Committee votes on temporary shelter bed solution
The community development committee has voted to send several recommendations to council on improving the shelter bed system in Toronto.
Committee members today voted to make available 172 "flex beds," mats placed on the floor, to temporarily bring the occupancy level below the current 96 per cent.
John Clarke with the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty says that's not enough.
"In a certain sense, we're moving forward. But the immediate solution they've come up with is just to cram more people into a crowded system," Clarke says.
He says the city should instead open up a new emergency shelter, at Metro Hall, for example.
Councillor Joe Mihevc, meanwhile, says he doesn't think that would be the answer. He says there also has to be a focus on programs that help people get out of shelters.
"Where we spend our dollars, that's a deep question," Mihevc says. "Spending all the dollars only on shelters, that definitely is not the answer."
The committee also voted to ask for a third party quality assurance review and an investigation by the ombudsman on shelters.
Council will vote on the recommendations next month.