June 22nd, 2022

Does four more years of Ford mean four more years of homelessness for Ontarians with disabilities?

TORONTO — Forty-six per cent of Ontarians who are homeless have disabilities. With another Ford majority, many Ontarians with disabilities believe this means four more years of homelessness for them.

NDP MPP Chris Glover will address the issue at a press conference Wednesday morning in front of Seeds of Hope at 6 St Joseph Street.

The calculations in the attached report show that the $497 shelter allowance provided to ODSP recipients is less than half of the cost of even a room in a shared apartment. Ford’s promised increase of 5 per cent to $522 for shelter will leave thousands of Ontarians with disabilities homeless.

The report shows that ODSP supports adjusted for inflation have declined by 31 per cent since 1993.

“That we have people with disabilities living on the streets and in shelters rather than stable housing is shameful,” said NDP MPP Chris Glover (Spadina-Fort York). “Ford has it in his power to raise ODSP rates to cover the cost of food, shelter, clothing, medicines and other essentials, or he can leave Ontarians living in the streets for another four years.”

Quotes from people on ODSP experiencing homelessness:

“I cannot find a room in a rooming house for under $900. This gives me just over $100 for food and medications and other living expenses. My medications are not covered.” - Lisa B

“I have not been able to afford food for three years. The maximum I can receive from the food bank is not enough to survive. Even in stage 4 cancer I have to have people take me in my dilapidated wheelchair to soup kitchens.” - Alice J

“I have been trying to find a rooming house for 9 months. Living outside is going to kill me. I have little mobility and suffer bi-polar disorder I feel scared about my survival every day.” - Ben P