June 20, 2018 3:41 pm

Inquest into Toronto homeless man’s death recommends boosting social assistance levels

WATCH ABOVE (June 6): Toronto is spending $10 million to purchase four temporary structures to address the city’s ongoing shelter crisis.

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TORONTO — An inquest examining the systemic factors that caused a homeless man to die in a fire while seeking shelter from the cold has recommended social supports be more accessible to those in need.

A jury at the inquest examined the case of 49-year-old Grant Faulkner, who died in Toronto when a wooden shack where he was staying in an industrial park caught fire in January 2015.

READ MORE: Toronto to purchase 4 temporary shelter structures for $10M to house homeless


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The inquest made 35 recommendations to prevent similar deaths from happening in the future, though there’s no legal obligation that they be implemented.

The jury recommended that the province increase the amount of income provided to people receiving social assistance “to reflect the real cost of shelter and basic needs,” and make a “shelter allowance” available to help people secure housing.

READ MORE: Toronto winter warming centres for homeless don’t meet basic shelter standards: report

It also recommended the province provide a transportation allowance to all people receiving social assistance.

The inquest, which began last week, heard from about 15 witnesses.

© 2018 The Canadian Press

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