News / Toronto

New Toronto poster campaign addresses homelessness myths

Campaign is part of the ongoing Toronto For All project, which aims to spark dialogue about diversity and tolerance in the city.

Posters like this will be displayed in various public places across the city to spark conversations about homelessness.

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Posters like this will be displayed in various public places across the city to spark conversations about homelessness.

An advertising campaign that challenges myths about Toronto homelessness unveiled its latest posters this week.

Images for the Toronto for All initiative are up in various public places across the city, with messages that dispel misconceptions about homelessness. The campaign comes at a time when some neighbourhoods have resisted efforts to create homeless shelters near their residences.

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“We know that there’s stigma against people who are homeless, especially men,” said Kira Heineck, executive lead at Toronto Alliance to End Homelessness, the group that’s partnering with the city on the campaign.

Part of the campaign is to show why fears about homeless shelters are unfounded, she said, noting as an example that no studies prove property values go down if a shelter is built. Shelters, just like libraries or recreational centres, should be regarded as part of a healthy and caring community, she said.

Having only one or two shelters in a large area forces homeless people to relocate from their established communities, which increases their levels of anxiety and isolation, said Heineck.

“There are homeless people all over the city, so it’s time to put the shelters in the communities where they are,” she added.

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