We’re guessing closing a shelter (or three) for abused and homeless women (probably) won’t help Rob Ford pass his budget

We’re guessing closing a shelter (or three) for abused and homeless women (probably) won’t help Rob Ford pass his budget

(Image: Christopher Drost) 

For Mayor Rob Ford, a necessary part of passing the 2012 budget will be maintaining at least some level of public support and, by extension, the support of council. So when that budget involves shutting the doors on a women’s shelter in order to save a few bucks, he certainly isn’t helping his own, already challenged public relations cause.

The Toronto Star has the story:

For the eight battered women of Bellwoods House, the city’s proposed budget cuts will put them back on the street, exposed to lives of homelessness and abuse they were trying to escape.

Bellwoods House, a transitional care home for women 50 or older, near Bathurst and Queen Street West, is among three shelters set to close under Mayor Rob Ford’s recommended 2012 city budget.

If [the cuts are] approved by council, the city will save $240,000 in 2012 and $117,000 in 2013, according to the budget.

Like Bellwoods House, many of the facilities, programs and services targeted for cuts in the 2012 budget are political atom bombs. Really, if library closures provoked such massive pushback from citizens and councillors, just imagine the response to closing shelters for abused women and cutting breakfast programs for impoverished children.

Of course, regardless of the merits of the budget, Ford needs the support of council to pass it. But given he’s asking councillors to do things that are potentially so politically damaging, it’s going to be a tough sell. After all, what councillor wants to seek re-election as the guy who drained a wading pool or cut city arts funding? For now, Bellwoods House is one really small front in the fight against Ford—but it could very well be a sign of things to come.

Councillor leads charge to save home for at-risk women [Toronto Star]