Tag Archives: housing

New Numbers Tell It All: Lack of housing is killing Torontonians

The new official numbers of homeless deaths from the City of Toronto released in late May were sad confirmation for those who have been gathering every month for almost two decades at Holy Trinity’s Homeless Memorial.
Toronto Public Health has reported that 27 people who were homeless died from January to March of 2017 – that’s a rate of more than two per week. If this pace continues, then more than 100 homeless deaths will be recorded this year – a record for Toronto.
People have been gathering around a plain gray memorial at the south side of Holy Trinity on the second Tuesday of every month at 12 noon. They remember, by name, the women, men and children who died from homelessness over the previous month. Continue reading New Numbers Tell It All: Lack of housing is killing Torontonians

National Housing Day of Action Fri, Nov 18

right to housingNational Housing Day of Action

Food, water and shelter are some of the most fundamental human rights, yet Canada is facing an affordable housing and homelessness crisis. Everything begins with housing – without it, no one can truly live life with dignity.

On Friday November 18th, take the people’s pledge and join our National Housing Day of Action – take to the streets and march for the right to housing!

Gather at Queen’s Park at Noon and end the march at the Homeless Memorial outside Church of the Holy Trinity.  Details of the march here.

We encourage you to bring noise makers – pots, pants, cans, shakers, drums, etc. and join the drummers as we march!

To endorse the march as a group or organization, please contact: righttohousingcoalition@gmail.com
(Endorsers will be listed at http://www.acto.ca/peoplespledge)

The Canadian government has promised to fix the affordable housing crisis with Canada’s first ever National Housing Strategy. On November 22nd, they will announce what they have heard people across Canada say is needed in a National Housing Strategy. We are calling for the government to ensure our National Housing Strategy will guarantee everyone the right to safe, adequate, and affordable housing.

We are here, loud and clear. Our message to the government is simple:

“This is Canada’s moment to make history. The federal and provincial governments have made the commitment to provide adequate housing to all. We, the people, are here to make a pledge that we will hold the government accountable to their promise.

  • No one shall ever feel a loss of their dignity because they don’t have a home.
  • No one shall ever have to choose between adequate food and housing.
  • No one shall ever have to live on our streets and sidewalks, or worry they may end up there.
  • No one shall ever have to pass on life’s opportunities because they don’t have a place to call home.

This is our pledge to everyone in Canada. Join our movement. Make your voice heard. Together let’s make a commitment that we will hold the government accountable.”

Homeless Memorial noon Tuesday, July 12

Homelessness is a year round condition for many of our city’s residents. Come and remember those who have died and talk about how we are working for change.

On Tuesday, July 12 we added a John Doe who died on June 17. A man who is reported as being homeless by the Toronto Sun was shot and killed by the Toronto Police after being tasered at around 9am, June 17. Here are 2 articles about the incident. No names have been released.
https://www.thestar.com/news/crime/2016/06/17/man-dead-in-firearms-investigation-involving-toronto-police.html

http://www.torontosun.com/2016/06/17/siu-investigating-after-man-shot-dead

Visit the Toronto Homeless Memorial page and see the full list of people we remember every month.

Make your voice heard on a new national housing strategy by visiting the Federal Government input page Let’s Talk Housing.

Canada’s record on housing criticized by UN committee

A group of community leaders and housing activists presented the latest UN report on Canada’s failure to address urgent housing needs at the finance minister’s constituency office yesterday.

“For some time, Canada’s international reputation has been in serious decline and we’ve really gone from being a beacon of human rights globally to a country whose reputation is very much in question,” said University of Toronto senior researcher Emily Paradis, who presented Canada’s record on housing to the UN committee in 2006. “I would certainly hope that this review offers an opportunity for Canada to redeem itself if our new government is serious about its international human rights obligations.”

Tomorrow! – Stone and Glass: We are all transient

March 09 (6:30 PM – 9:30 PM)
Church of the Holy Trinity, 19 Trinity Square, Toronto

By: Church of the Holy Trinity, Toronto Homeless Memorial Network & Rebecca Houston

At the humble site of the Toronto Homeless Memorial, an installation of light and sound will animate the charged intersections of wealth and poverty, the sacred and the worldly, the present and the past at of the historic Church of the Holy Trinity; a home for social justice in the commercial centre of downtown Toronto.

EXHIBITION LAUNCH:
MARCH 9, 2016
6:30PM – 9:30PM

https://www.facebook.com/events/824579797653759/

Read more at Myseum Toronto

EXHIBITION:
MARCH 9 – 31, 2016

CHURCH HOURS:
MONDAY – FRIDAY: 11:00AM – 3:00PM
SUNDAY: 8:00AM – 3:00PM

From Ideas to Action: Advancing a robust housing agenda – Wednesday January 27

Multifaith Alliance to End Homelessness (longtime partner of Holy Trinity) hosts

From Ideas to Action:
Advancing a robust housing agenda

Wednesday, January 27, 2016
9:00 am – 3:30 pm
Members Lounge, Toronto City Hall (Queen & Bay Streets)

There is renewed optimism among advocates that policies to facilitate the elimination of homelessness are closer than ever with a federal government committed to a national housing plan, a provincial government looking to find ways to provide for more affordable housing and renewed City of Toronto commitment to eliminating poverty.

