How to support Toronto’s homeless this holiday season Image

How to support Toronto’s homeless this holiday season

By Lucas DeClavasio on Nov 22, 2017

Have you started your holiday shopping yet? This year, don’t forget to consult the 2017 Holiday Wish List released by the City of Toronto to support the city’s homeless and at-risk community.

The City surveyed 50 agencies that operate shelters, drop-ins and other services for the homeless to compile a list of the most needed items for the holiday season and daily life.

A few of the most needed items include winter clothing, gift cards, toiletries, baby products, and non-perishable food. We browsed the list and found a few other items in high demand include cutlery and cooking supplies, personal hygiene supplies, TTC tickets/tokens, and sports equipment like basketballs and soccer balls.    

“These small, everyday items can make a big difference to a person or family in need,” says Mayor John Tory. “If you’re looking to give back to your community this season, the Holiday Wish List is a good place to start.”

Many agencies are also looking for more volunteers to sort donations, wrap gifts, and prepare and serve food.

Toronto winter

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) recently announced that there are 1.7 million households in the country living in housing need, meaning the shelters they have are either in disrepair, not large enough, or are unaffordable. Ontario and specifically Toronto had one of the highest housing need rates in all of Canada.

20% of Toronto’s households have inadequate housing and more than 5,200 people have no shelter at all. According to a 2013 report, Toronto’s street homeless was up 24% since 2009. More than 33% are Aboriginal, more than 15% claim military service, and 20% of the youth identify as a member of the LGBTQ community.     

All year, we focus on tips and news for homeowners and homebuyers. This holiday season, we encourage you to pick a neighbourhood shelter and make a donation or volunteer, or both. And it doesn’t just have to be during the holiday season. Creating ties within your community helps build an even stronger community.

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