Doug Holyday & Bill Blair suggest police are the answer to homelessness

Joe Warmington in today’s edition of Pizzaville Presents The Toronto Sun:

“It is true we have spent all of these resources and the homeless are still there,” Holyday said. “I met with Police Chief Bill Blair last week and asked him what could we do and he said we need tougher laws to deal with them.”

But [Toronto Shelter, Support & Housing spokesperson Patricia] Anderson, who says there are incalculable savings in emergency room costs and the like, said Streets to Homes has helped 3,000 people to move from outside into homes and that there has been a “51% reduction in outdoor homelessness since 2006.”

Are we sure?

via Streets to Homes program needs citys scrutiny | Joe Warmington | Columnists | News | Toronto Sun.

First of all: crappy article. The subtle narrative throughout seems to be that, despite some initial issues, the city’s Streets to Homes program has improved a lot and been successful in helping members of the city’s homeless population find permanent housing. Statistics back this up, and aren’t rendered irrelevant because the writer asks “Are we sure?”

Are there inefficiencies and improvements that could be made? Almost definitely. But instead we get stuff like this:

In fact, while it may have found a way to bring some people in from the street, it appears to anybody living downtown that every street corner is still filled with just as many vagrants as ever.

“They will tell you it’s creating improvement but I see just as many homeless as I did 10 years ago when I got into politics,” said Mayor Rob Ford.

Screw statistics. We have a gut feeling that the homeless problem is as bad as ever!

Also: apparently five years is more than enough time to completely eliminate homelessness and the fact that this program hasn’t means it’s a total failure.

Back to Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday’s statement: could we see this administration move to remove funding for support organizations like Street to Homes and instead give the police more funds and powers to ‘deal’ with the homeless population?

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