in spaces on June 10th at City

· Demand an immediate solution so that women can have access to safe space now

Find contact info for your City Councillor here:

2) Attend City Council on June 10th:

Tuesday, June 10th
Council Chamber, City Hall
Wear your ‘Stop Violence Against Women’ or ‘Violence No More’ T-shirt

Downtown East Women Reclaim the Streets 2014

Downtown East Women Reclaim the Streets

Rally and March to Stop Violence Against Women

Three upcoming walking tours in Downtown East Toronto with Gaetan Heroux

Three upcoming walking tours in Downtown East Toronto with Gaetan Heroux - celebrate your May Day weekend with some radical poor people's history