During COVID-19, the housing crisis became more visible for a lot of people around the city of Toronto, with an increased number of unhoused neighbours living in parks around the city for various reasons.
In an effort to work with community members who may not have access to housing and essential supplies such as food, safety materials, and water–Building Roots reached out to the Encampment Support Network (ESN) and our unhoused neighbours to identify how we could help.
In an effort to provide support, we worked alongside ESN and other partners to contribute food, essential supplies, advocacy, fundraising and coordination efforts.
To date, we have supported folks in the encampment by sharing ESN’s advocacy work with our network, and reaffirming the importance of affordable, permanent housing with rent geared toward income.
We believe people should be able to reside in Toronto parks, safely, with their community and social networks, until other options become available. We have contributed over 150 sleeping bags, 100 emergency blankets, 50 tents, 600+ nourishing meals, and other non-perishable foods.
In 2022, we worked alongside ESN Moss Park to ensure our unhoused neighbours have continued access to non-perishable foods where they reside.
Our 12+ volunteers worked with partners like Encampment Support Network, Sanctuary, Overdose Prevention Site, Animal Liberation Kitchen, Tiffinday, Project Food Chain, Harvey Kalles, and more.
ESN has been unwavering in their commitment to provide outreach to, support, and raise awareness for folx living in city encampments.
Are you interested in keeping up-to-date on the work of ESN?
Recently, they have dissolved into smaller chapters so they can focus more of their grassroots organizing on the needs of the individual encampments.
You can follow them on both Twitter & Instagram at: @ESNParkdale & @ESN_Scadding.
We’d also like to thank OPS, ALK, Tiffinday, Project Food Chain, and Harvey Kalles for their contributions. Without them, we wouldn’t have been able to to directly support our unhoused neighbours in time.
Click the button below to head over to our volunteer application form if you would like to support Building Roots and it’s partners in the mission to support our unhoused neighbours.