Early in the pandemic, Jason Cipparrone spotted a sight he’d never before seen in his neighbourhood.

“One day I walk out of my apartment and I walk two blocks down by a church that’s in the community, and I notice that there were about 400 people lined up on the sidewalk. It spanned multiple blocks, people waiting for the food bank,” he told CBC’s Our Toronto.

“That was something that I’ve never experienced before living in Toronto.”

Out of that moment, Generation Homeless, was born. Seeing the stark impact of the pandemic on individuals, Cipparrone decided to document the experiences of those struggling with homelessness in Canadian cities.

Lambton County councillors want the extra provincial funding that’s helping provide overflow homeless shelters in the community to continue beyond when it’s scheduled to run out in October.

The county has received about $6 million in additional COVID-related funding for social services, the bulk of which has been used to add temporarily shelter space after the number of homeless residents in the Sarnia area spiked during the pandemic.

Lambton normally has about 60 people living in shelters but, in May, that number was nearly 240, with the overflow living in temporary shelter accommodations in local hotels

London’s last remaining pop-up shelter appears to be in its final days as city politicians recommended moving its services to another location — likely hotel rooms — starting next month.

The temporary shelter, one of two set up last winter as an emergency response for people living on the street, was extended to allow the collection of construction trailers to stay in a parking lot at the corner of York and Colborne streets until the end of June.

Now, city hall wants to use $1.15 million of provincial funding to have a coalition of community agencies continue the work in an “alternate” spot.

As their first major act as the new operating agency for Out of the Cold Collingwood, the David Busby Centre is releasing the outcomes of the South Georgian Bay Shelter Feasibility Study, which was undertaken in the fall of 2020 to determine whether South Georgian Bay needs a permanent emergency shelter.

The David Busby Centre officially took over operations of Out of the Cold Collingwood as of May 1 from Community Connections in Collingwood.

“What I liked about (the study), is it’s not focused on building a ton of more shelters. It focused on what the solution is, which is housing. There needs to be hub services. There needs to be pathways from homelessness to housing,” said Sara Peddle, executive director of the David Busby Centre.

Punishing people for being down and out and homeless is not the answer. Increased and sustained funding for safe, affordable, supportive housing, well-connected with primary health care that is inclusive of mental health and substance use treatment, is what works to address homelessness. Policies and programs led by people with the lived experience of homelessness make them more innovative and effective.

“Everyone deserves a safe place to live. The Ford government cancelled a rent freeze, scrapped an increase to minimum wage, froze Ontario Works, and cut planned mental health and addictions funding by more than $330 million.

Ford failed to address an affordable housing crisis that the pandemic has only intensified. He has thrown fuel on the fire by refusing to provide Ontarians with rent supports or ban evictions clearly and completely.

A homeless encampment in west-end Toronto became the scene of a physical clash between Toronto police officers and protesters on Wednesday, as a crowd attempted to block dozens of police and security from clearing some 15 remaining people from a Lamport Stadium camp.

A physical altercation erupted after advocates attempted to block machinery from taking away a small, wooden structure. Two people were arrested for trespassing, and one for alleged assault of a police officer. Before the clash, protesters had decried enforcement and officers pressed into the crowd with bikes to form a perimeter around an occupant told to pack their bags.

The tense scene is the latest in a series of clearings over the last week. On Tuesday, the last occupant of St. James Park was ejected to an unknown location, having denied a city offer for indoor shelter. Last week, three other camps in the downtown area were razed, with some occupants accepting alternative shelter but several others turfed without a clear destination.