As Christians, our Baptismal Vows call us to action to help the poor, vulnerable and marginalised. During this time of Covid-19, it has become very obvious that there are serious problems in our society that cannot be ignored any longer. The indignities suffered by the homeless, when the world shuts down around them, depriving them of access to basic hygiene facilities and food outlets, let alone a place to self-isolate cannot continue to go unaddressed. In addition, reliance on the Food Banks has greatly increased. Perhaps the Provincial Government’s decision to stop the planned increase to the minimum wage and the cancellation of the Universal Basic Income Program is part of this problem? What we do know, is that the Food Banks are overtaxed at this time; scrambling to keep up with the demand. So, what can we do? We can engage our MPPs and local politicians. During this period of ‘downtime’, can we take some time to contact our government representatives and voice our concerns and ask for actions to remedy these two issues?
Here is a link to the Anglican Dioceses of Toronto’s Social Justice & Advocacy webpage. Please consider visiting it and reading the Diocese’s response to the issues of Homelessness and Guaranteed Basic Income. You will find copies of the letters written by the Bishops to Government.
Should you decide to lend your voice to these issues, Homeless and Affordable Housing is a Municipal/Regional responsibility and your letters should be directed to;
Fact – St. Mary’s Anglican Church, Richmond Hill has been participating as a host site of MOSAIC’s Out of the Cold Program for 10 weeks/year for the past 8 years and rather than having our numbers decrease over these years, our client use has risen from 18 persons on average at the start to 34 in 2020.
Fact – Most cities now mandate developers to include affordable housing units in their developments. The York Region Official Plan requires that 35% of new housing units in urban centres be affordable.
Fact – Affordable housing is not the same as Supportive housing, which the chronically homeless require.
Letters written in support of Guaranteed Basic Income, should be addressed to MPP, Daisy Wai
Some links to research this
If you write, please ask for a response and wait for a month and then follow up again with your original letter and reiterate your request for a response. If you would like to share your response with the Committee please forward to email@example.com. Thank you for your consideration.
Lyne Webb on behalf of the Outreach & Social Justice Committee