Shelters in the region are over capacity. The region used 30 hotel or motel rooms Monday night to accommodate the increase.

As Waterloo region remains under an extreme cold warning, the area’s shelters are being overwhelmed by people needing a warm place to sleep.

On Monday night, the region accommodated 270 people who needed a place to stay. Normally, it only has 195 fixed beds.

When shelters reach what the region calls “overflow,” an additional 45 beds are created. If that’s not enough, the region then puts people in four to five different motels.

The federal government is planning to spend an additional $114.7 million to compensate provinces and municipalities for temporary housing costs for asylum seekers.

The money is part of $2.5 billion in new spending plans tabled late Monday as part of the government’s supplementary estimates.

The financial document says the influx of irregular migrants entering Canada has increased pressure on provinces to provide shelter and social services.

Data from the City of Toronto shows occupancy at local shelters and overnight centres has been above its 90% limit for years.

Advocates note that overcrowding and dangerous living conditions at Toronto shelters has contributed to a crisis that has taken the lives of over 140 homeless people in the last 18 months.

That’s why many are calling on the City to start treating conditions at shelters as an emergency situation.

Despite 14-day notices to vacate Toronto’s various tent cities, homeless Torontonians will not be forced out of their makeshift homes.

City spokesperson Brad Ross says it comes after they were given notices two weeks ago.

The city has cited public health and safety concerns, such as propane heaters being used and structures being built on sidewalks.

But with the heavy snowfall, cold temperatures and shelters being at capacity, Ross said the city recognizes the circumstances many of the homeless find themselves in.

“There’s no deadline, no dropdead date,” he said.

When you talk to the many people who signed up for basic income payments, only to have them cancelled this spring, there is a real sense of fear, uncertainty and betrayal.

As four Lindsay residents ask an Ontario court to overturn the provincial government’s decision to cancel the basic income pilot project, two more women say when those payments cease at the end of March they will be plunged back into poverty.

The Ford government acted irrationally and in bad faith when it pulled the plug on the basic income pilot project last summer, say four Lindsay-area participants who are urging Ontario Superior Court to overturn the decision.

“Low-income Ontarians have suffered significant harm owing to the (government’s) abrupt decision to cancel the pilot early,” the participants’ lawyer Mike Perry argues in court documents in the case to be heard Monday.

This editorial [Bungled response on shelters undermines search for solution to homelessness] misses some important issues and misleads.

First, it suggests that the shelter crisis is simply one of heightened attention due to the cold weather. Not true.

Secondly, the Star is 100 per cent wrong that declaring an emergency would not make a difference. This is a social welfare disaster.