You would think people might notice the poor.
In the City of Toronto alone there are 63 shelters with more than 6,900 beds, stuffed to the gills. There are 15 Out of the Cold sites run mainly by faith communities that also run at capacity most nights. There are over 100,000 families and individuals in Toronto on a waiting list for subsidized housing.
In Ontario, the Ontario Association of Food Banks claims 130 direct members that support over 1,200 hunger-relief programs. Across Canada, where more than three million people live below the poverty line, one million people were helped last year by a food bank, including 340,000 children.
Capuchin Franciscan Br. John Frampton is astounded by how little we notice. He’s had politicians pose as volunteers at St. Francis Table, using the poor as a campaign backdrop. He’s given testimony to an endless list of commissions of inquiry and community listening exercises, but nobody seems to want to see or hear from the poor themselves, he said.