Second Recovery Site for People Experiencing Homelessness Set to Open

The most important part of our COVID-19 response is taking care of our most vulnerable. To help keep everyone accessing the City’s shelter system safe, we are opening an additional, second location for our dedicated COVID-19 recovery program for people experiencing homelessness.

The first of its kind in Ontario, the City’s recovery program is a unique model of care that we’ve developed in partnership with healthcare partners and community organizations. It’s a way for people without housing to recover from COVID-19 with dignity, privacy, and support. 

Our first recovery site, which opened earlier this month, provides safe hotel accomodation for up to 200 individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 but do not require hospital care. This accommodation is paired with food and other necessities, along with access to 24/7 medical care, harm reduction services, and peer-support workers. Through the program, clients are able to self-isolate and safely recover from their symptoms. 

Based on the success of the first recovery program site, and on direct feedback from people with lived experience of homelessness and community organizations, the City has secured another hotel for the program’s second location. The second recovery program site is scheduled to open this Friday, and has capacity for 250 clients. 

The site is pet-friendly and can accomodate families. Once a client has recovered from the virus, the team will provide referrals to housing options and additional supports. 

This innovative recovery program is made possible through the City’s partnership with the University Health Network, Inner City Health Associates, and community organizations including Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre, South Riverdale Community Health Centre, the Neighbourhood Group, and Sound Times. Doctors Without Borders is also providing expertise on project co-ordination and logistics.

Everyone should have access to shelter, care and supports — not just during a pandemic, but all the time. Our health as a city and community depends on how we treat our most vulnerable. Going forward, we need to implement housing solutions that put people’s health first.