‘High and dry’: Homeless amputee case highlights lack of services, housing across GTA

From Global News

Thomas Mohr, an Oakville man who became homeless after his leg was amputated, continues living in his vehicle at an Oakville shopping plaza. It’s now been 238 days.

Mohr had been a carpenter for decades. After he lost his leg due to medical reasons, the 69-year-old claims the government has refused to cover the costs of a customized prosthetic. He has what is called a ‘bulbous stump,’ meaning the base of his limb is larger in width than his knee. Mohr’s family has been trying to raise money since to get him a prosthetic from the U.S. that costs C$80,000 so that he can return to work.

Global News’ initial story was published on June 20. Mohr said two days later, he was approached by outreach workers with Halton region accompanied by police officers to provide housing support.

When asked why officers were present, Halton police spokesperson Ryan Anderson said: “At that time officers assisted Halton Housing Help in connecting an individual with a temporary residence. The HRPS was not involved with the seizure of a truck or any other personal belongings.”

“This case is really a microcosm of so many issues we’re facing,” said Dr. Andrew Pinto, director of The Upstream Lab at St. Michael’s Hospital. “One is the ‘silo-ing’ between his health providers, the housing authorities, the social services agencies.”

Pinto said that in addition to there being a lack of cohesion among governments and social services agencies, the system has failed Mohr and so many others trying to access housing with a disability.

“We have not dedicated anything like we needed to in terms of adequate housing, particularly for people who have a disability,” he said.

“We have tremendous waitlists of years and years where people are waiting to access affordable housing.”

Halton Region told Global News that it responded once it learned of Mohr’s case.

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