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Phil Brown - SHARC


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Streets to Homes Assessment and Referrals Centre PowerPoint

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Phil Brown - SHARC

  1. 1. International Partnership Conference Washington, DC Phil Brown, City of Toronto March 2011
  2. 2. Outline <ul><li>Context: homelessness in Toronto </li></ul><ul><li>Why does Toronto have a Streets to Homes Assessment and Referral Centre (SHARC)? </li></ul><ul><li>Services delivered from SHARC </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental features of SHARC </li></ul><ul><li>Staff engage with the first SHARC client on opening day, Oct. 2010 </li></ul>
  3. 3. Toronto’s homeless <ul><li>Street Needs Assessment, 2009 </li></ul><ul><li>Overall, homelessness about the same in Toronto compared to 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>Outdoor homelessness: 51% drop from 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>On April 15, 2009: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Estimated 5,086 homeless people outdoors, in shelters, health care and treatment facilities, in jail, and in VAW shelters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>78% staying in emergency shelters </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>8% sleeping outside </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Remainder in health and treatment facilities, corrections and VAW shelters </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>9 out of 10 homeless people surveyed said they wanted permanent housing </li></ul><ul><li>Fadal, formerly street-involved, now housed through Streets to Homes </li></ul>
  4. 4. Streets to Homes <ul><li>9 out of 10 homeless people want permanent housing </li></ul><ul><li>Permanent housing is the first step to helping homeless people address other challenges they may face </li></ul><ul><li>Supports and assistance in connecting to necessary programs and services after being housed is essential </li></ul>Client enjoying her new home
  5. 5. Streets to Homes <ul><li>Started in 2005; small team working to house people sleeping rough in Toronto </li></ul><ul><li>Rules of the game: agree to have rent paid directly to landlord; accept follow-up supports for at least a year; housing of client’s choice </li></ul><ul><li>Expanded in 2008 to include all those street-involved </li></ul><ul><li>Annual budget 2011: $17.3 million; 102 FTE (includes SHARC) </li></ul><ul><li>51% drop in outdoor homelessness 2009 vs 2006, direct reflection of the success of the program: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>About 3,000 people housed to end of 2010; about 80% remain in housing at 12 month mark </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Why SHARC <ul><li>Focus on downtown core </li></ul><ul><li>Those remaining outside have extremely challenging mental health and/or addiction issues </li></ul><ul><li>Identified need for dedicated facility to meet the needs of those who refuse other services </li></ul><ul><li>Need to centralize specialized services under one roof </li></ul><ul><li>Street outreach engagement tool where the need is: assists workers in their persistent, assertive and friendly approach to street-involved clients continuing to refuse service </li></ul>
  7. 7. SHARC <ul><li>Opened for business Oct. 28, 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>Converted nightclub in the city’s </li></ul><ul><li>Entertainment District </li></ul><ul><li>Controversial purchase and renovation </li></ul><ul><li>Support from local business community critical success factor </li></ul><ul><li>Since opening day to Feb. 1: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>4,668 visits to the program </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>84 unique individuals admitted to the Transition to Housing beds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>14 individuals supported to move into housing </li></ul></ul>Main floor before renovation
  8. 8. SHARC: in the heart of downtown
  9. 9. SHARC <ul><li>Five services for Toronto’s most vulnerable: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>24 hour street respite </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Walk-in housing access service </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Walk-in referral to shelters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Transition to housing beds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Local outreach services available to neighbouring businesses on demand </li></ul></ul>Main floor after renovation
