We are requesting your support for a cause. The 519 is proposing changes to their Sunday Drop-In, a program that for nearly 40 years has served local people living in poverty. The proposed changes will displace many of the existing drop-in participants.
We have started a petition against the changes that outlines the proposals and potential negative impacts:
Three key issues with the proposed changes and the planning process demand attention.
Firstly, the proposed drop-in changes would result in a cut to drop-in hours and make it difficult for participants to receive lunch – they would need to join a program group that was not designed for them in order to get a lunch.
Secondly, while the changes are intended to assist LGBTQ people in poverty, it is not apparent that the 519 properly assessed whether a drop-in explicitly labeled for LGBTQ people and Allies is the best way to serve LGBTQ people in poverty. Many argue against it. One former drop-in worker has explained that having a drop-in at the 519 open to anyone potentially encourages more Allies among homeless populations. Yet another former worker has stated that some LGBTQ homeless youth like attending a drop-in where they can speak with staff who identify as gay, but where they do not have to out themselves as gay. These debates should be taking place, but aren’t happening.
Thirdly, the changes to the Sunday Drop-In are only symptoms of a much larger issue of gentrification at the 519 and in the gay community that is very concerning.
Friends of the 519 Sunday Drop-In