City management assaults homeless man at Seaton House shelter: Man severely beaten and dumped on sidewalk over dispute about a sandwich.
Date: Thursday, July 9
Time: 11:00 am
Location: Seaton House, 339 George Street (east of Jarvis Street, south of Gerrard Street)
Everyone is welcome.
Please come out and support OCAP and condemn the assault of homeless man by City management at Seaton House. Man severely beaten and dumped on sidewalk over dispute about a sandwich.
On June 24TH, 2009, Brian DuBourdieu went to The Seaton House men's shelter in downtown Toronto, to get something to eat and a night's sleep. Instead, he ended up spending the night in the emergency room of St.Mike's hospital. The assault took place after Mr. DuBourdieu asked for something to eat from the city management who are staffing the shelter during the current strike. Despite his serious allergy to peanut butter, he was told by the managers that was all there was to eat, after which a sandwich was thrown at him.
Upset and angry, Mr. DuBourdieu threw the sandwich back at the manager, kicked a steel door (causing no damage), turned and walked away. "That is when the five city managers that were working, jumped me from behind, tackled me to the ground and three of them held me down while the other two kicked me repeatedly," said DuBourdieu.
The managers then picked Mr. DuBourdieu up. "They carried me down three flights of stairs and outside to the sidewalk where they dropped me on the ground and left me there", says Mr. DuBourdieu. He was assisted to the hospital by a friend,where he was treated for his injuries, including torn cartilage and ligaments in his knee. There is a strong likelihood he will need surgeryto repair the damage to his leg caused by the repeated kicks. "
The shelter system has been in crisis for a long time and sending in untrained managers to work in shelters does not help matters. Shelters are overcrowded, have insufficient food and are infested with mice and bedbugs" says Gaetan Heroux from the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty.
"The shelter system desperately needs more funding and more beds, especially now when we expect an increase in homelessness."
"We call on the City of Toronto to apologize to Mr. DuBourdieu, return his missing property, make restitution towards him, lift the ban against him at Seaton House, and ensure that nothing like this ever happens again. We also demand that the police lay charges against the managers involved in the assault", said Heroux.
Press Conference Speakers: Brian DuBourdieu
Gaetan Heroux, OCAP
Mike Leitold, Lawyer
For more information call OCAP - 416-925-6939
Visit ocap.ca to read our statement of support of CUPE