Deputation to T.C.H.

C Board at Senator Croll

June 19, 2013

Re: Items 9 & 8 Strategic Plan 2013 2015 T.C.H.C and Ombudsman Report By : Miguel Avila

Dear Board Members:

I am just as excited, as you are to approve the following three year plan that intends to improve and shape the new way of doing business, HOMEWARD 2015 has the plan unfold for easy understanding but needs some tweaking and I hope you take under advise some of my ideas and recommendations. There are many challenges ahead one of those challenges has a peculiar interest of mine here at this board of the T.C.H.C and my good friends at the T.P.S Board: Mental Illness a growing trend The Plan for the 2013–2015 are as follows: T.C.H.C will Improve the organization‟s internal capacity to identify residents who are at risk and coordinate third-party supports . The ombudsman report identified several cases where residents were mentally ill and started to loose control over their Lease Agreements therefore missing payment and ending on the street T.C.H.C is a world of its own.. where people from all walks of life are housed. Some of them have struggled with homelessness, anyone remember the Street to Homes plan? Homeless individual were found housing ,some with mental illness and addictions and were stuffed in former Seniors only homes that created additional problems for the Seniors to cope with the new move in‟s and for the detriment of the former homeless there were provided with onsite plans to help them with recovery plans.

On a brochure published by Street to Homes in 2007 it states the following: ….”Appropriate supports to newly housed people is something that is emphasized with community partners and continuously developed””

I happened to be one of those homeless people helped to find housing in 2010 . to my knowledge and for the record.. I never saw a proper support plan or program at 121 Kendlenton Drive in North Etobicoke additionally, 1,700 homeless people were added to the population of T.C.H. I am attaching two clippings to my deputation a clipping from a study from the City of Calgary quite interesting indeed that explains more in deep the problem of large cities are confronting and an evaluation results provided by an agency in Ottawa. Next, the plan intends to Identify needs and service gaps for residents with a history of homelessness, frail and isolated seniors and individuals with mental illness, addictions or special needs. Well not everything is bad news. After my personal experience finding out no Onsite Support plans I joined a plan developed with the Gernstein and Krastman Centers in partnership with T.C.H.C to help people with addictions and mental illness. The Onsite support is a small scale project that is currently happening in four (4) locations across the T.C.H.C. I am attaching for your view and study a flyer where it shows what our “Peer Support” tenants are operating in the community. ( I have been part of this team and I could talk to you Offline as to the reason Why I was let go..) The Peer Support currently finance with taxpayers money via the Social Investment Funds is coming to a closure in the next months. URGENT RECOMMENDATION : The board must keep this program running .. The sustainability of the program is imperative. Wonder why here is the answer: Last week I attended City Council and I learned that an important motion by Councillor Augimeri and a T.C.H.C Board Member has been ignored on the recommendations by Staff to the board in regards the ombudsman report. …………..Request the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to provide funding to the Toronto Community Housing Corporation to enable the TCHC to better assist residents with mental health problems. SUGESSTION: As a resident I would add to request funding from Health Canada. Some Housing Support projects in Toronto , have received extra funding because they do have onsite counseling and treatment. The T.C.H.C Peer Supporters provide an ambulatory service that can be enhanced with local agencies.. They provide the Bridge to close the gap between agencies and residents of T.C.H.C. TRUE: Many households within Toronto Community Housing are affected by mental health challenges. Most of the time these residents live independently and

productively in spite of their illness. Some residents are persistently and severely affected and need more support than others.

RECOMMENDATION: I have been following the T.P.S Board with great interest for a while and one of the issues that the community had raised is the issue of people with Mental Illnesses dying as a result of interactions by the T.P.S with members of the Community particularly T.C.H.C Residents. In 2011 Mr. Charles McGuillivary died because of the way T.P.S officers handle the individual they were not aware of the mental condition of Mr Guillivary. Earlier this month in Scarborough another T.C.H.C (unknown identity because of the S.I.U interference to release public information) this resident died with three shots in the body, and all of this could have been prevented. Information needs to be shared in reference to people with Mental Illness living in T.C.H.C and the T.P.S to coordinate the best alternative to deal with individuals with Mental Illness. The T.P.S has created a unit, The Mobile Intervention Crisis Team are , a nurse and an officer who are paired to respond to calls of mental disturbance individuals in Toronto. I have attached a copy of an email from the M.I.C.T in 51 Division that is willing to come to T.C.H.C to provide a presentation of the team. Perhaps a good place to start is right here at the Board level to comprehend the problem at hand.

SOME ADDITIONAL CONCERNS: Whenever I have asked the corporation on the real number of People with Mental Illnesses and addictions living in T.C.H.C I have been told time and time again, check this out: Two versions 1.- There are only 10% or roughly 16, 400 residents with Mental Illness/Addictions living in TCHC 2.- There are 9,900 residents with Mental Illness / addictions living in TCHC I don‟t know how Staff concluded that this numbers represent the real and exact number of Residents with Mental illness / Addictions ..but I know this for sure, that Residents when signing a lease agreement or updating their R.G.I Information VOLUNTARILY state their medical condition to T.C.H.C some don‟ t want to share this info for many reasons. I have asked Mr. Kola Illumayde T.C.H.C „s Community Health Liaison for an update on the real numbers of people with M.I / Addcitions and have yet to hear from.

TRUE: T.C.H.C do not provide supportive housing we have to find ways to connect residents effectively to supports as those needs are identified. How can the Corporation “detect” those needs? Some alternative via a survey , a Census who will have the work of gathering this data? the answer is simple the “Peer Supporters” can gather the number and forward the info to respective agencies.

The other point I would like to make is the following : 2013–2015 Community Safety Plans: ■ Install additional security cameras and lighting in high need communities supported by on-going safety audits .As you are aware Residents from 220 Oak Street had signed a petition to increase the number of cameras. I have received a reply to such request but It is not to the satisfaction of residents. Our building has had murders Four (4) from 2006 to 2013 So I request to reconsider your decision and provide a solution that is viable. ■ Work with TPS and residents to improve reporting of criminal behavior, in this regards I am concern about the personal safety of individuals who had taken leading roles as “ Safety Council Members”. There is an application for most smart phones and to my knowledge a Toronto agency will have this app available for most communities who are in need of. I am attaching a copy of the American Version for your view and study. In my opinion it is a safe way to report crime and get on with the times as we develop from all technologies to new forms of communication. An last the report states the following “ By working with the Police” will ensure that 75% of residents rate their community as safe or safer. In this context I would like to ask this board for the disclosure of a document titled “ Letter of the Landlord” which describes the authority and power hand down to T.P.S to be an agent of the landlord to enforce the trespass act. You aim at being “Transparent” so in this regards I would like to request to have this documents available online or have access to the letter without having to submit an F.O.I. I have heard from Youth Workers in the community that access to this document is “available” upon request.

Thank You

Miguel Avila Resident Leader

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