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Toronto the Good, no longer


Mikiesboy

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I'm writing this because I read Edward Keenan's column in the Toronto Star newspaper today. It made me sad, angry and frustrated, with our city, those of us who live here, and most especially with those we elect to care for us and our city.  Mr. Keenan wrote so well about how this city was once known as Toronto the Good, and it was at one time that people here cared about each other. Now, not so much, as Mr. Keenan wrote, it is Toronto the Hostile...I'll add Toronto the Uncaring.

We give to charities here, my husband and me. I thought that was enough. I became complacent and stopped seeing what was actually happening. Homelessness is spoken about, and we pretend to care, yet we design outdoor seating to be deliberately uncomfortable; we have ABM/ATMs that are closed when the bank is closed, all-night diners that close at 10 p.m. or only offer take-out, bus shelters that look like something sliced them in half - they protect you from nothing.  All these design changes to ensure people experiencing homelessness can't spend time there.  We do this rather than fixing the real issue. People without housing are human beings, and we treat them like they chose to live this way. There indeed are the odd few who did, but most want a 'normal' life.

This isn't happening only here; it's everywhere. Places want to make being homeless a crime. Well, I guess jail would provide food and a bed. It's better than the street sometimes, and I can tell you that.

I feel sad and disappointed in the answers we've come up with to battle homelessness. It's not going to get better if we shrug and do nothing; after all, maybe we have enough money to live normally. If you're lucky enough, that's how life is for you, then please spare a thought for the less fortunate. It's time to break out your pens and paper or email. Send your demand for something better to your local politician. Give to your local charities if you're able.

Edited by Mikiesboy

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20 hours ago, kbois said:

There is no clear-cut solution if our government insists on fixing the rest of the world before focus on what really should matter.

Thank you, k. I know there are no easy answers. I remember when I worked at the bank, people would complain about homeless people who huddled where the ABMs were. Often, they don't help themselves and can be rude. Not all end up like that, but many do. I get it.

There is something wrong in our world. I don't have the answers, but I agree that governments must help their populations. There are indigenous people here who live in shacks and don't have running water or clean water. We need to fix ourselves before fixing everyone else.

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21 hours ago, MichaelS36 said:

Well written and sadly very true.  Police are often sent to 'move these people along'  but to where? The shelters that are closed or that, if open, are often more dangerous and unwelcoming than the street itself.  It was never a duty I wanted to do. 

Perhaps we should look at what other charities are out there to support. We are lucky enough to be able to, tim.  See what you can find out. 

i will do that, Michael.

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5 hours ago, lawfulneutralmage said:

Oh so evil socialist Finland has a cure for homelessness: they give people homes!

That sounds odd, even for states with a social welfare system. Usually, people have to "prove" that they are "worthy" of a flat. Now how can you sort yourself out when you sleep on the streets? So, the Finns turned it around, and it seems to work:

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/02/how-finland-solved-homelessness/

That's great. Thank you for sharing that. For some reason, I don't see that happening here. We talk about building homes, but who can afford them when they're over a million dollars to buy? The government seems loathe to build housing itself.

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4 hours ago, Mikiesboy said:

That's great. Thank you for sharing that. For some reason, I don't see that happening here. We talk about building homes, but who can afford them when they're over a million dollars to buy? The government seems loathe to build housing itself.

They talk of something similar in Manchester, but nothing has happened yet.

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5 hours ago, chris191070 said:

They talk of something similar in Manchester, but nothing has happened yet.

Like @kbois mentioned, if governments cared about their own country more than the rest of the world, maybe we could improve things for our populations.  Thanks, chris.

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Or maybe think about the evil socialist principle of taxing the rich...

Living in Norway as a higher earner, my tax rate is not that bad at all. Last, I calculated it to be 37%. Need to check this year.

And for that I get an awful lot of services!

