HOMELESS NEWS - Senior staff at Toronto's city hall have asked all departments to prepare 2019 operating budgets resembling those of 2018. The zero-increase budgets could put new initiatives for Toronto’s homeless population at risk.
It is reported that Toronto Public Health is seeking a 2 percent increase, or $1.32 million in new funds, for council-approved outreach to those experiencing homelessness.
The TPH proposal includes keeping on seven additional staff consisting of six outreach workers and one supervisor to work, in part, with the homeless population.
Other initiatives include over $370,000 in matching funds from the city for the prevention of the spread of infection in shelters and respites, and the collection of health data on the homeless population.
“I think that outreach piece is still really critical because we’re not seeing any reduction in the issue,” said street nurse and advocate Cathy Crowe. “It’s not a time in our city where we want to cut resources to this segment of the population.”
With no increase year over year, 2019 budgets will not reflect inflation or the city’s growing population.
Adapted from 'Zero-increase budgets threaten Toronto programs..." by Jennifer Pagliaro, City Hall Bureau, The Toronto Star