Contribued by www.downtownconcernedcitizens.com – The Downtown Concerned Citizens Organization (DCCO) was formed following the precipitous establishment by the City of Toronto of numerous temporary shelters. They were established without any prior consultations with residents and businesses, or disclosure regarding the repurposing of these buildings to temporary shelters. This has resulted in numerous adverse neighbourhood incidents including frequent fighting outside temporary shelters, drug trafficking, discarded needles, stabbings, intimidations, assaults, weapons possession, theft, vandalism, public drinking/intoxication, and garbage including rodent infestation and unsanitary conditions. There has been a complete erosion of downtown Toronto neighbourhoods over the past several months.
The DCCO is advocating for safety, and an economically and socially vibrant community for residents and businesses in Toronto’s downtown core. The DCCO’s mission is for complete accountability, transparency, participation and inclusion at all stages of the governance process by politicians and decision makers. This would ensure that the policies and programmes which are being adopted by politicians preserve the safety and the vibrancy of our downtown Toronto community and that they are of a benefit to the city, its citizens and businesses.
The DCCO (including residents and businesses) have the following demands from Mayor John Tory and City Councillors:
That the repurposing of buildings in the downtown core to temporary shelters be stopped immediately pending a full review of the City of Toronto’s programme to ensure complete accountability, transparency, participation and inclusion from ALL stakeholders throughout the decision-making process. The City of Toronto should increase police budget, manpower and enforcement to ensure safety of communities affected by the large influx of homeless individuals, a significant portion of which is believed to originate from outside Toronto.
That the establishment of additional safe drug injection sites in the downtown core be halted and that rehabilitation facilities be established to properly help people who are struggling with drugs addictions.
That the City of Toronto develops a 10-year plan to end homelessness in Toronto through extensive consultations across ALL stakeholders, which includes residential and business owners. The City of Toronto’s programmme, as currently carried out, is leading to the perpetuation of homelessness, and is consequently leading to worse outcomes for the homeless population and for our society at large.
In order to ensure the effectiveness of the programme, that the 10-year plan to end homelessness in Toronto be developed by having: (i) an equal distribution of the homeless population across the 25 wards which form the GTA; (ii) that the density of the residential buildings used as homeless shelters be kept low in order to limit the negative influences that homeless individuals may have on one another; (iii) that considerations be given to the nature of homelessness confronting each individual rather than by mixing homeless individuals with various levels of psycho-social challenges/needs in one residential building; and (iv) that the psycho-social needs of the homeless population be properly addressed through mental health and drug rehabilitation programs.
That Mayor John Tory, downtown city councillors (not assistants) and city officials meet with DCCO officials quarterly to have resident and business concerns addressed with transparent accountability.
DCCO will provide an open forum for neighbourhood groups to advocate for issues that impact our community.