Charity releases video of Leaside residents reacting to new homeless shelter
Published Monday, October 12, 2015 11:34AM EDT
The charity behind the Toronto homeless shelter hoax has released the hidden camera video showing the reaction from disapproving Leaside residents.
The one minute and 36 second video, produced by Raising the Roof, an organization fighting to end homelessness, played phone calls from residents who were calling in to express their disapproval of new homeless shelter coming to the area.
On Oct. 2, residents of the affluent Toronto neighbourhood of Leaside woke up to a sign on a vacant building announcing the opening of a new homeless shelter.
Hidden cameras recording near the shelter and phone calls to the organization captured the community’s reaction to the news.
“I just got a notice about the shelter in my neighbourhood and I’m quite distressed about this,” one person said.
“You’re ruining a perfect neighbourhood,” another said.
“How did you possibly, possibly get the permission to ruin a neighbourhood by putting a homeless shelter here,” another said.
The video ends with a written message urging people to be passionate about ending homelessness.
“What would happen if we were this passionate about ending homelessness?”
On Oct. 3 the sign was replaced with another one informing passersby that the announcement was an experiment and was part of a campaign to raise awareness about homelessness.
“You told us you don’t want a shelter here. Neither do we. Support us in creating long-term solutions. Let’s end homelessness,” the second sign read.
Carolann Barr, the executive director of the Raising the Roof, the charity behind the hoax, said the intention of the stunt was not to offend, but “to dispel some of the misconceptions or stereotypes that some of the general public might have about people who face homelessness.”
“There was no malicious intent,” she said. “We always welcome people’s feedback and we hope that we can help create understanding and empathy versus fear or being nervous of people who face homelessness.”
Raising the Roof is a national organization aimed at finding long-term solutions to homelessness. The group funds public education campaigns and provides support for local homelessness initiatives.
For the past six years, Raising the Roof has been collaborating with pro-bono partner Leo Burnett, an advertising firm that came up with the concept for Friday’s stunt.