Employment and the Single Displaced PersonPublisher: Single Displaced Persons Project, Toronto, Canada
Year Published: 1979
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX1036
A project aimed at providing single dispalced persons with work.
Abstract: The job possibilities for those single men and women living at the margins of our society (sometimes called "skid row") seem to be getting worse in Toronto. Those who are unskilled and lack family supports have difficulty in the best of times, but the current economic situation is making matters worse. This is complicated by the influx of young people and those recently released from mental insititutions into the urban core. Youth now comprise 50% of the unemployed in Canada. Another indication of the seriousness of the problem is that social services established to help those with special needs get employment are being withdrawn or redirected. The orientation is now to the more competitive worker who has lost a job because of the slow-down in the company.
In response to this reality, a meeting was sponsored by the Single Displaced Person's Project in Toronto to look at the situation, the reaction of the people involved, and potential strategies. This document is a record of that April 1979 meeting which included participants from a variety of organizations involved in direct contact with people in the core. The majority of the input at the session came from a research project staffed by Paul McKeann.
Paul discovered that some service workers felt that the situation was worse, but that they just needed to try harder. Others felt that the situation is hopeless for many and requires alternate strategies such as Community Devlopment Corporation. The residents interviewed were also mixed in their views: older men who were not working said they could get work if they really wanted to and younger people weren't looking. The participants at the meeting were in agreement that there was not sufficient work that fits the skill level of the people in this situation and that it looks as if it will get worse. The next steps seen by the group were thus to check seriously what the concrete options were, examine job creation strategies, and support each other and the residents of the core to develop ways of coping with the realities.