Edited by lawfulneutralmage
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As you rightly point out, homelessness is an international problem, one that can only be dealt with at a national and local level. Too many Governments prefer to absolve themselves of responsibility and leave it to charitable organisations to deal with and sort out. When we question politicians about what they intend to do to alleviate the problem they make bold speeches and empty promises. They haven't got a clue what it is like to be homeless and only come in contact with homeless people and the charities who work with them when they want a photo shoot to look good in the public eye. One of our politicians even stated in an interview that homeless people deserve what they get for choosing that lifestyle, WTF, she obviously doesn't understand anything about the subject, nobody, or very few, chooses to be homeless! Our regional Mayor, @chris191070 will know who I mean, made a big thing about helping homeless people and even claimed he would eradicate the problem in Manchester. Within three months of being elected, he stopped talking about homeless people and appears to have little if anything since. I admit that he did help to set up a charity to collect and distribute funds to ease the problem but after several applications made by the shelter that I support nothing has been received. It seems our politicians are full of good intent when canvassing for your vote, but when they have it and they need to act all they are full of is hot air.

I applaud and agree with your appeal for those of us who can afford to, give what we can, even a single pound/dollar helps to make a difference. Many organisations will also accept goods/items that they can make use of, some have shops that sell donated items which help to raise much-needed funds. For those who want to be involved, donating your time is just as valuable and will be welcomed by many of them. 

@Mikiesboy I'm sorry for getting on my soapbox in your blog, but you have raised a subject that I am passionate about and I know that you are too. Thank you for raising the subject and attracting attention to it.

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3 hours ago, lawfulneutralmage said:

Or maybe think about the evil socialist principle of taxing the rich...

Living in Norway as a higher earner, my tax rate is not that bad at all. Last, I calculated it to be 37%. Need to check this year.

And for that I get an awful lot of services!

Maybe we should just take over the world.

Our taxes pay for universal health care, but that doesn't extend to dental or eye care. I'm not sure why they're not considered part of our health. However, we will pay the full price for them. When they do provide a service, the government finds ways to claw it back or not cover things. I think people are not of much importance - so much for " government for the people ". Maybe they should let us know which people are important to them.

Many people here are choosing to not take required medications because they cannot afford to.  How sad is that?  Money and profit are the driving force here, and if it costs human life or health, so what.

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1 hour ago, Mancunian said:

As you rightly point out, homelessness is an international problem, one that can only be dealt with at a national and local level. Too many Governments prefer to absolve themselves of responsibility and leave it to charitable organisations to deal with and sort out. When we question politicians about what they intend to do to alleviate the problem they make bold speeches and empty promises. They haven't got a clue what it is like to be homeless and only come in contact with homeless people and the charities who work with them when they want a photo shoot to look good in the public eye. One of our politicians even stated in an interview that homeless people deserve what they get for choosing that lifestyle, WTF, she obviously doesn't understand anything about the subject, nobody, or very few, chooses to be homeless! Our regional Mayor, @chris191070 will know who I mean, made a big thing about helping homeless people and even claimed he would eradicate the problem in Manchester. Within three months of being elected, he stopped talking about homeless people and appears to have little if anything since. I admit that he did help to set up a charity to collect and distribute funds to ease the problem but after several applications made by the shelter that I support nothing has been received. It seems our politicians are full of good intent when canvassing for your vote, but when they have it and they need to act all they are full of is hot air.

I applaud and agree with your appeal for those of us who can afford to, give what we can, even a single pound/dollar helps to make a difference. Many organisations will also accept goods/items that they can make use of, some have shops that sell donated items which help to raise much-needed funds. For those who want to be involved, donating your time is just as valuable and will be welcomed by many of them. 

@Mikiesboy I'm sorry for getting on my soapbox in your blog, but you have raised a subject that I am passionate about and I know that you are too. Thank you for raising the subject and attracting attention to it.

My Husband is English from the East Midlands - Grantham ... he keeps on top of the news and i remember Him telling me about that woman who said the people chose to be homeless. Oh, what can you even say to the level of ignorance?

We can give and give and we will, but only the gov't stepping to actually build homes will make any difference.  Our Premier of Ontario won't allow us to build 4 plexes.. So build upward a little bit.  He will only allow single family homes and town houses.  Which no one will be able  to afford. We have a friend who makes $150,000 per year.. saves a lot of it but he cannot afford a home here in the city where he wants to live.  It's insane.

I appreciate you posting this. You're welcome anytime, @Mancunian

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