106-bed shelter for homeless families to be turned into condominiums
TORONTO, March 25, 2014 /CNW/ - A real estate developer has left a building housing a shelter for homeless families in receivership, and owes the shelter $50,000. On March 28 a second developer will have completed the process required to build a condominium on the site, leaving the Red Door Family Shelter without a concrete future.
"Our home has been at 875 Queen Street East for 30 years," said Bernnitta Hawkins, Executive Director, Red Door Family Shelter. "We are an integral part of the South Riverdale community. We do not want to leave, and we certainly do not want to reduce the number of beds we offer homeless families in need. The receiver and developer have not given us any answers and we need them now!"
The Red Door Shelter has been providing essential shelter beds for over 30 years in the same location. The children at the facility attend local schools, are supported by local doctors, dentists, community centres, and many other community services.
"This refuge for homeless families is more important than more condos," said Paula Fletcher, Toronto City Councillor, Ward 30. "The Red Door Shelter is a vital part of our community and they must be part of any plan going forward. They cannot be left out on the street."
Torontonians can find a list of councillors and members of the Toronto East York Community Council at www.reddoorshelter.ca to call and pledge their support. The Red Door has also organized an online petition at www.change.org. A personal message of support will be delivered to public officials, the real estate developer, and the bankruptcy trustee.
Torontonians are also urged to participate in a community meeting on Tuesday, March 25 from 7-9 p.m. at 21 Carlaw Avenue, Toronto, ON.
"We are mobilizing the community for support," said Hawkins. "We are looking for Torontonians to band together for this important cause. Help us 'Save the Red Door'." She adds that concerned citizens can send an email to [email protected] to find out how else to get involved.
About the Red Door Shelter
Since 1982, the Red Door has provided services for families and individuals who need safe and supportive emergency shelter. Responding to the growing need for shelter space for homeless families, the Red Door was opened in the basement of the Woodgreen United Church by a group of volunteers. We have now grown to be one of the largest family shelters in the city, providing shelter and support to over 500 families every year.
SOURCE: Red Door Shelter
For further information: For media requests or more information, please contact: Nic Canning, 647-457-4972, [email protected]