The City of Toronto has officially released their new Shelter Design and Technical Guidelines
this past week. The 277 page document that we authored for them was substantially complete a year ago. Over the last year we updated it to include initial guidance on measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a living document intended to offer best practices in the design of shelters for people in Toronto experiencing homelessness, (which has been accelerated by the pandemic), we will updating the document on at least an annual basis moving forward.
Journey Home Hospice, a new care facility for people who are homeless and facing the end of their life, first opened its doors in April 2018 with Phase 1 of their hospice. We’ve just completed Phase 2 of the hospice, which provides inclusive high-quality care to some of the city's most vulnerable people. Journey Home Hospice is a partnership involving three health organizations: Saint Elizabeth Foundation, Inner City Health Associates and Hospice Toronto.
On March 6th, Raising the Roof held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the second affordable housing project that we have completed with them under their new Reside
program which aims to prevent homelessness by creating new housing options for people at risk of or currently experiencing homelessness. Working with BuildingUp
, Reside creates training and employment opportunities for individuals facing barriers to employment in the trades while renovating each home. BuildingUp worked with Endeavour school to train BuildingUp participants in environmentally sound renovation practices to create ecologically sustainable renovations.
The Cedar Mains project took the decrepit 1857-1858 Shiloh Wesleyan Methodist church building on the site, vacant for 13 years, and repurposes it for new housing for use by their new tenant, Caledon Area Families for Inclusion (CAFFI), which seeks to serve the affordable housing needs for adults with developmental disabilities.
On Friday June 21st, YouthLink celebrated the opening of their new shelter for youth experiencing homelessness. The shelter, for people 16 years to 24 years old, contains 10 emergency and 41 long-term beds, including rooms for couples. It is Toronto’s only youth shelter with a dog kennel with space for at least six dogs, and with the opportunity for dogs to share the same room as their owner.
YouthLink opened their emergency shelter for youth this past week as the first part of a two stage opening that will see their transitional youth shelter open next month. The location is within a former warehouse that we converted to YouthLink’s offices 15 years ago, including the creation of a courtyard oasis in the centre of the building, which is surrounded by a low-rise, car-dominated suburban setting.
We’ve been retained by the City of Toronto to develop new design and technical guidelines for shelters providing support to people who are experiencing homelessness within the city of Toronto. We are drawing upon our extensive experience in developing nearly thirty shelters to date, supplemented by a tour of twenty existing shelters within the city, and extensive engagement of the community of shelter providers and people with lived experience through focus groups, surveys and interviews. We hope this new document will help share the best practices used by existing shelter providers across the family, youth, and singles and couples sectors, including such aspects as best practices for pet-friendly shelters, gender inclusivity, culturally supportive and non-discriminatory settings.
One of our clients, Journey Home Hospice
, a new care facility for people who are homeless and facing the end of life, has officially opened its doors this week, providing inclusive high-quality care to some of the city's most vulnerable citizens. This centre of excellence for homeless palliative care will advance national best practices of care delivery. In addition to hospice palliative care, staff and volunteers will have additional training in areas such as harm reduction, mental health and addictions, and trauma-informed care.