Right now, refugee claimants and asylum seekers are stranded and sleeping on the sidewalk outside of 129 Peter Street, a City of Toronto building that refers unhoused people into shelter space. These folks are not seeing workers, and are not being provided with basic necessities like water or food.
Last May, the City of Toronto announced that it would begin the process of referring refugee claimants outside of its shelter system — a high-risk strategy to secure shelter funding for refugees from the federal government. As it stands, the Liberal federal government is not providing money to Toronto to ensure that refugee claimants — a federal responsibility — are provided with shelter and supports. In fact, $157 million in funds for this very purpose were promised by the federal government; however, none of this money has materialized. This is shameful, and it has created a human rights disaster where human lives are being used as a political football, with those ultimately responsible — the feds — turning a blind eye. All of Toronto's federal ridings currently have a Liberal MP. While the City's actions are unacceptable, ultimately the federal government must step up.
Until a resolution between the City of Toronto and the federal government is reached, people are in need of basic supports like food and water.
Myself — Diana Chan McNally, a community and crisis worker with unhoused people for the past nine years — and my colleague, long-time outreach worker Lorraine Lam, are organizing to provide stranded refugee claimants with water and food ourselves. But we can't do this alone: we need your help!
Your money will go toward us:
- Purchasing water and electrolyte drinks;
- Purchasing meals, non-perishable food, and snacks;
- Purchasing Dollarama and Shoppers Drug Mart gift cards;
- Purchasing requested items, such as camping chairs, sleeping bags, and tarps.
Lorraine and I work with unhoused people every day as our work, and this is a special fundraising effort to cover the costs of supporting our clients outside of 129 Peter St. who are being denied shelter and basic resources by government. We are purchasing supplies using funds raised through this GoFundMe and delivering them directly to 129 Peter St. daily ourselves.
If you don't have funds to donate (understandable!), please consider:
- Signing on to Progress Toronto's petition urging the federal government to help;
- Writing to your local MP about this issue.
Thank you so much for your time and care!
Diana Chan McNally (@Diana_C_McNally)
Lorraine Lam (@lorrainelamchop)
- Alexander Lee
- Kari Glynes Elliott