Now is the time to harness this enthusiasm to help bring about change.

From Ideas to Action – Advancing a robust housing agenda is being organized by MultiFaith Alliance to End Homelessness  which represents people from many faith communities and is a clear, creative and challenging public voice on housing and homelessness issues. The conference will bring together people from many faith communities, housing advocates and policy experts for an interactive discussion on ending homelessness.

In addition to presentations from prominent experts in housing and homelessness, media, and government, the conference will include breakout sessions for participants to discuss advocacy and communication strategies and sharing best practices. There will also be opportunities for socializing and networking. A light lunch will be served.

Conference seats are limited. Please RSVP your attendance

National Housing Day – November 22

right to housingChurch of the Holy Trinity is pleased to host The People’s Assembly from 12:30 to 3:30 on November 20th.

National Housing Day has been marked in Canada since 1998 when the Federation of Canadian Municipalities followed in the footsteps of our own Toronto Disaster Relief Committee in declaring homelessness at national disaster. A brief history with details and links is available here.

The are asking people to register ahead of time.

Download Poster

Tireless campaigner for housing reform is surprised to turn 60

Michael_Shapcott-7644-446x670Michael Shapcott started his working life as a journalist in a number of places including the North Bay Nugget and the Calgary Herald, but he is best known for his work and writing on housing issues.

His public involvement in housing issues began in the late 1980s when he graduated from law school. He was one of the founding members of the Bread Not Circuses coalition which worked to convince people and politicians that the money being spent on Toronto’s 1996 Olympic bid would be better spent on housing. The organizers felt it hurt the bid, so it was probably pretty successful.

He worked for a number of housing agencies and helped found the National Housing and Homelessness Network, the Toronto Disaster Relief Committee, the Multi-Faith Alliance to End Homelessness and the Toronto Environmental Alliance. His anger at the events which led to the Rupert Hotel fire in 1989 led to founding a coalition which pressed for and got better regulation and enforcement of safety standards in rooming houses.

Until recently he continued his work in housing as the Director of the Affordable Housing and Social Innovation at the Wellesley Institute. His public policy research focused on housing, homelessness, and the relationships between health, poverty and housing.  He is currently seconded to the Prince of Wales to support his work in Canada through The Prince’s Charities.

Like a number of our members, Michael has dabbled in electoral politics, coming in second in the riding of Toronto Centre in the 2004 and 2006 federal elections.

Michael has been very involved in the life of Holy Trinity for many years in many important capacities. He currently serves as a warden helping ensure the viability of the parish as a whole. He has just started studying theology in his limited spare time.

His secret lomshapcott_accordionve though, is the accordion. While recovering from meningitis that left him in a coma for a time, he was hiking through Frontenac Provincial Park with a friend. The lingering deafness of his illness meant he thought he was going a little mad when he heard an accordion playing in the distance. He heard just fine however and the two of them walked to a little cabin from which the sound was emerging.

As they entered, they could see that the small room was filled with accordions of all types and sizes. They stayed and listened for a time and chatted with the player. Michael confessed that he had always loved the accordion. The player gave Michael an accordion after extracting from him a promise that he would never keep it in a case because “an accordion needs to breathe.”

Michael played that accordion for years and has it still. However, his beloved wife Ann Bisch offered an ultimatum on the playing of the ancient and out of tune accordion in the house: “it stops or I go.” Michael loves his wife somewhat more than his accordion and with some joy purchased the second of his three accordions. He has since added a concertina and a number of other ‘wheezy’ instruments to his collection.

Among his many ongoing activities, Michael plays his third accordion about once a month with Holy Trinity’s house band, Fallen Angles. He also plays from time to time with other musical combinations and has been known to preach a sermon or two.

Michael mshapcott_caricaturecelebrated his 60th birthday last June with a surprise party thrown by Ann and his daughter Nicole and with the help of many of us here at Holy Trinity. Jim Houston captured Michael in this caricature which shows his love of bow ties, shorts, colourful socks, housing and accordions all in a single image.

Thanks for all your work with and for Holy Trinity and and for the whole community Michael! Looking forward to a bright future together. There’s just a couple of things we have to do.

Come & See Pilgrimage

On November 22, we will be visiting together 5 local places that are responding to homelessness/housing needs in their neighbourhoods. Thiscomeandsee2014 could be good for parishes looking for inspiration/direction regarding outreach initiatives, for individuals wanting to get involved in local outreach, or for people just interested in learning more about housing and homelessness in Toronto. We will have mutliple leaders from each congregation present (people with lived experience, priests, coordinators, etc.) and will journey by bus through the city, from 8am-3:30pm that day.

The costs are all covered by the Anglican National Church office, lunch and transit are included. But registration is needed!

Come and See – NOV 22 Poster