  10. 10. 24-hour street respite <ul><li>Safe place to rest </li></ul><ul><li>Especially welcoming in extreme weather </li></ul><ul><li>Washrooms, showers, laundry, snacks </li></ul><ul><li>Healthcare for physical, mental health issues </li></ul><ul><li>Contact opportunity for outreach and housing caseworkers </li></ul><ul><li>Place for outreach workers to take clients </li></ul><ul><li>Street respite service can be pathway for other services at the SHARC—including housing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Critical part of engagement strategy—e.g., come in and dry a soaked sleeping bag; have a shower; get medical attention; stay in a transition to housing bed; make and follow a housing plan </li></ul></ul>Street respite area
  11. 11. Walk-in housing access service <ul><li>Daily availability of housing counsellors </li></ul><ul><li>No appointment necessary </li></ul><ul><li>Specialists in working with street-involved clients </li></ul><ul><li>Hands-on assistance to develop and achieve housing plans </li></ul><ul><li>Assessment, informal counselling, linkage and accompaniment to other needed services </li></ul><ul><li>Specialized housing services available for youth </li></ul>Working on a housing plan
  12. 12. Walk-in referral to shelters <ul><li>8 pm until 7:30 am daily </li></ul><ul><li>People can walk in for referral to a shelter bed in the system </li></ul><ul><li>Transportation assistance available to the most appropriate shelter bed available </li></ul><ul><li>Referrals also available via toll-free 24 hour line to Central Intake </li></ul><ul><li>SHARC also operates a 24-hour telephone line </li></ul>Clients get referral to shelter when they walk in for service during the night
  13. 13. Transition to housing beds <ul><li>40 beds </li></ul><ul><li>Reserved for Streets to Homes clients working on housing plans </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not part of the regular emergency shelter system </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Meets the needs of those unable to thrive in the regular shelter system </li></ul><ul><li>78% users are male </li></ul><ul><li>Most have been outside for a very long time </li></ul><ul><li>84 unique individuals admitted to this program since opening </li></ul>Client sleeping area in Transition to Beds program
  14. 14. Local outreach services <ul><li>Respond to calls from neighbourhood businesses for local street outreach </li></ul><ul><li>Provide social service response as an alternative to police interaction </li></ul><ul><li>Strong support from local business community </li></ul><ul><li>Establishing as a “good neighbour” </li></ul>Panhandler outside coffee shop in Toronto’s busy Entertainment District
  15. 15. Environmental features <ul><li>Renovated with a goal of reducing the environmental footprint </li></ul><ul><li>Result: annual energy costs expected to be about 40% of the cost to operate a comparable building </li></ul><ul><li>Estimated annual operating savings: $21,000 </li></ul><ul><li>A reduction of almost 1,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions over the 25-year theoretical life of the building </li></ul><ul><li>Equivalent of removing eight cars a year from the road </li></ul>
  16. 16. Among the green features <ul><li>Green roof </li></ul><ul><li>Living wall </li></ul><ul><li>High efficiency heat recovery system </li></ul><ul><li>High efficiency HVAC system to further reduce energy consumption </li></ul><ul><li>Upgraded solar/natural; gas boiler to heat hot water </li></ul><ul><li>Solar collectors </li></ul><ul><li>Kitchen exhaust fan control </li></ul><ul><li>Low-flow water fixtures and toilets; condensing water heater </li></ul>
  17. 17. More green features <ul><li>High efficiency lighting and motion sensors </li></ul><ul><li>Additional insulation: thermal-resistance of R-20 </li></ul><ul><li>Laminated windows </li></ul><ul><li>Drain water recovery </li></ul><ul><li>Upgraded drains </li></ul><ul><li>Water cistern: free rain water for rooftop plans, plus less run-off to sewers </li></ul><ul><li>Reclaimed and refinished hardwood on second and third floors </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><ul><li>“ City Council make a commitment to ending street homelessness by working with other orders of government, private sector landlords, such as the Greater Toronto Apartment Association, and community partners to implement an outreach-based and rent support-based Homelessness Strategy to assist homeless persons find permanent housing.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>February 2005 </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Contact me <ul><li>Phil Brown </li></ul><ul><li>General Manager </li></ul><ul><li>Shelter, Support and Housing Administration </li></ul><ul><li>City of Toronto </li></ul><ul><li>416-392-7885 </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>