Town’s shelter bureaucrats are spending $59,700 on a advisor to create a brand new identify for Toronto’s emergency shelter system, says a report debated on the metropolis’s Group Improvement committee Wednesday.
The merchandise — known as “Renaming Shelters” — is buried in a 58-page report that largely particulars how town’s shelter, help and housing (SSHA) officers intend to develop the variety of emergency hostels and enhance companies to an growing variety of homeless shoppers.
SSHA spokesman Patricia Anderson confirmed the price (which isn’t included within the report) together with the advisor, Strategic Retreats. Anderson mentioned the consultants are conducting background analysis and public engagement to develop identify choices, check them (by polling and focus teams) and produce a report.
“The choices for a brand new identify recognized will mirror the optimistic roles that shelters play in neighbourhoods and within the lives of Toronto’s most susceptible residents,” the report provides.
I suspect the brand new identify will both attempt to put a social/justice/fairness/intersectional lens on the homeless shelters or be so complicated that residents in a selected neighbourhood may have no clue what’s coming their means.
Maybe that’s deliberate as a result of as I’ve reported, council — led by Mayor John Tory — opted throughout the 2018 price range deliberations to throw one other $256 million on the homeless trade so as to add one other 1,000 shelter beds this yr and over the subsequent two years.
As we heard Wednesday, that features 291 beds (some 121 of them new, the remainder substitute beds) at 5 websites this yr and one other 880 at 11 extra (to be decided) websites.
However it’s attention-grabbing to notice that not one of the members of the committee — so few of whom attended the morning assembly that it needed to be postponed till 1:30 p.m. — raised the re-naming challenge or the place the cash will come from so as to add and function all these beds.
It took former well being minister and failed mayoral candidate George Smitherman — who turned as much as communicate suggesting a metropolis councillor marketing campaign is in his future — to remind them that the report states how provincial modifications have made shelter funding “unstable.”
In truth, the report reveals fairly clearly that since 2013 — when the province capped the hostel per diem — metropolis spending on shelters has grossly outpaced provincial funding. Town is now spending $100 million extra yearly than it did on shelters in 2009 however the province is just offering $60 million a yr extra in the way in which of subsidies.
Shelter employees additionally observe of their report that with all of the “growth” (observe: spending) on homeless shelters, town should spend an additional $18 million annually sooner or later.
“In consequence, Toronto is having to rely extra on town tax base to fund the rising demand within the shelter system,” the report says.
That doesn’t embody a brand new shelter mannequin and identify that will likely be put in place in 2018 and past. That can require more money, metropolis employees mentioned Wednesday.
How a lot is anyone’s guess.
Maybe we must always begin calling our emergency shelter system The Metropolis Corridor Cash Pit.