Memorial for death at Dundas and Yonge

B6rn4URIIAMgn11.jpg_largeAt 5pm today all are invited to gather at the SW corner of Yonge and Dundas to mourn the death of the man who died there last night of hypothermia and cardiac arrest. City warming shelters were not open and the regular shelters are full.

Link to story on CP24.

Useful information from this morning’s email conversation in the parish:

Yesterday at People Presence I was asked by L.C. And others to call Metro Hall to find out if their warming centre would be open overnight.  It was already -14C with a wind chill in the. -20s. I was told that the guideline had been lowered from. -10 to -15C and the centre  would not be open unless the temperature dropped below -15C regardless of the wind chill. Since the regular centres were already full, this left people like L.C. no alternative but to sleep outside.

I would like as many people as possible to call the city to protest this change.
Coral

John Tory just told reporters that the MOH has discretion to open emergency shelters even if the actual temp doesn’t dip to -15C. So it’s the MOH’s office that needs to be flooded with calls/ emails, and copy to your city councillor.
The email for the associate MOH according to Cathy Crowe (via Twitter) is hshapir@toronto.ca.  (Howard Shapiro).

Vivian

Give your MPP a call as well.  This is a housing issue which is also a Provincial/Federal concern.

Susan


I left a message on the Mayor’s phone, then called my councillor
(Doucette), and her assistant Ingrid, sympathetic,  suggested i call Public Health, which according to her sets the temperature.  I then called Pub Health (416-338-7600), and talked to a man who said he would call back. So I gave him Margot’s no. and the address, 19 Trinity Square.  And have talked to Margot so she might know that Pub. Health
might call.Nancy

To: hshapir@toronto.ca

It is appalling that in this week of cold winter weather Metro Hall was not open last night.  I gather from the Mayor that the Metro Hall Warming Centre can remain open overnight..it is at your discretion.  Obviously deaths on our streets are not acceptable.  I imagine that the Warming Centre will remain open for as long as this cold weather persists.

Please confirm.

Regards,
Julia Fox-Revett
Toronto Resident


To: hshapir@toronto.ca

I second that. Whatever you are being told by advisors about temperature, it doesn’t take a very low temperature, when people are inadequately dressed and there is wind, for hypothermia to become a serious risk. As a long time Scout leader, outdoors person and winter camper, I can assure you that the winds that blow in this city present a serious cold risk to any underdressed individual (virtual everyone I ever see) who is outside for an extended period in any temperature below zero. In addition, as soon as you add wet clothes to the mix, you don’t even need it to be below zero. Anyone sleeping on a vent will certainly be damp at least. And anyone sleeping in the same clothes they wore all day will be damp as well. The combination of cold, wind and damp is potentially deadly. Opening Metro Hall won’t solve the problem, but it can at least keep people from freezing.

Keith Nunn
Ward 28 Citizen

To: Howard Shapiro <hshapir@toronto.ca>, Jane Cuoco <jcuoco@toronto.ca>
Cc: the head of Shelter Services <pabraham@toronto.ca>, “311@toronto.ca” <311@toronto.ca>

Dear Dr Shapiro,
The Environment Canada forecast for tonight is -13 before windchill, and there will be wind, making human life outside considerably more fragile.
(Currently in the daytime, it is approximately -8 to -9, before windchill and perhaps colder than -15, with windchill).
As you may be aware, a homeless man was found dead in a delivery truck yesterday morning and another in a bus shelter this morning. Emergency shelter occupancy has been over 90% in all sectors except family emergency motels for weeks now, meaning that there is already essentially no shelter space.
I have been told that no cold weather alert has been issued.
Why has an extreme cold alert still not been called? Why are the guidelines being applied with such rigidity, when there are human lives at stake, and the possibility of greater flexibility is clearly allowed?
Sincerely,
Alan