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Toronto and United Way Greater Toronto partner to create COVID-19 Shelter Interim Recovery Strategy

Toronto – The City of Toronto and United Way Greater Toronto (UWGT) have partnered to develop a COVID-19 Shelter Interim Recovery Strategy. When complete, the strategy will guide City and partner agency response to homelessness over the next six- to 12-month interim recovery period. The City and UWGT have launched a new task force of key homeless sector stakeholders, and from now until June 30 will engage with community providers, Indigenous communities, heath sector partners, regional municipal partners and the public about the actions needed to shape the next phase of our COVID-19 response for the shelter system in Toronto.

Over the course of the month, the City and UWGT will host virtual meetings, conduct surveys, and lead discussions with our partners in the health, housing, and shelter sectors. The interim recovery strategy will be developed in a consultative process with stakeholders who will play a central role in implementation. Activities will focus on:

  • lessons learned from the pandemic response to date
  • continued infection prevention measures needed to protect vulnerable individuals experiencing homelessness and how to enhance system resilience
  • enhanced integration and collaboration on health care models for individuals experiencing homeless
  • shelter system capacity needs and best practices for homeless services program models that include prevention and alternatives to shelter spaces
  • leveraging opportunities to strengthen and further develop long-term solutions to end homelessness

This initiative continues UWGT’s ongoing partnership with the City of Toronto, connecting local governments with the non-profit community service sector to address the issue of homelessness. By working together, we can help the shelter system manage during the COVID-19 crisis and learn from the experience to contribute to longer term solutions. Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, UWGT has partnered with the City at 13 community coordination tables to ensure there are no gaps in essential services or emergency needs unmet. More information about the housing and shelter COVID-19 response is available on the City of Toronto City Services webpage.

“The City of Toronto’s partnership with United Way Greater Toronto to engage shelter and housing sector agencies and the Indigenous community will help inform how we can continue to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on the homeless population. It will guide the City on how to build on our innovative solutions so far, learn how we can best move forward in the next 6 to 12 months and ultimately help our most vulnerable residents over the long-term.” – Mayor John Tory


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