Oakwood and Vaughan’s homeless-shelter fight just got real
A few weeks ago, we noticed battle lines beginning to form in the neighbourhood surrounding the intersection of Vaughan Road and Oakwood Avenue. Residents were upset over Cornerstone Baptist Tabernacle’s plan to relocate its men’s homeless shelter to a vacant former pub in the area. The whole thing was very typically NIMBYish, insofar as none of the opposition seemed to be about homeless shelters in general; residents just wanted this particular one a lot farther away from their homes. Today, the Star reports that things have gotten a bit more serious: a lawyer representing Cornerstone has released a legal opinion saying that if city council refuses to approve the shelter (which it could do at its meeting this week) it will have violated the Charter rights of the shelter’s users. The opinion carries no real legal weight—it’s not coming from a judge, after all—but it may succeed in clouding the issue for councillors who are inclined to vote “no.” At least some of the pro-shelter organizing is being led by Adam Chaleff-Freudenthaler, of Rob-Ford-conflict-of-interest fame, who happens to live nearby.
3 thoughts on “Oakwood and Vaughan’s homeless-shelter fight just got real”
I am sorry But I don’t disagree with the surrounding residents. I don’t live in the neighborhood but I can say enough is Enough. Toronto supports Thousands of homeless sometimes in the hundreds of thousands and they have made a business from it. look into the church and you will find its not for the goodness of man they are moving there “shelter” its for the business it self. don’t be fooled people shelters are a business and every homeless man brings in a dollar. these services are provided by the city of Toronto and paid for by social services not the good Christian church. STOP BUILDING SHELTERS AND START BUILDING AFFORDABLE HOUSEING.
All those opposed think that it can’t happen to them. It can. Trust me.
Dear Toronto Life and Steve Kupferman, I need to point out that there is some real mis-understanding on the part of your organization on Oakwood Village. From the lack of inclusion of Oakwood Village as a Toronto neighbourhood, to recently highlighting Oakwood Village in your real estate guide and mostly pointing out establishments in adjacent neighbourhoods – you’ve got it wrong. There are so many holes to point out in your recent articles. Is it perhaps that you just want to garner attention from controversial, albeit contrived headlines?
Your stories on the Oakwood-Vaughan homeless shelter have been poorly researched and many statements being taken out of context. Many of the residents want the homeless shelter to be in a safe place, not across the street from a crack house, in a neighbourhood forgotten by social services, and still trying to turn around the neighbourhood from drug dealing and illegal booze can operations . You say residents don’t want this shelter in their neighbourhood at all. Well do some research Toronto Life,some residents were in favour of the shelter if it also meant that some much needed social services would be brought to the neighbourhood. Others proposed that the shelter be changed into family housing- which if you did the research, you’d realize this type of shelter is the most needed in Toronto.
Did you look into the Church who proposes to run the shelter? They are not located in Oakwood Village. Did you not realize they sold the original shelter location for 1.5 million dollars years ago with no plan on where to move the shelter? Perhaps as Shawn Crewson points out below, have you calculate how much in subsidies the shelter makes in a year, over $900, 000 to run their programming. Perhaps if you had attended or paid attention at the rushed community consultations, you’ll note that the pastor from the Church intending to operate the shelter misrepresented the increases in crime associated with the shelter – the representative from Division 13 of Toronto Police Services clarified that there were about 50 calls a year related to the shelter.
Toronto Life, if you are really looking for a sensationalist story, perhaps you should highlight the misgivings and profit to be made from the shelter operators. Not to mention their bully tactics of citing a rejection of the proposal as unconstitutional before the hearing took place.
You should also look into the the inner workings of city hall. Why was the committee in such a rush? Why weren’t community consultations triggered. You may want to look into the relationship of Joe Mihevic with the shelter – it’s long standing and why wouldn’t he trigger the community consultations needed? He blamed CIty Staff for this. He stated there would be a review of social services in the areas – however they should be open when the shelter opens. Most social services are in his riding, walking distance from the old shelter, not in Oakwood Village. I’d urge Joe Mihevic to work with his long-time ally Adam Chaleff-Freudenthaler alongside Josh Colle and local residents.
Quite simply the shelter was sold at a profit, and then moved into a poorer neighbourhood that not only lacks all the social services to support clients of the shelter, but also places them at higher risk due to the levels of violence and illegal activity.
Comments are closed.