Update on City of Toronto's shelter and respite services|
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City of Toronto staff continue to actively monitor and respond to the need for homelessness services across the city. The directive to City staff and agencies providing homelessness services continues to be that services be made available to everyone who needs them.
At 7 p.m. yesterday evening, two 24/7 warming centres opened to provide additional relief for homeless individuals and their pets. The overnight warming centres, located at Metro Hall, 55 John St., and Regent Park Community Centre, 402 Shuter St., will continue operating until the current Extreme Cold Weather Alert is terminated.
Toronto Paramedic Services has dedicated resources available at both warming centres in the evenings to provide assistance to those in need.
As of 4 a.m. this morning, there were 15 individuals and one dog at the Regent Park Community Centre and 13 individuals and one cat at Metro Hall.
Winter Respite Services as of 4 a.m.
• Better Living Centre: 128 spaces used, 22 available
• Salvation Army, Church of the Epiphany and St. Mark's, 201 Cowan Ave.: 7 spaces used, 14 available
• Margaret's Housing and Community Support Services, 323 Dundas St. E.: 123 spaces used, 6 available
• Margaret's Housing and Community Support Services, 21 Park Rd.: 29 spaces used, 1 available
• St. Felix Centre, 25 Augusta Ave: 51 spaces used, 0 available
• Warden Woods, 705 Progress Ave. Unit 29: 48 spaces used, 1 available
Winter respite services provide a warm, welcoming and safe place for those experiencing homelessness. In winter 2017-2018, services are available 24/7 between November 15 and April 15. Last year, capacity of the winter respite system was approximately 160. The capacity is 410 spaces across six winter respite sites.
Additional winter respite locations
In response to ongoing demand, City staff are working to open an additional 24/7 winter respite service at the Moss Park Armoury or another suitable location.
City staff are liaising with other orders of government to determine whether the Moss Park Armoury can be made available as a 24/7 winter respite service for up to 100 beds until April 15.
Streets to Homes Assessment and Referral Centre
At 4 a.m. there were two people at the Streets to Homes Assessment and Referral Centre. This program can accommodate up to 25 people per night.
Outreach teams were on the streets overnight offering assistance and responding to concerned citizen calls; they recorded encounters with 18 people, however, only one accepted assistance. Teams checked back on people as necessary. City staff, TTC and Toronto Police Services are aware of this service and provide additional eyes on the street during extreme cold weather alerts.
An outreach team and van were at Moss Park last night when the site closed; there were about six people at the site. All were offered assistance. One individual accepted and was transported to a winter respite site.
How to help
For emergency shelter, residents should call 311. Toll free in Toronto, it is 1-877-338-3398. Youth and adults can also get a walk-in referral to shelter at the Streets to Homes Assessment and Referral Centre at 129 Peter St.
More information about services for people who are homeless is available at https://www.toronto.ca/homelesshelp.
A Backgrounder on City of Toronto homelessness services, is available at http://ow.ly/fx4o30hAur6.
Daily Shelter and overnight service usage is updated daily and available at http://ow.ly/qdYW30hBqWC.
Toronto is Canada's largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world's most livable cities. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit http://www.toronto.ca, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/TorontoComms and on Instagram at http://www.instagram.com/cityofto.