City Council candidate wants to create Toronto's first homeless shelter for queer youth


Michael Erickson, a high school teacher and Ward 14 candidate, wants to see Toronto open its first homeless shelter for queer youth.

Erickson sent a letter to potential supporters and stakeholders two weeks ago asking them to endorse the proposal. He will be releasing the names of those who have signed on in early October.

It's hard to believe that Toronto doesn't yet have a homeless shelter for queer youth considering cities such as Montreal, Vancouver and New York already have shelters or are in the midst of planning. A 2004 study of homeless youth in Toronto found that 32 per cent identify as queer.

"We know that queer and trans youth who end up homeless very quickly learn that shelters are unsafe places," Erickson told Xtra!, "and it increases their risk of making choices that damage both their physical and emotional well being."


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