Ontario NDP Announces Homelessness Task Force

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Homeless Person sleeping on a Toronto Street
Homeless Person sleeping on a Toronto Street

QUEEN’S PARK – The Official Opposition NDP Affordability critic Bhutila Karpoche (Parkdale – High Park) has introduced the Homelessness Task Force Act, 2024, alongside advocates and community members.

“No one chooses to spend the night on the street,” said Karpoche. “But more and more people are slipping through the cracks in our city and across Ontario. Unhoused people are failed by our government’s choices every day. We need to do better.”

“Creating a Homelessness Task Force is a strategic step towards ensuring that not another person is forced into homelessness because of bad policies. I am standing with advocates, experts, and people with lived experiences to call on the government to make a commitment – let’s work together on a compassionate, effective, and well-informed approach to preventing homelessness in our province.”

Chris Jardin, former member of Ontario’s Opioid Emergency Task Force said, “Homelessness is multi-faceted, and continues to evolve as time moves forward. Therefore, a multi-faceted response that also continually evolves is essential. The government has fallen short, and so we are calling on them to assemble a cross-sectoral panel of experts, including those with lived experience, from across the province to assist their efforts to make meaningful change on this incredibly important matter.”

Diana Chan McNally, front-line community worker and homelessness advocate supporting unhoused people in Toronto’s downtown east side says, “As a front-line worker, I meet people every day who are about to spend their first night out on the streets – not through any fault of their own, but because Ontario has become so unaffordable that the most basic of needs – housing – is far beyond their means. They need an intelligent, coordinated, resourced provincial strategy to meaningfully address the tens of thousands of Ontarians who are homeless – and who will become homeless without intervention.”

Peter Martin, former constitutional lawyer who became homeless and now works in the non-profit affordable housing sector shares, “I was once a homeless person: a lawyer who had to end my practice due to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. I ended up becoming homeless, living in a tent on Leslie Street Spit until I was able to rehouse myself. Becoming rehoused gave me the stability to make needed strides and to rejoin the workforce. My life once again is productive and satisfying. I believe that the proposed Homelessness Task Force will provide key insights and recommendations to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing to support the goal of making homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring.”

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