The City of Toronto announced 485 new spaces for the homeless as part of its 2019-2020 winter services plan, but expert Cathy Crowe says the numbers are inadequate.

The city invited the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty and the Shelter and Housing Justice Network for a private briefing ahead of the plan’s public release, to share some of its thoughts.

Crowe, who is Ryerson’s distinguished visiting practitioner and a homelessness advocate, said she indicated to the city that 2,000 additional shelter beds were needed and the 485 beds they plan to make available are insufficient.

The city claims to have a 94-space increase this year as the total rises to 899 from last winter’s 805. But Crowe calls that a “sham,” as the increase exclusively refers to respite spaces.