Charity releases hidden camera video of homeless shelter hoax in Leaside
Chris Herhalt, CP24.com
Published Monday, October 12, 2015 10:50AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, October 12, 2015 2:40PM EDT
A local charity has released a hidden camera video documenting Leaside residents’ reaction after it suggested a homeless shelter would open in the neighbourhood.
On Oct. 2, a sign appeared on a vacant building in Leaside telling neighbours the “Jefferson Homeless Shelter” would open at the property soon, providing 62 beds and meals to those in need.
Using actors to re-create actual telephone messages left by residents, it appears many were less than impressed after hearing the news.
“I see that you’re putting up a shelter in my neighbourhood, I’m quite distressed by this,” one caller said.
“How did you possibly, possibly get the permission to ruin a neighbourhood by putting a homeless shelter right here,” another asks.
“I don’t know what this will do to the real estate value, I’m a very tolerant person but this is just really going over the edge,” another says.”
The footage shows people with their faces blurred, approaching the wood planks shielding the storefront, taking out paper notices and reading them.
Later, the sign was taken down to reveal another sign, which exposed the shelter as a hoax.
“What would happen if we were this passionate about ending homelessness,” the video asks.
Carolann Barr, executive director of Raising the Roof, the organization behind the hidden camera stunt, told CP24 last week the hoax was meant to get a conversation going about the reflexive “not in my backyard” attitude many Canadians take when it comes to housing the homeless.
She said it was not attended to attack anyone personally.
The city councillor for the area, Jon Burnside, said the hoax was creative, but did nothing to materially impact homelessness.