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City of Toronto opens new shelter with partner Homes First Society

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This week, the City of Toronto opened a new shelter at 101 Placer Crt. as part of City Council direction to expand the number of permanent new shelter beds. This new facility provides critical emergency shelter and support services to people experiencing homelessness in Toronto.

The City’s newest shelter is being operated in partnership with Homes First Society, an established service provider with more than 35 years of experience. Both the City and Homes First Society are committed to the safety and security of shelter residents, staff and the broader community. The shelter has highly trained staff who are fully equipped to respond to the diverse needs of residents, including support to develop a housing plan, navigation to health supports, crisis management, trauma informed care, harm reduction and day-to-day support.

“Together, our City is working with our valued partners to fulfill our commitment to provide safe, supportive shelter for Toronto’s most vulnerable residents.” said Toronto Mayor John Tory. I am grateful for our City staff and Homes First Society who have seen this shelter through from inception to completion. I look forward to the ways they will support people experiencing homelessness and serve the community of North York,” said Tory.

While this co-ed shelter has a capacity for up to 87 beds, this number has been reduced to 51 beds to meet physical distancing requirements under the current Shelter Standards Directive. In addition to beds, there is dedicated space for primary care, health care and community space for programming, events, community partnerships, workshops and volunteer engagement. In alignment with the City’s Shelter Design and Technical Guidelines launched in January 2021 the site is pet-friendly, fully-accessible and features a commercial kitchen, a dining area and laundry facilities.

“Shelters play an important role in our communities, providing valuable services and support to people experiencing homelessness. Every ward in the city has a role to play in addressing our urgent housing needs,” said Councillor Shelley Carroll (Don Valley North). “Having this new shelter at 101 Placer Crt., here in Don Valley North, makes a critical difference in the lives of so many of our residents. I appreciate Mayor Tory’s leadership on this file,” said Carroll.

City of Toronto opens new shelter at 101 Placer Crt.

The City continues to prioritize infection prevention and control (IPAC) measures and access to vaccinations to protect those experiencing homelessness and keep emergency shelters operational during the pandemic. The City is working with health care partners and the Province to roll out first, second and third doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to people experiencing homelessness. As well, investments have been made to support enhanced IPAC measures and improve ventilation with higher-quality HVAC filters and portable HEPA filters. Throughout the pandemic, the City has provided personal protective equipment (PPE), as well as financial support to shelter providers for the purchase of PPE, and is currently working to strengthen protection for all front-line staff through the acquisition and fit testing of N95 masks. If an individual does test positive, the City continues to operate an isolation and recovery centre to ensure infected individuals have a place to isolate and recover. Learn more about how the City is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in the shelter system.

Before the City of Toronto renovation at 101 Placer Crt.

Three new art murals inside the shelter will be painted by Amir Akbari. Akbari is a Greater Toronto Area (GTA) based Mural Artist, Arts Educator, Community Advocate and Entrepreneur driven to create meaningful creative opportunities for young people through introspection, expression and reflection. His artwork can be found around the Toronto area.

The City works with dedicated community partners such as Homes First Society to provide person-centered, outcome-focused services that help people find and keep stable housing and improve their overall well-being. This site is part of the shelter spaces that the City provides for approximately 7,250 individuals who use the emergency shelter system each night, the largest in Canada. The City ensures that vulnerable people can access emergency shelter when they need it and are assisted in finding permanent housing as quickly as possible. From January to November 2021, the City assisted more than 3,100 people experiencing homelessness to move from the shelter system into permanent housing.

More information about 101 Placer Crt., including interior and exterior site images, can be found on the City’s Shelter Replacement & Expansion Projects page.

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