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Man found dead in east end
A man in his 50 Oakley Vault s was found dead near Markham Rd. and McNicoll Ave. in Scarborough Monday night.
Toronto police spokesperson Const. He was taken to hospital shortly after.
Police believe a medical co Oakley Vault ndition may have caused his death but are also investigating if hypothermia was a factor as temperatures dipped to 13C overnight. They also said the victim’s death was not suspicious.
Shelters quickly filled up as a result of the frigid weather with the exception of a handful of emergency beds across Toronto.
The Star called a number of emergency shelters most were full the Salvation Army Maxwell Meighen Centre had one bed, Scott Mission had one.
Working out of Sanctuary Church in the Yonge and Bloor area, street pastor Doug Johnson Hatlem said the church was full, and still more needed shelter.
“Right now there’s four people in wheelchairs sleeping on the floor or in their wheelchairs and another five people in sleeping bags,” he said Monday evening.
The city can provide 172 emergency beds when demand is high, but Johnson Hatlem said the Assessment and Referral Centre at 129 Peter St., where the homeless can wait until a bed is available, had nowhere to send people.
Angie Hocking, who works with the street community from Redeemer Church said earlier this year that the resources in Toronto are often inadequate.
“There are not enough beds available,” said Hocking. “Out of the Cold (a multi faith outreach program) helps a ton with this issue and most do get a bed, but there could be more as some are turned away on cold nights.”
In Toronto, there are more than four dozen shelters, Oakley Vault designated specially for men, women and youth.
According to the city’s most recent published report (2011), there are more than 5,000 homeless in Toronto.
Johnson Hatlem, who tracks the homeless statistics, said this year, 35 people have died, the highest number since 2007.
On Jan. 16, City Council voted to cut funding for emergency shelter beds by 2.9 per cent in the 2013 budget. According to Johnson Hatlem, that works out to about 110 beds per night.
“There are sufficient beds in the emergency shelter system,” said Patricia Anderson, spokesperson for the city’s Support and Housing Administration Oakley Vault Division. “However, on occasion, single adults and couples may have to wait for a shelter bed to become available or for us to put an emergency space in place.”
To access a shelter bed in Toronto, go to the Assessment and Referral Centre at 129 Peter Street or call 3 1 1 to connect to Central Intake, which refers people to available shelter beds.