There are concerns that a proposed overhaul of Ontario’s social assistance system will cause unmanageable stress on Toronto’s food banks — and the people who rely on them.

The Progressive Conservatives are expected to announce a plan to reform the system next week. The changes will come after a 100-day review by the government to develop what it calls a “sustainable social assistance program.”

Employees at Toronto’s Daily Bread Food Bank, the largest food bank in Canada, fear the changes will lead to a greater reliance on their services.

“I’ve been trying to better myself through various community training programs. But my past mistakes continue to hold me back,” he said.

The former GM assembly line worker who has cycled on and off welfare for about 20 years and uses food banks to make ends meet is bracing for the results of Social Services Minister Lisa MacLeod’s 100-day revamp of social assistance, expected Nov. 8.

Collins is among almost 70 per cent of Toronto food bank users who rely on social assistance and a growing number of adults over age 45 who visited a food bank over the past year, according to the Daily Bread Food Bank’s annual report being released Wednesday.

Data gathered over a 24-hour period this past spring suggests refugees and recent immigrants to Canada represent a quarter of Ottawa’s homeless population.

From April 19 to 20, the city of Ottawa surveyed 1,400 individuals experiencing homelessness in the nation’s capital, 334 of whom identified as newcomers to Canada.

Of those respondents, 169 identified as immigrants, 113 said they were refugee claimants and 52 identified as refugees, according to the city.

Indigenous people, and youth who identify as part of the LGBTQ community, are sharply over-represented among the ranks of Ottawa’s homeless, according to a new study that tries to paint a picture of homelessness in Ottawa over a single day.

For the first time ever, more than 200 social service workers fanned out across the city to count and survey the homeless people living in the city over a 24-hour period, from 1 p.m., April 19 to 1 p.m., April 20.

They spoke with 1,400 individuals and families who identified themselves as homeless.