Fred Victor has two emergency shelters that are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Both offer short-term beds for homeless and low-income people when all other housing options fail.
But our shelters are more than just a place to sleep – they are portals for information and support related to health care, information and referral, housing access and advocacy. They offer necessities such as laundry facilities and hygiene supplies to all who come through their doors.
Bethlehem United Shelter
This 70-bed wheelchair accessible shelter at Caledonia Road and Lawrence Avenue is open to singles, couples and Trans folk. This shelter is a joint project between Fred Victor, Bethlehem United Church (Apostolic) and the City of Toronto.
While at the shelter, residents have the opportunity to meet with staff to draw up a plan of action so they can move forward. Case managers work one-on-one to help people fill in the necessary paperwork and forms in order to have access to healthcare, housing, employment and income supports.
It is the only shelter in Toronto that allows pets to accompany their owners. Pet-friendly homeless shelters are still in high demand in Toronto and very often a pet is a barrier for many people needing to find shelter or accessing services. But the truth is, homeless people will choose to sleep on the streets with their pets, over a shelter without them. Luckily, residents of Fred Victor Bethlehem United Shelter don't have to make that choice.
These animals are often their only source of companionship, and the only vehicle through which they experience unconditional love and no judgment. Watch this great video to see more:
This 44-bed emergency shelter on Lombard Street is specifically for women, including transsexual women and men. Our staff is trained to offer the necessary support to the diverse women who find themselves without a safe place to sleep off the street.
Some of the women are escaping violence at home or in their home country. For example, some refugee women come directly to our Women’s Hostel from Pearson International Airport. Others have been discharged from hospital or jail or another institution and find their way to the Hostel. All of the women are experiencing profound need and often arrive with only what they can carry to the door.
This long-standing and successful Fred Victor housing access program helps people staying in both of our shelters find permanent and affordable housing. As many as 150 shelter residents a year move on to better living situations, some of these having found permanent, stable housing through Hostel Redirect.