Toronto Alliance to End Homelessness and the City of Toronto launch educational campaign about homelessness

The Toronto Alliance to End Homelessness (TAEH) and the City of Toronto launched a public awareness campaign this morning to encourage Torontonians to challenge their perceptions of those who are currently experiencing homelessness.The City's emergency shelter system will be expanding. Up to four new shelters are in the planning stages for 2017 in preparation for the eventual demolition of Seaton House, a large men's shelter in downtown Toronto.In advance of those shelters opening, the City is proposing some important changes to how communities are engaged around potential new shelter services and the model of service used in these new programs.The proposed new engagement process includes public open houses rather than large town hall meetings, facilitation by third parties and conducting a detailed needs and opportunity assessment of each proposed neighbourhood.The campaign was created by the social impact agency PUBLIC Inc. and uses transit ads, online ads and social media to demonstrate the disconnect between what people might say about the prospect of a shelter program coming to their community and what they really believe.The campaign website provides information and resources to encourage further dialogue and encourage residents to challenge their prejudices against people experiencing homelessness.This is the third phase of the City's Toronto for All campaign which has an overall goal of creating a Toronto that says "no" to all forms of discrimination and racism. Phase 1 ran in the summer of 2016 and focused on Islamophobia. Phase 2 was launched in the fall of 2016 and addressed anti-Black racism. Both campaigns successfully encouraged conversations among Toronto residents and media regarding the relevant issues.

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