Bethlehem United Shelter

Q: What’s this about pets in shelters?

resident with his dogSeveral years ago, Fred Victor and Street Health presented a photo-journal study at a national conference on homelessness in Toronto on the role pets play in the lives of people living on the street.  They called the study, Paws for Thought.  We found out how important it was for people to stay connected to their four-legged friends when everything else seemed to have been taken away from them.

So, when, Fred Victor got involved in opening a new shelter in northwest Toronto (Caledonia and Lawrence), everyone agreed that pets should be welcomed into the shelter with their owners.  It is the only pet-friendly shelter in Toronto.  By creating this unprecedented access, Fred Victor has kept close to its mandate of meeting the needs of people who would otherwise spend a night on the street.

Bethlehem United Shelter is a joint project of Fred Victor, Bethlehem United Church (Apostolic) and the City of Toronto.  It is spacious, wheelchair accessible and maintains 60 beds for women, men, transgendered people, couples and dogs or cats.

Hostel Redirect Program
The Hostel Redirect Program (HRD), is a long-standing and successful Fred Victor housing access program that helps residents of Fred Victor’s Bethlehem United Shelter and Fred Victor Women's Hostel who wish to find permanent housing.

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