Wednesday June 15, 2016 I had the chance to cover an event at City Hall, with OCAP in support of Laurie Bardeau and her family. Laurie is a single mom of two wonderful boys and lives and looks after her family on disability here in Toronto. In the early part of this year her home was infested with bed bugs and over the next short period of time she had to get rid of all her furniture. She lost three beds, tables, shelves and everything we all almost take for granted. Being in her position replacing it all is no easy task. For these very things there is a fund called the HSF, the Housing Stabilization Fund. Previously a provincially run fund it was downloaded to the city to run a couple of years ago. It is a fund meant to cover just such cases and situations. Unfortunately it’s actual policies and regulations have been up to this point secret. Up until now there has been no method of appeal or any explanation for why claimants have been denied. Laurie was told her income was too much to claim this benefit and originally offered her $200. After much discussion they finally replaced the 3 beds but nothing else. Laurie spoke about her sons losing all their stuff and wondering why they had to eat dinner on the 3 beds. The city finally offered her $1100. but what she is entitled to is $1500. After meeting outside this group took to the city offices where they were met by Councillor James Pasternak and a representative for Mayor John Tory.After a closed door meeting the parties emerged smiling. A victory of sorts.Yogi Archarya held a request under the freedom of information act to make the HSF policy public information. Laurie’s case is still open and pending and the feeling is she will get what she deserves, Councillor Pasternak promised that the actual HSF policies will become public and given to OCAP tomorrow, and as for the boys they will always remember the day that their Mom stood up and took the fight to City Hall. It is awesome to see people like John Clarke and Yogi Archarya, OCAP Organizer and all the other wonderful supporters keep showing up and standing up for what is right! And yes Yogi you deserved this smile! Special thanks to Laurie Bardeau for standing up, not just for herself but for everyone else in a similar situation!