By Shi Davidi
A union’s pledge to shelter homeless people in its offices may help those seeking warmth in Ryerson’s buildings find a place to stay.
Toronto Civic Employees Union (TCEU), Local 43, will be joining the out of the cold program, which helps homeless people find relief during the winter months.
Once TCEU meets all the safety regulations necessary to shelter people, its doors will open, said Canadian Union of public Employees head Syd Ryan.
The hall will open every night and have up to 60 beds available.
“There is still a lot of work to be done. Out of the cold is the process we’d like to follow that way we can leave it to the experts,” said Ryan, who is urging all Ontario unions to open their doors to shelter the homeless.
That is good news for homeless people around campus. Ryerson, a member of the Help for Homeless program, sends homeless people on campus to the nearest shelter. The TCEU, at Gerrard and Ontario Streets, will be one of the easiest for homeless people around campus to reach.
During the winter months, homeless people often seek refuge from the cold in Ryerson’s buildings. Ryerson policy is to remove anyone without legitimate business on campus from university property.
“As it gets colder, there are more and more (homeless-related) incidents,” said Terry Ladouceur, Ryerson security manager.
“We are not able to extend a great deal of help, but it’s more than most places do.”
Security often directs homeless people to Seaton House, on 339 George St., near Jarvis and Dundas Streets. Administrative supervisor Bill Cerovic said Seaton House is often fill. He’s glad there will be more support.
“It goes to show there are a lot of well-meaning people out there. When the need arises, people won’t just sit on their hands,” said Cerovic