A plan to curb panhandling by spending almost $5 million a year to hire more social workers was unanimously endorsed by the city's executive committee yesterday, marking a significant change in direction from the recent emphasis on police enforcement.And not one penny is earmarked for mental health. Once you weed out addiction - the largest single group are the untreated and unmedicated mentally ill people wandering our streets and struggling to survive the demons their own minds create.
Even more remarkable than that turnaround was the universal praise it received from business and tourism officials, who one year ago gave councillors an earful that panhandlers were scaring away customers. Many officials demanded a crackdown.
The city now plans to focus on boosting the existing Streets to Homes program to help people find homes and jobs as a way to reduce panhandling, especially in the downtown core.
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
Social Workers Key to Happiness
Toronto's plan to curb the beggar population? Hire more social workers 'cause everyone knows the root cause of just about everything is a lack of social workers. The Toronto Star: