Sub-zero temperatures lead to rise in cold-exposure deaths among the city’s homeless

The number of cold-exposure deaths has risen in the last seven days for Toronto’s homeless.

Sanctuary Toronto’s Street Pastor, Doug Johnson Hatlem took to Twitter on Friday to share that there are more or less three credible reports of cold exposure deaths in Toronto in the last seven days.

Co-organizer at the Toronto Overdose Prevention Society Zoe Dodd took to Twitter and shared her sentiments saying, “people shouldn’t be freezing to death.”

According to Hatlem and Dodd, they reported a man was found frozen to death at a bus shelter on Shuter and Sherbourne Streets.

Hatlem told the Star, “there aren’t spaces for everybody that’s homeless in Toronto, and they haven’t been for a long time.”

“I don’t think the city has done anything, I think it has tried to do a little bit of PR by opening a few dozen beds, but that’s nowhere near [enough] …”

He added that during his nightly walks, he often comes across 50 people sleeping in the surrounding area.

Last week, the Star reported that one patient had died after two underhoused patients were treated at St. Michael’s emergency department for life-threatening hypothermia.

Earlier in January, housing advocates “warned the shelter system was in near collapse” due to the rise in Omicron cases in the city.

Police were unable to confirm the total number of cold-exposure deaths in time for publishing.


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