This year’s ride is Saturday, May 12th, 2018.
Launched in 2013, Gear Up for Housing is a fun and relaxed 50 km Spring bike ride around the city of Toronto. The ride raises money in support of St. Clare’s Multifaith Housing and is entirely volunteer run.
Gear Up for Housing has raised $190,000 for St. Clare’s. These funds are used to develop new affordable housing opportunities for people experiencing homelessness in Toronto.
Interested in joining Gear Up for Housing? New riders are always welcome! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Support affordable housing in Toronto! DONATE HERE
Homelessness in Toronto
Deep cuts to social programs and lack of investment in affordable housing since the 1990’s have brought homelessness in Toronto to crisis proportions. At the same time, Toronto’s downtown neighbourhoods are rapidly gentrifying, leaving less and less space for low-income residents to remain in their communities. Homelessness is an ever-growing national disaster that leaves an estimated 2000 people sleeping on our streets every night, approximately 3800 are warehoused in emergency shelters, another 1500 women and children escaping domestic violence are waiting up to a year to get into affordable housing. Thousands more are at-risk, forced to make the terrible choice between rent and food.
Our city’s wait list for housing has been setting a new record high every month since 2008. In November, 2014 there were 91,809 households waiting for housing. What does this mean? That most on the housing wait list will wait for over ten years to get housing.
Why is homelessness at such crisis levels?
The reason is remarkably simple, and it’s not laziness, addiction or mental illness. So what is the number one cause of homelessness in Canada?
Homelessness is extreme poverty. It’s a simple relationship: no money equals no housing. No money because of injury, illness, job loss, debt, death in the family, family breakdown, abuse and violence. The list goes on but the result is often the same: no money equals no housing.
What’s the answer?
Thankfully the solution is equally straightforward: provide affordable housing. Toronto desperately needs affordable housing. Whether we build it, convert it, or fund it, affordable housing is an elegant solution to a devastating problem.
When poverty is the number one reason for homelessness, affordable housing gives individuals and families the security and stability of a home. Providing access to affordable housing is a foundational piece needed to begin rebuilding lives after experiencing homelessness and to prevent poverty from spiraling into homelessness.
While ending homelessness may feel impossible, St. Clare’s knows that it can be done simply by housing one person at a time. This year St. Clare’s will bring 22 people off the streets and into micro housing that is safe, secure and affordable.
St. Clare’s innovative Leonard Phase 3 project is building 22 micro homes next to their 25 Leonard Street building. Based on St. Clare’s unique supported housing framework, these energy efficient tiny homes will serve as an avenue into permanent and lasting housing for people who chronically struggle with homelessness.
This year every donation to Gear Up For Housing goes to helping St. Clare’s end homelessness for 22 people through Leonard Phase 3.