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A person walks past a homeless man as he rests beside tents set up in Trinity Bellwoods Park during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Sept. 21, 2020.Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press

Homeless advocates say the City of Toronto needs an urgent plan to find homes for those living in encampments before winter arrives.

Encampment Support Network volunteer Jeff Bierk says without immediate action people will die.

He says the group has been providing basic necessities such as water, food, clothes, tents and sleeping bags to those living in camps, but the cold weather presents different challenges.

The city has promised to announce details of a plan for the homeless in early October.

In the meantime, the city has moved about 4,000 people out of shelters and into hotels and temporary homes.

It has also temporarily housed hundreds more who have lived in camps, but advocates say the effort is a Band-Aid solution to a complicated problem.

The city has bought or leased more than 30 buildings since the pandemic began earlier this year, but they are scattered throughout the city with many of them far from social services.

“We’ve seen people get kicked out for curfew violations or smoking weed in their room and some who just say ‘this person is not a fit for this program’ and they’re kicked out,” Bierk said.

The group was holding a communal meal and march in downtown Toronto on Wednesday to point out vacant buildings that could be used to house the homeless.

Several shelters throughout the city have been subject to vitriol and protests from residents who complain crime has increased in those areas.

On Tuesday, two top city officials recommended a 24-month plan to address homelessness that includes 3,000 affordable rental and supportive homes. They said the funding for the plan should come from the federal and provincial governments.

Earlier in the week the federal government said it would provide $1.2 billion to cities across the country for modular homes.

But Bierk said he’s worried the money won’t come soon enough for Toronto’s homeless.

“We supported people through a heat wave by providing water and ice, but winter comes with a lot of fear,” he said.

“There are going to be people that are going to die and that’s the reality of it.”

Since the pandemic began, many people have fled Toronto’s notoriously crowded shelters for fear of catching COVID-19 and said they felt safer living outdoors.

In July, a number of people living in tents as well as homeless advocates sued the city, arguing a Toronto bylaw banning camping in city parks should be declared unconstitutional given the COVID-19 pandemic.

The group alleged the city’s threats to evict them violated their rights. The city has temporarily halted evictions in the wake of the suit.

This content appears as provided to The Globe by the originating wire service. It has not been edited by Globe staff.