A nine per cent jump in overnight guests has pushed Toronto’s Out of the Cold system dangerously close to turning people away, according to a new report from Dixon Hall Neighbourhood Services.
Toronto’s ad-hoc, volunteer-run, unofficial, floating shelter system for the homeless begins its 30th year without its co-founder and guiding spirit.
The woman who demanded Toronto meet its homeless citizens face-to-face and heart-to-heart has died. Sr. Sue Moran, co-founder of Out of the Cold, died of a sudden heart attack Sunday night, Dec. 19. She was 78 years old.
Editor’s note: Launched almost 30 years ago as a project at Toronto’s St. Michael’s College School, the Out of the Cold program is a remarkable story of Christian outreach that last winter provided food and shelter to more than 12,000 homeless men and women. That success is celebrated in a just-released book by Catholic Register associate editor Michael Swan. In this excerpt from Out of the Cold: A history of caring, Swan recounts how the program found a home in one downtown Toronto church.
Out of the Cold: A history of caring
By Michael Swan
From a modest storefront that opened 28 years ago to serve hot meals to a handful of homeless people, Out of the Cold has developed into an acclaimed winter program that last year provided food and overnight shelter to more than 12,000 homeless people.
Catholic Register associate editor Michael Swan tells the remarkable story of how Out of the Cold evolved from modest beginnings as a weekend project at a Toronto Catholic high school into an extraordinary example of Christian love and caring. It’s a story of ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
Canadian orders: 126 pages / Paperback / 5.5"x8.5" / $14.99 + $3.00 shipping / ISBN 978-0-9948716-0-2 / © 2015 Catholic Register Books
US orders: 126 pages / Paperback / 5.5"x8.5" / $14.99 + $5.00 shipping / ISBN 978-0-9948716-0-2 / © 2015 Catholic Register Books
International orders: 126 pages / Paperback / 5.5"x8.5" / $14.99 + $10.00 shipping / ISBN 978-0-9948716-0-2 / © 2015 Catholic Register Books
TORONTO - Former senator Hugh Segal is encouraging faith groups to use their collective voice to help put an end to child poverty in Canada.
TORONTO - More than 12,000 times, people in Toronto slept on a vinyl-covered foam mattress on the floor of a church, synagogue or mosque this past winter.
TORONTO - Catholics in the city have forged relationships with secular partners to provide the homeless somewhere safe and warm during the sometimes fatally freezing temperatures of Toronto’s winter.
TORONTO - It’s Out of The Cold season in Toronto. That means thousands of volunteers working in church basements, mosques and synagogues over the cold winter months to keep the homeless safe.
TORONTO - The mentally ill occupy the streets of Toronto. They sleep there. They beg. They buy drugs. They rave, cry out in pain and frighten people. They pass through drop-ins, shelters, jails and the emergency wards but somehow almost always wind up back on the same little patch of urban territory.
Seeds of Hope Foundation executive director Kimberly Curry thought there must be something we can do for homeless, schizophrenic women. Sr. Susan Moran, co-founder of Out of the Cold program almost 25 years ago, had the same thought. She never thought giving people a mattress in a church basement one night a week fulfilled our Christian duty.
TORONTO - Out of the Cold has been a success for 25 years, serving the homeless and hungry in 22 locations around the city with the help of Catholic, Protestant, Jewish and Muslim faith communities. But co-founder Sr. Susan Morin wishes it had never been necessary.
“It’s not the answer,” Morin told people gathered April 28 to remember Out of the Cold co-founder Fr. John Murphy of the Basilians. “There shouldn’t be so many hungry people. There shouldn’t be people without shelter.”
Fr. de Souza writes about the Catholic college as it graduates the first class of its bachelor’s degree program.
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