Homelessness is a crisis in Toronto, but Mayor John Tory doesn’t seem to know it.

On February 12, after a service at the Church of the Holy Trinity to add the names of six more people who died on the streets in January to Toronto’s Homeless Memorial, a delegation led by street nurse and longtime affordable housing advocate Cathy Crowe walked to the mayor’s office to meet with him about doing more to end the emergency. The event was dubbed Have A Heart For The Homeless March.

Crowe had announced her intention to visit the mayor a week earlier in an open letter highlighting the mounting homeless deaths in Toronto. There are now close to 1,000 names on Toronto’s Homeless Memorial.

In the most recent report by the Leilani Farha, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on adequate housing, we learn that access to justice and legal advocacy is necessary to protect people and to prevent violations of the human right to housing.

Farha, who is also the executive director of Canada Without Poverty, writes:

“Violations of the right to housing are as much failures in the administration of justice as they are failures of housing programs. If those living in inadequate housing and in homelessness have no access to justice, they are deprived of agency to bring violations to light, to address root causes or ensure appropriate responses. They are unable to challenge the policy choices and decisions that created the conditions in which they live.”

Campbellton is in dire need of an emergency shelter, according to the city’s mayor who, says the provincial government needs to step in and fill a void that’s lingered for more than a decade.

Establishing an emergency shelter for the city’s homeless is near and dear to Stephanie Anglehart-Paulin’s heart. She helped her husband establish Campbellton’s first shelter in 1998.

Anglehart-Paulin said 128 people came through its doors before the couple handed the shelter over to a board of community members almost two years after it opened.

It’s a slow time of year for donations at many food banks across the country and Saskatoon is no exception.

“We definitely see a drop in donations in these two months and it is worrisome because our next big drive isn’t until May,” said Laurie O’Connor, executive director of the Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre.

What’s also concerning is the number of people turning to food banks.

A new impact report by Food Banks Canada shows more children in Saskatchewan use food banks than anywhere else in Canada.

“We’re still seeing around 20,000 folks using our services in a month and about 45 per cent of those are children,” O’Connor said.

How governments provide income support to low-income Albertans is odd. The amount of income support that is provided is the same regardless of where in the province one lives. Governments do this even though they know the income support required to meet basic needs varies widely by community because housing costs vary widely. Depending on where a family reliant upon social assistance lives in a province, it may, after paying rent, have very little or considerably more money to pay for other necessities such as food and heat.

A new permanent homeless shelter is required in Moncton says an advocate as a temporary shelter opened downtown last fall is poised to close at the end of March.

Lisa Ryan with YMCA’s ReConnect street outreach service, said the number of homeless people in the area has risen to the point existing shelters can’t keep up once a temporary shelter closes March 31.