55-65 Broadway temporary emergency housing update
As everyone has likely heard, there have been a number of major problems with the City of Toronto's temporary housing program at 55-65 Broadway Ave. The most recent and most serious was the stabbing of a staff person by a resident. The community is rightfully alarmed and demanding that immediate action be taken by the City to address the situation.
The RRA would like to clarify its role in the temporary housing program and the actions it is taking to deal with this difficult situation. We all live in the neighbourhood and are well aware of the results of putting together a large group of people without adequate support for their many challenges. As we said previously, this program was set up by the City of Toronto as an emergency response to COVID-19. The RRA was not involved in any part of this decision. We tried to help the situation by organizing the donations of household items. While this effort helped, the challenge of trying to accommodate such a huge number of individuals in a very dense area proved too much for the City.
On July 15, 2020 the RRA sent an urgent email to a list of over 20 individuals, including the Mayor, numerous Councillors, City of Toronto staff, trustees and developers to advise them of the dangerous situation at 55-65 Broadway. We insisted that immediate action be taken to deal with the crisis. Here is our email:
In addition, the Toronto District School Board trustees representing our community sent an equally urgent letter to Mary-Anne Bedard, General Manager of Shelter, Support and Housing Administration for the City of Toronto. Here is that letter:
As you may have heard, the program at 55-65 Broadway is ending on September 7. The RRA is participating in all the community meetings and are planning to attend the August 19 session regarding this program and the one at Roehampton Residence. Meanwhile we have been in close communication with our local Councillors, City staff, our MPP, the Times Group (55-65 developers), the TDSB and the local BIA about the community's concerns.