Anti-poverty groups staged a rally at Toronto City Hall Wednesday morning to put pressure on municipal officials to add more shelter beds for the city’s homeless.

The Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) said that despite efforts by city officials to extend respite centres for the remainder of the year and adding 361 new shelter beds, there still isn’t enough space to house those in need.

“The current situation demands the addition of at least 1500 permanent new shelter beds to guarantee a spot for everyone in need,” OACP said in a Facebook event post.

“The City’s plan, at-best, might add about 400 beds over 2018; an expansion that will soon be undermined by the impending closure of Seaton House. This means the crisis will persist, along with its lethal consequences.”

The North Okanagan’s Social Planning Council/Partners In Action said finding more housing for the area’s homeless remains a top priority, coming off a challenging 2017.

“We are working on different applications for funding grants, we are definitely prepared,” said Annette Sharkey with the Social Planning Council in a quarterly report to Vernon council.

“We would like to get as many units as possible into our community and now is definitely the time.”

City council endorsed the creation of an overnight emergency shelter for men over 30.

The municipality will co-ordinate meetings between Niagara Region — which is responsible for managing overnight emergency shelters — and interested church-service groups, as well as mental health and addiction professionals with the idea of opening one as soon as possible.

The unanimously approved motion, introduced by Coun. Wayne Campbell, also asked for the meetings, and the need for host centres and volunteers, be advertised through the city’s website and local media, and take place at city hall with a date and time to be announced.

Kelowna’s aging population is twice that of the rest of Canada’s, making up a third of Kelowna’s population.

Hidden homelessness is a term Alina Turner is using to describe vulnerable groups at risk of homelessness who often go unreported.

Seniors, youth, Indigenous populations, as well as women and children fall under the hidden category.

By Jan. 29, 2018, Calgary was supposed to have effectively eliminated homelessness—that is, so that hard-luck individuals need shelters like the Drop-in for a few days before agencies find them affordable housing; emergency shelters were to be for brief emergencies. Drop-In managers are pleased to report they now accommodate 900 nightly, after several years filled to capacity at 1,100. But that falls well shy of the Ten-Year Plan to End Homelessness that galvanized Calgary in 2008, complete with a large digital clock that ticked down the days, hours, minutes and seconds to homelessness’s End Day.

Alison Lair feels it’s time to shake the tree on homelessness in Amherst.

The community support co-ordinator with the YMCA of Cumberland spoke to Amherst Rotarians on Monday about the Homelessness Prevention and Outreach Program that recently began working with homeless people in the community.

“It’s an issue that we have to begin taking seriously in our community,” Lair said. “When you consider that 36 per cent of the people in Cumberland County make less than $20,000 a year after taxes and somehow have to support themselves it’s understandable that there could be an issue with stable housing.”