Toronto is one of the most developed cities in the world; yet, the number of homeless is increasing yearly. With an increase in funds needed to support this rise, many wonder why the 2013 municipal budget chose to freeze funding for homeless shelters. Even though this is the case, there are many things we as a society can do to make an impact within this issue.
The truth is, nobody is homeless by choice. Most suffer from addiction, mental illnesses, and do not know how to seek assistance. With this in mind, not all homeless will choose to accept help as they have already lost hope. We cannot force the homeless to accept help; we can only provide them with various options in which it is up to them to choose their fate.
You can help diminish the severity of this rising issue in ways other than donating change. For example, you can volunteer with companies like Scott Mission that deliver meals to the homeless in the core of downtown Toronto. Closer to the holidays, help at The Salvation Army and Daily Bread are always needed with large amounts of food and clothing received.
Likewise, with autumn soon approaching, now is the perfect time to clean out your cabinets and closet. We may not get to that fifth bottle of conditioner in time before it expires, so why not donate it? Ditto to the old winter coat that hasn’t been worn in three years. After all, donations of socks, undergarments, toiletries, and warm coats are always items high in demand by the support centres.
Although homelessness is not a new concern, it is certainly one that affects all of us. After the tolling effects of the 2008 recession, many of us became only a few pay cheques away from being evicted and homeless ourselves. It is important as a fellow Torontonian that we recognize this as a growing concern and make the effort to be proactive in creating change.