The carpenter behind Toronto's tiny shelters has put out a video statement after the city announced plans to legally prevent him from making more.
Khaleel Seivwright said the city should drop the legal proceedings and use its time and resources to help Toronto's homeless population instead.
Seivwright has been building the structures since November 2020, and the city has been telling him to stop since then as well.
In his video statement, which was posted on Monday afternoon, he says his shelters are essential for people who fall through the cracks of Toronto's response to helping the homeless community.
"People who rely on the shelter system no longer trust it — the city's reputation is terrible when it comes to providing safe and available shelters," he says.
"We need to work together to support our vulnerable residents."
In a press release issued on Friday, February 19, the City of Toronto said they were going to court to stop Seivwright from building more "unsafe wooden structures" and putting them on city land.
The city said that the shelters are safety risks, and it pointed to the fact that Toronto has already responded to 27 encampment fires in 2021.
But Seivwright says that his tiny shelters — which come equipped with a smoke alarm, carbon monoxide alarm, and fire extinguisher — are needed to keep people alive during the winter.
"The shelter system has left many people with no options. With winter approaching, I knew that without shelter, people would die as they do in Toronto, every year," Seivwright says in his video.
"I hope there will be a day that the tiny shelters are no longer needed, but that day has not yet come," he says.