Asylum seekers come to Canada for safety and a better life, but instead a group of them ended up sleeping on the streets of the country’s biggest city.
The Peter Street shelter intake office was thrust into the national spotlight after the city–dealing with an overwhelmed shelter system–started to refer asylum seekers to federally run programs. But when people in need showed up to Peter Street site they were met with long waits, forcing them to stay on the street out front for weeks with no other place to go.
Community leaders have taken matters into their own hands, helping move the unhoused people to GTA churches. Hours after they stepped up, the federal government announced more than $200 million nationally to fund interim housing for asylum seekers, with about half going to Toronto.
But will this last-minute funding make a difference? And what will it take to create sustainable housing for asylum seekers in Toronto – and beyond?
GUEST HOST: Melissa Duggan, reporter for CityNews
GUEST: Sharry Aiken, Associate Professor specializing in immigration and refugee law at Queen’s University