Homeless Aboriginal Man’s claims of beating at St. Mike’s in Toronto

St. Michael's Hospital torontoFollowing up on the recent Missionlog posting about the death of a homeless man in a Winnipeg hospital after 34 hours in the ER , there were news reports just last week from Toronto. A homeless First Nations person has claimed he was beaten severely by in house security staff at St. Michael’s Hospital (according to cbc.ca).  Officials dismissed the allegations as an isolated incident. But following those reports a nurse has come forward to refute the claims it was an isolated incident – providing details of a similar beating of an aboriginal visitor at the hands of security.  More details of the shocking reports are available online at  –

Aboriginal Man Alleges Beating , Racial Slurs by hospital security guards

Nurse Alleges previous incident of beating by St. Mike’s staff

In other homeless news, a study by a York University graduate student has focused on the glaring difference between government promises of funding for housing and homelessness and the lack of money actually being spent. She estimates homelessness costs Canadians $6 billion dollars each year. The results of her investigation and many other leading sociologists will be presented at the annual National Homelessness Conference this week in Calgary.

‘The federal government is throwing $7 billion at bridges and roadways, and $2 billion at housing. I’m thinking that perhaps the homeless are now going to have new bridges under which they can sleep.’

—Social work professor Jeannette Waegemakers Schiff

Check back to the Missionlog blog for more updates or visit project417.com to find ways you can help to end homelessness.

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Update on homeless death in Winnipeg ER after 34 hour wait

There’s been disturbing news this week about Brian Sinclair, 45, the homeless man who died in a Winnipeg hospital emergency room after a 34 hour wait. According to news reports from the Sun, “a video has been released that suggests the man was triaged by ER staff after entering the ER”.

Although the medical examiner for Winnipeg is conducting a full inquest which is not yet completed, this news refutes earlier claims by staff that Sinclair did not sign in to the ER, that he was simply a homeless person who came into the ER to seek shelter.

As posted here in the missionlog last September – “the man.. was discovered to have been dead several hours when ER staff finally checked on him. He was in the ER a total of 34 hours without being attended to by any hospital staff. It was another member of the public waiting who finally brought him to the attention of staff. A spokesperson for the hospital said some homeless people have made it a habit recently to seek shelter in the ER waiting room… ”  They claimed at the time, ” the double amputee  was ‘a regular’ at the emergency room.  Regional health officials say he was never registered or seen by triage nurses over the weekend until it was too late”.
As a matter of fact, one of our homeless friends here in Toronto is also a recent double amputee and he directly attributes the complications that gave rise to the infection and amputations to discrimination at the hand of Toronto health care providers over a period of more than a year. Check back to the missionlog here for more updates on the inquest into Brian Sinclair’s death.

Galveston hospital flooded by Hurricane Ike cuts 3800 staff

Flooding at UTMB after Hurricane IkeIke

Galveston, TEXAS –

[/source]

Still struggling to recover from Hurricane Ike, the battered economy of Galveston Island has suffered another severe blow with the decision by the University of Texas to lay off 3,800 people next week from the medical center, the largest employer on the island. [end of excerpt]

If you’ve been following the Project417 Hurricane Ike Relief updates here, you know we have another trip planned soon to return to Galveston County to help with the recovery efforts.  Many people have asked me, “What’s it like down there Andy?”, or have commented something like, “it’s lucky the U.S. is such a wealthy developed country, they can take care of their own after a disaster”.

Galveston University of Texas Medical Branch during the hurricane

Galveston University of Texas Medical Branch during the hurricane

I hope some of these photos from the University of Texas Medical Center at Galveston, will give you some perspective on the scope of the hurricane damage in Texas – specifically in Galveston County and Galveston Island.  How soon do you think Toronto General or Sick Kids would be business as normal following flooding on this scale?

How would the economy of Mississauga be affected by the lay-off of over three thousand people at Trillium or Credit Valley Hospital?

The re-building and recovery efforts in Galveston are a huge undertaking – and for the ordinary family, there is no insurance coverage to replace their homes. Often the FEMA grants available will cover only a small percentage of the costs needed to re-build a damaged or destroyed home. Then there are all the other costs like temporary housing, job loss due to business closures, replacing entire contents submerged by the flood: Fridge, stove, washer, dryer, beds, furniture, clothing, computers, A/C, TV’s and stereos – all your worldly possessions. The efforts of volunteers, to help with a multitude of tasks related to re-building, repair and renovation, are priceless, and often are the only means of less affluent families to even begin the recovery process.

We're collecting money for this Galveston County family to help rebuild their home.

We're collecting money for this Galveston County family to help rebuild their home.

So join us for the next trip, contact us here by posting a comment. Consider making a donation to cover the cost of the trip and the purchase of tools and building materials from local suppliers in Texas to be donated to the families most in need.

Support Project417, help the homeless Hurricane Ike victims, make a differenc

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Homeless Man found Dead in ER After 34 Hours Waiting

Source – healthandfitness.sympatico.msn – A homeless man who went to a Winnepeg area hospital Emergency Room was discovered to have been dead several hours when ER staff finally checked on him. He was in the ER a total of 34 hours without being attended to by any hospital staff. It was another member of the public waiting who finally brought him to the attention of staff. A spokesperson for the hospital said some homeless people have made it a habit recently to seek shelter in the ER waiting room, but that was no reason for staff not to have attended to him at some point during his stay.[end of excerpt]

Canadian Press reports “Although the 45-year-old man — who CTV Winnipeg identified as a double amputee named Brian Sinclair — was “a regular” at the emergency room, regional health officials say he was never registered or seen by triage nurses over the weekend until it was too late.

We have said for many years that the homeless have difficulties when seeking hospital treatment and that many hospital staff refuse to deal with them, or belittle them when listening to complaints. As a matter of fact, one of our homeless friends here in Toronto is also a recent double amputee and he directly attributes the complications that gave rise to the infection and amputations to discrimination at the hand of Toronto health care providers over a period of more than a year. But this is terrible – even if Mr. Sinclair was only seeking to come in from the cold in the ER waiting room, there must be standards in hospital ER’s for screening visitors. Even if it were to be security staff, at some point during the 34 hours, this person deserved to be at least acknowedged. Reading between the lines of the news report – it even shows the attitude of the general public towards the homeless. The man must have lost consciousness at some point prior to his death – even a sleeping person could be expected to be a cause of concern to neighbouring people sharing the waiting room. But most people’s attitude towards the homeless is to treat them as if they were invisible and shun them. It is not only India that has the “untouchable” caste. I imagine this poor man died of loneliness … in a crowded room.

Please look for updates on this post when I return from the Houston Hurricane Ike disaster relief mission in two weeks. Please post your comments on this tragedy.

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