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Fred Victor’s response to the COVID–19 pandemic

Update: April 6, 2020

In response to COVID-19, we continue to assess and adapt our programs and services to meet our community’s needs as best – and as safely – as we can. The following are program and service updates that have been implemented as of April 6, 2020.

Visit this page often to stay up-to-date on changes to our programs and services amid this ever-evolving crisis.

  • The Drop-In program at 40 Oak St. is closed The Open House Drop –In at 145 Queen St. E. is closed to the public – but remains open for tenants only.
  • Food Services continue to operate at both 40 Oak St. and 145 Queen St. E.  Meals are packaged and distributed outside of the program areas in the courtyard or front entrance. 
  • Consumption & Treatment Services at 145 Queen St. E. continue to operate with physical distancing protocols in place – limiting the number of clients who can access areas within the site.
  • Housing and Transitional Housing Programs at 145 Queen St. E. do not allow guest entry.
  • Staff are providing levels of tenant support and check ins at our 40 Oak, Dawes Road, Mortimer and palace housing sites while adhering to physical distancing protocols.
  • Concurrent Disorders Support Services, Mental Health and Justice and staff continue to offer phone support and referral services while supporting 14 Queen food distribution and COVID screening.
  • Shelters, Women’s 24-HR Drop-In and Respite Services continue to operate on a 24-hour basis. We have worked with the City of Toronto to reduce capacity at the 1A Strachan Ave. Respite from 100 to 50 residents, allowing for increased physical distancing. 
  • The Women’s Hostel is now operating 24/7 to alleviate capacity pressure on the Women’s Drop-In program (located at 67 Adelaide St. E.) and will allow for improved ‘shelter-in-place’ options. 
  • We will be opening another floor at the Women’s 24-HR Drop-In to have a maximum of 50 clients in the program during the day and overnight. Again, this will enhance any ‘shelter-in-place’ strategies.
  • Our Community Mental Health services prioritize visits to the most vulnerable individuals in the community and provide extended virtual and face to face supports to our neighbourhoods and Fred Victor residential locations.
  • Diversion and Court Support program provides direct release planning supports for new clients from police stations, forensic hospitals, South Detention Centre and the Vanier centre.  Existing clients are either contacted directly by phone or through collateral supports.
  • Health Promotion Program group s are now on hiatus and refocused to individual supports. 
  • As a basic practice at all locations and sites, COVID-19 screening is completed for anyone entering the space.
  • We continue to follow infection prevention, screening and response guidelines as provided by Public Health officials and the City of Toronto.
  • Staff continue to engage and educate clients on the importance of preventative and containment measures in relation to COVID-19. They are also helping clients access housing, financial, and other supports that may be required as a result of the pandemic.
  • We have distributed 110 donated smart phones to people who must self-isolate and who did not have any device to connect to services and supports.

*The following measures are being implemented by the City of Toronto to respond to COVID-19 (as of April 6, 2020):

  • The City of Toronto has opened 9 temporary shelters to create additional physical distancing within the support network for homeless people.
  • There are also dedicated sites for people experiencing homelessness who need to self-isolate, are awaiting test results, or have tested positive for COVID-19.
  • The City of Toronto is exploring other opportunities for spaces that can be used for isolation and/or recovery
  • The City of Toronto has opened seven toilet and hand washing stations in the downtown core.

We remain deeply committed to helping people who are homeless in Toronto – and we are grateful for the dedication of our staff members who continue to work on the frontlines during this pandemic.

Thank you to all of our supporters for stepping up during these challenging times and making it possible for us to be there for our city’s most vulnerable. Learn how you can help at: www.helphomelessincrisis.ca