toronto homeless

Someone living in a tiny shelter on the street is asking for housing in Toronto

As the pandemic continues, the plight of people in precarious housing situations seems to be getting worse.

Even before the pandemic, Toronto was in the midst of a poverty and homelessness crisis, and now, as we head into a cold January, some people are finding the only option is to stay on the street or find makeshift homes in other locations.

One Toronto resident came across a small structure on Parliament Street near the Distillery District.

toronto homeless

A tiny shelter appears to be home for a person on the streets of Toronto.

The person seems to have "had no other choice but to take up residence in what appears to be a converted dumpster," said Sabrine Hakam, who saw the shelter this week.

The wooden structure actually looks a lot like the tiny shelters built by carpenter Khaleel Seivwright.

The home is "a sad reminder that the powers that be are simply dropping the ball when it comes to homelessness in the city," Hakam said.

toronto homeless

A sign in the window asks for housing.

There is a small sign in the window that reads "Please Offer Me Housing."

A letter in the window states that during the pandemic, the shelters are in a state of emergency with intense crowding and an inability to maintain social distancing.

The letter continues asking that the person be allowed to maintain their tent until "shelters are safe again."

toronto homeless

A letter in the window asks that this person be allowed to stay.

More than 50 encampments were cleared last year and 800 people living within them have been assisted into "safe indoor spaces in shelters and hotel programs."

The City of Toronto has said recently that in response to COVID-19, they have opened 40 new temporary shelter sites to create physical distancing in the shelter system and provide space for people to move indoors from encampments.

But for some, living in a shelter raises concerns about contracting the virus and some people would rather avoid the shelter system.

It appears the person in this particular structure would like proper housing and if that isn't available, would prefer to stay in the tiny home.

Let's hope all those in less than ideal housing find warm shelter as a cold front is expected later this month.

Photos by

Sabrine Hakam

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