Wednesday, April 19, 2006

I Raise My Ass... a toast to the City of Toronto, this paragon of our national virtue, this cosmopolitan oasis in a vast arid field of backwards-looking provincialism, which is today counting its homeless population. Our reliable national broadcaster tells us this survey is to include both those homeless people who use the homeless shelters, and those who do not. Efforts will be made to search Toronto's valleys, ravines and other natural features for homeless people who are "roughing it".

Some have said this program will not produce reliable results. The subjects of the survey are, well, homeless, and have no fixed address. They are mobile, free of identity cards and other means of idendification, which would assist Toronto's tabulators of misery in producing an accurate count, and so on.

In an effort to assist in producing accurate results, and amidst some furore from civil liberties groups, one councillor has suggested the city tag its homeless. The benefits, she says, are not limited to accurate results in the present, but include the savings to be reaped on future surveys.

Isn't it great that people care?


Blogger Granny said...

I'm sorry. Did you mean something similar to the chip they use in dogs' ears?

Brand them with a scarlet "H".

I hope our government doesn't discover Canada is a jump ahead of them. Our elected officials will jump on the bandwagon instantly.

We've been head counting for years now with results as expected.

1:44 p.m.  
Blogger kittenpie said...

While I do see the virtue in the base idea of figuring out how many homeless poeple you've got so you know what kind of services you should be providing and for how many, I just can't see any way of doing it that is safe, dignified, inclusive, and even reasonably accurate.

Perhaps a word of mouth campaign to pick up something free and helpful would be a starting point, but how to tell if they are picking up multiples? And some homeless have mental health issues or traumatic experiences that leave them scared of authority and others, and so on (whether these were partial causes or side-effects, either way)- these folks are not likely to come out to participate.

I do think it's good that they are at least talking and trying to figure out a way to address it. I just wonder why they are in a rush to jump on a half-formed plan when so many other times they are happy to talk way past the expiry date of an issue.

2:45 p.m.  
Blogger L. said...

Hmmmm. Tag them, and return them to the wild -- like Jacques Cousteau did with gentle sea creatures.

Or not.

10:25 p.m.  
Blogger Jim91 said...

There is some very interesting information about the homeless on the Toronto Disaster Relief Committee website.

I heard the webmaster for the Ontario Tenants Rights website on a call in show and his concern was that he had heard the Toronto homeless survey did not include important questions such as "when did you last eat?"

9:05 a.m.  

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