Location: 22 Metropolitan Road
Client group: All gender
Number of people: up to 75
Opening date: January 2022
Service operator: Homes First Society
22 Metropolitan Road provides rooms for residents relocated from the Strachan House at 805A Wellington St. W. as it undergoes redevelopment. Strachan House offered transitional housing and support services to people previously experiencing homelessness. 805A Wellington St. W. will be redeveloped to create new affordable and supportive rental housing following the relocation of tenants.
Please see the accordion below for more information about the operations and community engagement for 22 Metropolitan Road as well as information regarding plans at 805A Wellington St. W.
The City hosted an Online/Telephone Information Session on Monday, December 20, 2021 to share information about the program and answer community questions. Thank you to everyone who participated.
Operated by Homes First, a charitable organization, 22 Metropolitan Road is providing rooms for residents who previously stayed at Strachan House.
Homes First has been providing supportive housing and shelter services to Toronto residents for over 35 years, with a focus on the chronically homeless, people with complex mental health and addictions issues, and seniors. Homes First provides 24-hour supports such as harm reduction, crisis intervention, wellness checks, social interactions, access control, etc. There also is a dedicated team of Intensive Case Management Workers who help with income access, coordinating medical services, obtaining identification, filing taxes, and accompanying to appointments.
Homes First delivers a program that offers wrap-around supports for shelter residents that include:
Other services offered through coordination with partner agencies include primary medical care through doctor visits, nursing and personal support worker care, mental health supports, and an on-site pharmacist.
This program is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with wrap-around support for residents. All shelter programming is provided through a Housing First lens which prioritizes independent living, providing option for shelter residents who require continued supports in order to exit the shelter. Future programming is developed in response to the needs of people residing at the shelter. Community partners that support physical and mental health needs of vulnerable persons may provide services to the residents at the new location. COVID-19 precautions have impacted many recreational activities and programming throughout the shelter system. As restrictions are lifted, various recreational activities and programming may be restored, in the same way we are experiencing it in the broader community.
Toronto is seeing a substantial rise in non-fatal and fatal opioid overdoses within the overall community, as well as within the shelter system, with a notable increase during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Homes First staff are trained to work from Harm Reduction Approach and are equipped to deal with overdose response and crisis management. All Homes First staff undergo naloxone and harm reduction training.
At 22 Metropolitan Road, harm reduction supplies are readily available to shelter residents. This includes clean needles, pipes, gloves, wipes, screens, naloxone (nasal & intramuscular, condoms, etc.). Kit making will take place onsite as well.
Community safety is a priority for the City when new services open. Ongoing safety planning is a key component of the community engagement process. Homes First staff bring management practices that have proven successful and all staff are trained on de-escalation, conflict resolution, and crisis prevention, intervention and management. Homes First will work 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. The comprehensive safety plan will include 24/7 patrols in the building, cameras onsite and a community safety team to patrol the exterior perimeter.
The City has contracted a Community Safety Team to conduct 24/7 foot patrols to:
A community safety walk took place on December 30, 2022. Participants included eleven community residents, Deputy Mayor Thompson’s staff representative, third-party Community Engagement Facilitator, four Toronto Police Services representatives, three Homes First staff members, City of Toronto Corporate Security and two One Community Solutions representatives. Interested persons were invited to email the community engagement facilitator at 22MetropolitanRoad@gmail.com to sign up to participate in the walk. Community members shared that they want a strong community safety system with adequate resources put in place and a transparent system of communication on developments as they occur as they impact the community.
It is important also to remember that people using shelter services are equal residents of the city. They can move around communities and use amenities such as parks, public benches like all Toronto residents. And like all residents, shelter residents are also expected to conduct themselves according to the rules/laws and by-laws of the city. Shelter residents can attend regular shelter/program meetings where any issues with rights and responsibilities are routinely tabled.
Violent and/or criminal activity occurring in the shelter or community is not acceptable to the City. If a shelter resident is found to have acted inappropriately, aggressively, violently, or criminally, they will be held accountable for these acts, which may result in their discharge from the shelter. 911 should be called for crimes in progress or the non-emergency police number 416-808-2222 | 416-467-0493 (TTY) to report crimes where no person is in immediate danger (for example, theft, vandalism, fraud).
If residents wish to get involved in issues pertaining to community safety in their neighborhood, please connect with your local Community Crisis Response Program Community Development Officer in order to get involved/become a member at a local Safety Network near you. The program is led by the City’s Social Development and Finance Administration (SDFA) Division. You can learn more about the Community Crisis Response Program on the www.toronto.ca/ccrp web page. You can see the list of Community Development Officers at: www.toronto.ca/community-development-officers.
The City hired a third-party consultant, Joe Mihevc, to lead community engagement in relation to 22 Metropolitan Road. A community engagement plan has been developed to provide opportunities for people in the community to speak to staff and to get involved with supporting the success of the service into the community.
Community engagement activities include:
Depending on community interest, engagement may also include:
Additional information about Shelter Support & Housing Administration’s (SSHA’s) approach to working with the community is available on the welcoming new shelters web page.
Strachan House is located at the corner of Strachan and Wellington St. W., where it has been operating since 1996. Over the past 25 years Strachan House has evolved into a permanent housing solution for many of Toronto’s most vulnerable individuals. Residents of Strachan House are considered tenants.
There are plans in place to redevelop the site to build a larger housing complex, including housing for formerly homeless seniors in a dedicated wing. In light of planned redevelopment, the current tenants will be safely relocated to new locations, including 22 Metropolitan Road, in early January 2022.
The City of Toronto will continue working with Homes First on the redevelopment of 805A Wellington St. W. to create new affordable and supportive rental housing following the relocation of tenants. More information will become available in 2022 as the design of the redevelopment progresses.
The City works with non-profit, Indigenous and co-operative and private housing organizations to reach the target of approving 40,000 affordable and supportive homes by 2030 as outlined in the HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan.