Each night, 12,000 Ontarians experience homelessness across the province. At the same time, several shelter systems including Toronto is overcrowded and inadequate.

Earlier this month, RNAO sent a letter to Mayor John Tory and members of the Toronto City Council, urging the city to declare an emergency for the shelter system, open 1,000 new shelter beds and open emergency shelters at the Fort York and Moss Park armouries.

However, on Dec. 6, Toronto city council only approved funding to add 400 more shelter beds to the city’s shelter system despite advocacy from RNAO members and a statement by federal MP for Spadina-Fort York and former Toronto city councilor Adam Vaughan confirming that the federal armouries could be made available, if requested by the city.