The night I met Joseph it was 21 (°F) outside. He has lived outside in Toronto for over ten years now. Joseph said last year he spent the whole winter outside with temperatures as low as -40. He went on to say “it’s not like I am doing it on purpose. I have been waiting for a decent place to stay”.
At one time Joseph was in housing, but the housing was so bad he didn’t feel safe and he walked away from it. When I asked Joseph how services can help someone like himself he simply responded by getting him a place to live where he feels safe and doesn’t have to fear others.
I know some people think that any housing is better than the streets. I also know that most every community has challenges in finding affordable housing and good landlords that will accept housing vouchers. But putting people into situations that are dangerous to a person’s health or safety has to stop! WE can do better. We must do better!
Special thanks to Ve’ahavta’s Mobile Jewish Response to the Homeless.
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Invisible People is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to changing the way we think about people experiencing homelessness.