MFATEH action for faith communities


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How people of faith in the Greater Toronto Area can become involved in solving issues of housing and homelessness

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  • Chronic = only 10% of 2% of Cdn population. Smallest segment. Most obvious. Most expensive.
  • MFATEH action for faith communities

    1. 1. MultiFaith Alliance to End Homelessness Working together to educate and advocate in Toronto
    2. 2. Monthly expenses income Used Used car car TTC Household Household ++internet internet Personal care, Personal care, school supplies, school supplies, clothing, shoes clothing, shoes They will be ok if… •both parents make $20/hour •no credit card debt, don’t own a home •don’t save for retirement or kids’ education •no holidays •don’t get sick … but then Dad loses his job… 2
    3. 3. What would you do? Food banks? Wait list 6.4 yrs Take one kid out? Used Used car car Sell? TTC Household Household ++internet internet Walk? Personal care, Personal care, school supplies, school supplies, clothing, shoes clothing, shoes Do without? No skype to family? Job search? How long until they are homeless? 3
    4. 4. Canadian population 80% One pay check away 18% Homeless 2% Chronic 10% Temporary 30% Hidden 60% Different causes – different people --- different solutions
    5. 5. Chronic 10% Shelters, detox, jail, hospitals Most obvious Most costly $35,000/year Life expectancy 39 yrs Who are they? Single men Single women Why? Mental health addiction How long? Many years What do they need? Supportive housing
    6. 6. Chronic 10% Temporary 30% Hidden 60% Stay with family or friends Shelters, detox, jail, hospitals Most obvious Most costly $35,000/year Life expectancy 39 yrs Single men Single women Families Youth Single men Single women Families Youth Mental health addiction Abuse, divorce, evicted, job loss, new arrivals Low paying job Many years <3 months Many years Supportive housing Affordable housing Affordable housing Anyone can become homeless at any time for many reasons
    7. 7. Debunking myths: •No one chooses to be homeless •Fastest growing segment is families and youth •Don’t give up – shrink homelessness, not eliminate •Homeless people want to work
    8. 8. Trends Homelessness is not new. But since 1960s: •urban renewal •changes in the labour market •the closure of mental health facilities •Canada is the only G8 nation without a national housing policy "Treatment First” 1950s – now: abstinence from alcohol and drugs before receiving housing and services. --47% success “Housing First” 1990s – now: provides housing before any treatment or other care. -- 85% success rate in Calgary
    9. 9. The role of government 1.No country in the world creates affordable housing without government help. Private sector investment alone will not solve homelessness. •rent-geared-to-income subsidies •up-front construction subsidies to reduce the monthly cost of housing •Emergency shelters and support services •Federal and provincial share costs 50/50 •Municipalities waive fees and make land available 2. Large involvement required by non-profit groups. …. This is why the Multifaith Alliance to End Homelessness is an education and advocacy group.
    10. 10. What’s in it for me to care about homelessness? 1. It’s the right things to do 2. Affordable housing is good for business • attracts employers • house essential service workers • keeps labour costs low • healthy and productive employees • partial solution to Toronto traffic problems 3. Cheaper • cheaper than the alternatives • reduce health care costs, reduce police costs, reduce jail costs
    11. 11. About Us Nonprofit since 2006. We educate and advocate in Toronto. Improve supply: •Encourage building more housing supply •protect stock of rooming houses Ease demand: •rent supplements •increase minimum wage •increase shelter component of Ontario Works
    12. 12. How you can be involved Your faith group: Join us as a member - pay $200, vote at AGM, name on website, email updates Join us as an endorser - name on website, email updates Individual: Get on our email list to receive monthly Call to Action - write letters about different topic, attend rally, etc Donate
    13. 13. Thank you
    14. 14. Because I have a home, I can… •Lock my door to keep my valuables safe •Receive mail •Invite friends in •Have privacy •Eat what and when I want •Send my kids on school trips •Raise my kids the way I want to •Keep my faith in humanity •Shower •Make my bed comfortable •Feel safe •Have dignity
    15. 15. Because I am homeless, I can… •Get assaulted regularly •Get ticketed for sleeping in a park •Go hungry •Go without comfortable sleep •Get exposed to bed bugs and TB •Have my kids taken away •Have my stuff stolen •Start to smell (because no showers)
    16. 16. “A friend” China: doctor, nurse Canada: taxi driver, homemaker “A job” - Recognize credentials - retraining - ESL - Resume - Interview skills - References Sponsor + community: Help to learn about neighbourhood, banking, TTC, customs, schools, weather, laws, food, safety “A home” -Lives with sponsor -8 people, 2bdrm apartment -Worry about eviction -Lack of privacy, noise -Family friction -Gender mix, age mix Affordable housing helps immigrants adjust to Canada 17
    17. 17. History of government involvement Pre 1964: no government involvement 1964 - 1984: commitment to affordable housing as part of a broader social safety net 1984 - 1994: decline in federal funding. Non-profit food banks start appearing. 1994 - 2004: no significant federal funding and minimal provincial funding due to deficits. 2004 - now: increased funding for affordable housing, interventions, supports and preventions. Existing units are aging (40 years old) Canada is the only G8 nation that does not have a national housing strategy.