Save the Red Door

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Originally posted at Parkbench.com 

Condo developers have their eyes on 875 Queen St. E, home of Red Door Family Shelter.

The Red Door website reads: “The building that houses our long-term home has been put into receivership and is now being bid on by condo developers, leaving the Red Door Family Shelter without a concrete future.” According to the Toronto website the city’s homeless population living outdoors has risen 24% since 2009. Food bank usage is at a record high.

“The vast majority of those experiencing homelessness want permanent housing, but continue to face barriers accessing it,” reads the city’s site. An answer for some is the Red Door Family Shelter, which supports over 500 families a year. Though some condo developers would rather take this refuge away and replace it with yet another Toronto condo option, to add to an already rising number.

The 106-bed shelter has been at the Leslieville address for over 30 years. “Many people can find themselves in desperate need,” reads their site. “These include women who are fleeing violence at home, families who are evicted, refugees, or young mothers who may have nowhere to go.” Families find their way to the shelter by word of mouth or organizations like the Children’s Aid Society or Police Services. Basic funding to meet emergency shelter and medical needs is provided by the city and Ontario. Donations help fund additional programs like youth educational programming and immigration assistance. Families may stay at the Red Door for one night or six months. Usually they are able to live independently after three months, and the shelter helps with the transition by providing moving assistance, furniture, a food bank, help finding housing and ongoing caseworker support.

The shelter has a petition at Change.org for supporters to sign and accept donations here.

Get in the Twitter conversation with #savethereddoor

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