Khaleel Seivwright, a carpenter from Toronto, has been building temporary shelters for the homeless in Toronto. However, the City of Toronto has responded to Seivwrite with a lawsuit, and requested a permanent restraining order against Seivwright that would legally stop him from “placing and/ or relocating structures on City-owned land”.
Seivwright has been building temporary shelters, insulated with a fire and carbon monoxide detector and a fire extinguisher. Seeing the rise in homelessness, he wanted to do something about it.
Homes First Society estimates that 8,700 people in Toronto are homeless, thousands are on the list for supportive housing and many more are experiencing “hidden homelessness.”
Over 30 per cent of Toronto’s homeless have mental health issues, and over 25 per cent live with addiction. The average cost of a Toronto shelter bed during COVID-19 pandemic is $6,000 a month.
PHOTO: Courtesy of Homes First Society
The 2021 Shelter, Support & Housing Administration (SSHA) stated that the budget for COVID-19 related expenditures is $276.3 million.
The report states $59.64 million was spent on hotels and other open spaces in 2020. In 2021, SSHA estimated that it will spend $103.19 million on hotels and other spaces.
The issue with spending $103.19 million on hotels is that they provide a temporary fix. Homes First Society stated that about 94 per cent of those experiencing homelessness in Toronto want permanent housing.
Doug Johnson Hatlem, who works with Sanctuary Ministries of Toronto told CBC that the city staff are lying about the number of beds available in the shelters. Hatlem said there aren’t enough vacant beds.
There are also concerns of safety inside the shelters. Some people who fear for their safety, have animals who can not be taken in or do not want their belongings to be stolen have no choice but sleep outside.
If you would like to help Seivwright or assist in any way you may contact:
Samara Secter t : 416-649-5063 e : firstname.lastname@example.org
Danny Kastner t : 416-655-3044 x1 e : email@example.com
Vinidhra Vaitheeswaran t : 416-655-3044 x10 e : firstname.lastname@example.org
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