All Saints Church in Toronto has been ministering to the poor and homeless in the downtown area for the past twenty-five years. Its services to the area include two drop-in centres/day shelters; a low-cost food bar; a boarding home for women; and an apartment building which is home for sixty low-income single persons (Including Yrs. Truly). 

In recent weeks, there has been increasing pressure brought to bear by a couple of local "residents associations" - In other words, area homeowners with six - and - seven-digit incomes. The claim is that the drop-ins are" a haven for drug dealers and users, pimps, and prostitutes." Actually, what has created this situation is the enforcement of a city no-smoking by-law, which means that drop-in users tend to congregate on the sidewalk in front of the church. 

The issue here isn't whether or not people are engaged in illegal activities. Inn fact, that whole issue is irrelevant in this situation. Even if so-called illegal activities are occurring, it has nothing to do with where people happen to be standing at the time. The point is that when a large number of homeless people are congregated in one place, the local gentry tend to get very nervous. They whip up all kinds of hysteria about crime and personal safety,; merely disguising the fact that their sole concern is property values. I've lived in this part of the city for the past eighteen years; and have never experienced any serious problems. The old out of sight; out of mind situation is at work here; as usual the wealthy don't want to be reminded of the consequences of their privilege.

To add insult to injury, these clowns have insisted on representation on the selection committee for the housing project here at All Saints. The selection committee, which interviews potential tenants, has always been made up of tenants and members of our Board of Directors. This doesn't include a bunch of overpaid yuppie assholes who want to control every aspect of the neighborhood... including who gets to live there! What next? To live here, will one have to submit to a piss test? How about mandatory fingerprinting? (Metro Toronto Council is already considering doing that to Welfare recipients. The supervisor of a local men's shelter was on TV recently supporting the idea of mandatory piss tests. The fingerprinting thing was debated by Metro Council on Wed. this week; but was deferred for six months. ) 

...Jesus fucking Christ, this makes me sick!!!