Homelessness is a complex problem that demands a response from governments, service providers, service recipients and the community at large. Fred Victor’s commitment to ending homelessness is illustrated through our leadership in the ZeroTO collective impact initiative.
We also strive to support each and every person that is on a journey out of homelessness. Whether it is providing safe and affordable housing units, addressing issues around mental health and addiction, or connecting individuals and families to other support services, we are there to provide tangible solutions that lead to positive outcomes.
This is the impact we have on a day-to-day basis in the fight to end homelessness in Toronto:
It wasn’t long after Anthony lost his job that he found himself without a roof over his head. At a Fred Victor-run respite shelter, Anthony met housing worker Jobin Francis. With Jobin’s assistance, he moved into a single, furnished basement room within a few months. Anthony remarked that it felt like a huge weight was off his chest when he signed the year-long lease for his room. With a stable home base, he was able to begin looking for work again.
Vanessa had been providing her share for an apartment without realizing that her roommate wasn’t paying the rent. When they were evicted, she found a safe place to stay at Fred Victor’s Emergency Respite. That’s where she met Nicholas and his dog Fire. In May, Fred Victor housing staff found them an affordable one-bedroom apartment. Vanessa explained, “Without this respite centre, I probably would have ended up living in places that I didn’t want to be in and that would have been much, much worse.”
After leaving her abusive husband, Alma needed a job where she could make a living wage and still be available to care for her children in the evenings. She joined our Women’s Bakery program, and received the training and experience to secure a full-time job with Fred Victor’s Friends Catering team. Alma says, “The Women’s Bakery program helped me prove to myself and prove to my kids that we can stand on our own two feet and do everything for ourselves. It showed me that we are going to be alright."
In the wake of Canada’s opioid crisis, Fred Victor opened a Consumption and Treatment Services (CTS) to support community members and prevent overdoses. This full-service harm reduction site includes sterile injection supplies, education on overdose prevention, intervention health counselling and referrals to services such as drug treatment, housing and income support. An CTS staff member stated, “Whether it’s a shelter bed for the night or other health services, if they come in to the CTS, we’re here to help them."
Sarah’s battle with pain led to years of addiction and a rough life on the streets. The need to safely manage her substance use brought her to Fred Victor’s Safe Consumption Site. With the support of the caring staff, she is optimistic that she can turn her life around.
Dominique had been fighting with her mother for years. After a devastating confrontation, she had to leave home. All she had was her dog Lila. Together, they entered Fred Victor’s pet-friendly shelter to begin the long search for a place of their own.
Mona Lisa's Story
After years in an abusive relationship, Mona Lisa survived by escaping to the streets. The next 20 years were spent living in precarious situations and dealing with serious health issues. Now in her 60s, Mona Lisa is rebuilding her life at Fred Victor’s Mary Sheffield House.