Here are some key updates on what the Mayor’s Emergency Shelter Crisis Taskforce has been working on since its creation in October:
- Added 222 beds at Physical Distancing Centres through the use of bunk beds, and the opening of Heron Road Physical Distancing-Emergency Overflow Centre (PD-EOCs) are now supplying 42% of beds in the single adult shelter system.
- Rapid Rehousing Initiative:
- 75 clients from PD-EOCs were housed in November and December (to date).
- 41 clients from PD-EOC were housed through the Enhanced Housing Allowance Benefit since its launch in mid-October 2023.
- Staff have identified over 50 private market units for clients to move into in January 2024. This could result in a doubling of the number of clients housed through the Enhanced Housing Allowance for singles.
- By the end of the year, Centre 507 will be expanding its operations to 24/7, in order to ensure that people who are living unsheltered have warming options. They will provide low-barrier respite services including access to basic amenities, snacks, hygiene facilities, and social service supports.
- In addition to the work of the Taskforce, City staff have reached significant milestones in achieving our medium to long term plans:
- City took possession of 1245 Kilborn Place which will evolve into a Supportive Housing Community Hub; and
- Signed a lease for the use of 1 Corkstown Road, with 170 units, which will serve as transitional housing for families.
- By the end of the year, staff expect to have eliminated the placement list for families awaiting shelter services, down from a peak of 60 families in September 2023.
Despite the successes, the need in our community is still high and continues to grow. The single adult shelter system is serving 55% more clients now than pre-pandemic. The Task Force remains committed to finding and operationalizing medium-long term solutions, to ensure there is enough shelter space for residents to come in out of the cold, and to transition PD-EOC services out of City recreational facilities.