Reports from homeless advocates say a man in his 50s has died following a medical incident at the Moss Park Armoury shelter.
Paramedics confirmed that one person was transported to hospital from the armoury on Sunday afternoon. He was alive at the time, but advocates say he later died. Toronto Paramedics Services have not confirmed the death.
Activist and street nurse Cathy Crowe told CityNews the man was reportedly staying in a room at the armoury with other residents and pets, where conditions were highly unsanitary. She added that he had been ill for quite some time and had gone to the emergency room by ambulance a few days before his death, but had returned to the armoury.
Crowe said witnesses told her the man had been writhing in pain, struggling in his cot and even foaming at the mouth, but no one saw staff members intervene or help. One witness even told Crowe they heard a staff member say “he’s faking it.”
Witnesses said it wasn’t until someone from the Overdose Prevention Site asked a member of the military to check on the man, that 911 was called.
Crowe said the incident has shaken many people at the armoury and has them worried they too could meet the same fate if there’s an emergency.
“People we spoke with were severely traumatized by what they had seen. Many were sobbing and upset and angry at what they witnessed which they describe as staff neglect to a man in deteriorating health leading to a health crisis and the indignities he experienced,” Crowe said in a statement.
“Many identified their own health vulnerabilities and felt insecure, wondering if they too would be neglected, not cared for in an emergency.”
Activists are also raising concerns about what they say are deplorable conditions at the armoury shelter.