More homeless casualties...

Caution: This post may be disturbing to some persons.

On Saturday, September 21, the body of 49 year-old Richard Roy was found in Allen Gardens, which is a large city park located in downtown Toronto. The body was discovered by a friend of mine... the tragic irony is that the same park had been the staging area for an anti-poverty demonstration less than two hours prior to the discovery of Richard's body. 

On Wednesday, September 25, another homeless man was found dead in an abandoned van... parked directly across the street from a men's shelter run by the Salvation Army. 

On Saturday, September 28, twenty-five year-old Robert Deraiche succumbed to severe burns sustained a week earlier when he was doused in liquor and set on fire by two acquaintances... this occurred in Ottawa, Ontario. (Canada'a capitol.) 

Earlier this summer, there was a month-long inquest into the freezing deaths of three homeless men on Toronto's streets last winter... in the course of this inquest, at least three people died in Toronto as a direct result of homelessness... this was during the month of July. 

There is another Coroner's inquest currently underway into the death of a resident at Toronto's Seaton House - the largest men's shelter in Canada - who died a couple of years back after being forcibly restrained by shelter staff who were supposedly trying to break up a fight... there is evidence that suggests he was deliberately strangled. 

No charges were ever laid. 

Much ado has been made about the fact that this man was allegedly "seriously mentally ill"... little or noting is being said about alleged excessive force employed by staff. .. or about the deplorable conditions that exist in shelters. Such information was suppressed at the earlier inquest as well... despite this, the jury made some very good recommendations.

September has not ended yet... and yet the shelters are filled to overflowing every night. The situation is especially deplorable for women... the women's shelters are operating at thirty per cent over capacity. 

This is an emergency... there is no other word for it. Another winter is on the way... there have been at least six deaths in Toronto DURING THE SUMMER/EARLY FALL. The prospects for this winter frankly horrify me...