picture of 2035 Kennedy Rd.
2035 Kennedy Rd. Temporary Shelter

Location: 2035 Kennedy Rd.
Shelter residents: Adults of all genders
Opened: May 2020

Service operator: Homes First Society

 

The City of Toronto secured 2035 Kennedy Road through a Request for Proposal to provide additional capacity in the shelter system, by using hotel spaces as needed, until August 2024. The shelter, which is operated by Homes First Society, has been used as part of the City’s COVID-19 response since May 2020. To learn more about the City’s temporary shelter sites, visit: toronto.ca/PhysicalDistancingShelters.

Community Report Back Session

Thank you to everyone who participated in and watched the 2035 Kennedy Report Back Session on October 6, 2022.

People experiencing homelessness who access emergency shelter have a range of different support needs. The shelter program at 2035 Kennedy Road is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and provides meals, laundry and wrap-around support for shelter residents, including:

  • counsellors/case managers who work with clients to develop permanent housing plans
  • nursing, as well as mental health and addictions counselling
  • access to health supports through a partnership with Inner City Health Associates
  • harm reduction, including the SHOPP program (details below)
  • assessments and referrals to other community services, as needed
  • training programs (e.g. skills-based employment training, financial literacy)
  • recreational programming (e.g. movie nights, yoga, virtual group events)
  • supports for youth to re-establish connections with family

The Shelter Hotel Overdose Prevention Project (SHOPP) is active at 2035 Kennedy Road. SHOPP is a community designed response to the opioid crisis, where people with lived experience of homelessness and who have experience with drug use provide support to shelter residents. People at risk of overdose can use their drugs in front of, and with the support of, a SHOPP peer worker who is trained in overdose prevention and response measures like administering Naloxone, oxygen and CPR, and who can call emergency services if needed.

Learn more about the City’s Integrated Prevention & Harm Reduction Initiative in the shelter system and about overdoses in homelessness service settings.

The City’s engagement process focuses on facilitating active discussions between shelter operators, elected officials and the community on how best to support the success of the shelter in the neighbourhood. To this end, third-party Community Engagement Facilitators, Maria Crawford and Violetta Ilkiw, of Barnes Management Group, have been hired to help with the engagement process. A number of initiatives are currently underway or being planned to ensure community members are kept informed of the services and support at the site, including:

  • meetings with key stakeholders and interested residents
  • a community safety walk
  • a community feedback session to be held in September to update the community on engagement activities and to share what was heard during stakeholder meetings
  • the establishment a Community Liaison Committee
  • regular monitoring and response to questions or comments received from the community via email

Barnes Management Group is leading the above-mentioned engagement activities and supporting the operator, Homes First Society, in their engagement with the community.

Previously, the shelter operators conducted community outreach and engagement, including the following:

  • Meeting with neighbouring condo buildings and businesses to connect, introduce themselves and provide contact details if anyone had any questions or concerns
  • Liaising with Community Safety Teams on their engagement with shelter residents off property and supporting the teams to address safety concerns
  • Participating in Safety Walks with Toronto Police Services 42 Division and Metrogate community members
  • Participating in several online information sessions and safety talks in collaboration with the Community Safety Team and Toronto Police Services 42 Division
  • Engaging as panelists in town hall meetings with Ward 22 and the larger Agincourt and Metrogate community
  • Attending ongoing and regular meetings with the Metrogate community, Resident Association representatives, Toronto Police Services 42 Division and Community Safety Teams
  • Working with shelter residents to conduct community clean-up days multiple times per week
  • Responding to inquiries and community concerns via email, phone, zoom, etc.

Safety and security is a priority for the City and staff are working to ensure the temporary shelter program at 2035 Kennedy Road is a good neighbour.

Homes First is working closely with Toronto Police, Shelter, Support and Housing Administration, and Corporate Security at the City of Toronto to provide a number of community safety measures. All staff are trained on de-escalation, conflict resolution and crisis prevention, intervention and management. Community members are encouraged to voice and report their concerns so that the appropriate contact can respond.  See the “Who to Contact” tab for contact information.

The site has 10 contracted security guards to help ensure safety and security at the site. Security guards patrol the property, including the interior, exterior and the connected parking structure. There are security cameras on the main floor, including the reception area and in the elevators. Externally, cameras are placed around entrance points.

A Community Safety Team patrols the area 24 hours a day. Wearing yellow vests, they engage with shelter residents and members of the community off property and address safety concerns, such as discarded needles. Community members are encouraged to reach out to them using the contact information in the “Who to Contact” tab if there is a safety issue in their community they feel needs to be addressed. In May 2022, the City added a second team that conducts patrols between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. seven days a week.

For site inquiries and general concerns at 2035 Kennedy Road:

  • Homes First Society: 647-455-0334

Community Safety Team: One Community Solutions

  • Telephone (24/7): 416-389-6807, 647-688-8927 or Park Patrol (9am-9pm) 416-333-8917
  • Email: securedbyus@gmail.com

Central Intake: 416-397-5637

  • Telephone support to individuals seeking access to emergency shelter.

For general inquiries related to homelessness:

3-1-1

  • To request help for individuals experiencing homelessness who are living outside and may need support. Should also be used to report concerns regarding litter, illegal dumping, street and sidewalk sweeping, litter collection and broken or overflowing garbage bins.

Toronto Police Non-Emergency: 416-808-2222 | 416-467-0493 (TTY)

  • Report crimes where no person is in immediate danger (e.g. theft, vandalism, fraud).

Toronto Police Online Reporting:

  • Residents can file an online report direct to Toronto Police for instances that include damage to property, damage to vehicles, graffiti, fraud and theft at tps.ca/services/online-reporting/

To discuss community engagement and community concerns related to the shelter: