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September 22, 2000
Toronto's Improved Hostel Strategy Outlined
Community and Neighbourhood Services --- At a media briefing this morning,
Councillor Brad Duguid outlined highlights of the City of Toronto's innovative
and enhanced hostel services strategy, which was approved by Community Services
Committee on September 14.

The goal set by Toronto City Council in July 1999 to create 675 permanent new
shelter beds is well on the way to being achieved with 308 beds already in
place and a further 368 beds under development. "The addition of 308 new
permanent shelter beds in just over 12 months is an incredible achievement. But
there is still more work to be done." said Councillor Duguid. The hostel
strategy highlights additional initiatives that are under way:

· new family shelters
· new facilities for Aboriginal people
· a major renovation and service expansion of Seaton House men's hostel
· placing more emphasis on a harm reduction approach for clients struggling
with substance abuse issues
· continuing to support the Out of the Cold program that has offered winter
shelter services for more than 10 years.

A key issue in the hostel strategy is the need for more provincial support in
the area of shelters for assaulted women. The number of shelters for assaulted
women has not increased since 1992. Many are turning to City shelters that
cannot provide the safety and support that these women require. There are
approximately 300 assaulted women with their children currently in City
shelters at any given time.

Toronto is committed to developing alternative responses to help end the cycle
of homelessness, prevent more people from becoming homeless, and enhance hostel
services. "We are always looking for new sites for permanent and temporary
shelter," explained Councillor Duguid.

Shelter Capacity by Client Type

Confirmed Shelter Capacity

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