Location: 556 Sherbourne Street
Client group: Male and male identified adults
Number of Beds: Up to 36 people
Expected Opening: February 22, 2021
Operator: St. Simon’s Shelter Inc.
As part of the City’s response to COVID-19 and the need for physical distancing in the shelter system, 556 Sherbourne Street has been leased by the City of Toronto for use as a temporary emergency shelter. The new shelter will also provide additional space to support people living outside who are looking to come indoors and will welcome residents from the shelter at 525 Bloor Street East in June 2021 as part of its closure plan.
556 Sherbourne Street is one of more than 40 additional sites in 13 different wards opened across the city as part of the City’s COVID-19 response, of which more than 25 are currently active. The shelter at 556 Sherbourne Street will open in February 2021 and remain operational until February 2022, with the potential for extension up to an additional year. The service will be operated by St. Simon’s Shelter Inc.
Learn more about the City’s plan for services for those experiencing homelessness during COVID-19 here: www.toronto.ca/PhysicalDistancingShelters.
The City is hosting an online/telephone information session from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. We hope you will join us to learn more about this program.
To join the information session, please see the information below:
By computer or tablet: The link to the online session will be posted on March 2, 2021.
By phone: 416-915-6530; Access code: 177 715 0524
We encourage participants to log into the information session 10 minutes before it is scheduled to begin. For people who require accessibility-related accommodation to participate, using adaptive technologies may work best with the telephone. Panelists will be describing content on the slides during the presentation. A YouTube recording of the information session will be available after the session and shared on this webpage. The City uses an online tool WebEx to support virtual public meetings, consultations and other engagement activities.
The City has contracted management and provision of service at St. Simon’s Clubbe House to St. Simon’s Shelter Inc.
St. Simon’s Shelter has a rich history as the first “Out of the Cold Shelter” in the City of Toronto providing emergency overnight accommodation for homeless males since 1990.
With financial support provided by the City of Toronto, the shelter commenced full-time, year-round operations in 2000 and is now a multi-service agency providing emergency shelter and programming support services for the most vulnerable, marginalized and at-risk members of our community today.
St. Simon’s has a long-standing relationship in the neighbourhood as the operator of a shelter at 525 Bloor Street East for the last 20 years. The service at 525 Bloor Street East is not able to occupy its current facility beyond May 2021, so a new location is required. There are currently 18 residents at the Bloor Street East shelter (down from 65 due to physical distancing measures).
Opening a new temporary shelter at 556 Sherbourne Street in advance of 525 Bloor Street East closing will provide additional spaces during the winter months and ensure there is space to accommodate the 18 residents from 525 Bloor Street East while the City looks for a new permanent home for the Bloor Street East shelter.
The St. Simon’s new site at 556 Sherbourne Street will provide emergency shelter for up to 36 adults who identify as male.
The service at 556 Sherbourne Street will be staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and will provide wrap-around support for residents, including:
Physical, social and health supports from individuals and organizations serving those living in encampments who move to the shelter, will be invited to continue their work at 556 Sherbourne Street.
Safety and security are a priority for the City, and ongoing safety planning will be a key component of the community engagement process.
St. Simon’s brings management practices that have proven successful at its other location. All St. Simon’s staff are trained to respond to immediate non-police and non-EMS related matters. This includes training in de-escalation, conflict resolution and crisis prevention, intervention and management.
St. Simon’s is working closely with Toronto Police Services, Shelter, Support and Housing Administration and Corporate Security at the City of Toronto to develop community safety measures for the location. This includes onsite security guards and surveillance cameras. A Community Safety Team will also conduct 12-hour patrols, 7 days a week, in the area around the property to respond to non-emergency concerns and pick up drug paraphernalia. St. Simon’s staff and residents have a long standing tradition of neighbourhood improvement activities, such as community clean-ups, which will continue at the St. Simon’s Clubbe House location.
The City has hired a community engagement team who will be sharing information about St Simon’s Clubbe House and gathering input from the community about any potential concerns. Because of physical distancing restrictions, engagement events will be online and over the phone rather than in person. The Community Engagement Facilitator for St. Simon’s Clubbe House is Jane Farrow of the Department of Words & Deeds.
There are several ways for the community to get engaged, share feedback, and/or ask questions: