Community Liaison Committee Runnymede Minutes: August 17, 2016
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Meeting took place at Fort York Residence
Marla Powers, Heather Rollwagen, Rebecca Morfee, Hollie Pollard, Miriam Hawkins, Siobhan Kelly, Alicia Freeborn, Gabrielle Gillespie, David Fitzpatrick, Adam Cygler, Stephanie Wilson, Deane O’Leary, Virginia Presseault, Samantha Martin
Morris Beckford (Access Alliance Multicultural Health & Community Services), Babur Mawladin (Jane Alliance Neighbourhood Services), Jan Barr and Jeff Attenborough from Toronto Police Division #11
Councillor Nunziata, Jennifer Cicchelli, Councillor Doucette, Gregory Denton
Costanza Allevato (Social Development, Finance and Administration (SDFA) and Meeting Chair), Sandra Sierra (Minute Taker), Tracy Campbell (Shelter Support and Housing Administration (SSHA), Ubah Tahalil (SSHA), Tarik Bacchus (SSHA staff from Fort York Residence)
Sandra Almeida (Four Villages Community Health Centre), Noel Simpson (Regeneration Community Services)
|1.||Welcome and Tour
|2.||Q&A after the Tour
Q: Are there problems with the clients sleeping in the same room?A: Sometimes there are issues among clients due to personality conflicts. We try to place clients in rooms where they may be more compatible with other clients. But if a problem arises, we would have a conversation with the clients to get a sense of what the trigger might be, so we can support them better and help to resolve any conflicts. The biggest trigger for a shelter client is being interrupted while sleeping.Q: How many types of rooms do you have in this shelter?A: It varies shelter to shelter, but in Fort York Residence we have 4 types of rooms: Private units, 2 men rooms, 4 men rooms and 8 men rooms .We have one room that accommodates 2 men who are newly arrived. Once they are assessed, then they are assigned to a room.Q: Can you tell us the square footage for the rooms.A: I don’t know the exact sq. footage for each room but I can tell that for this location the rooms are within 400 sq.ft. The size of each room has to follow the Toronto Shelters StandardsQ: How do you characterize the emergency shelter and the transitional shelter in terms of daily operation?A: An emergency shelter supports people in crisis. The residents at Fort York, a transitional shelter, are at a more stable point, but most of them come from an emergency environment. This is a shelter where the clients focus on employment. With emergency shelters, the focus is more general and they address the variety of issues faced by clients. Aspects of the operation that don’t differ is the assessment that is conducted by Case Managers for every client who enters a shelter, prior to a client’s full integration to the shelter.Q: How would you design a shelter to reduce incidences? A: One of the challenges is having old buildings with too many people occupying a small space, especially when they are sleeping. At our shelter we check the case plan every day to see if there are signals for problems so we are proactive. It would be an identical process at the Runnymede shelter.Q: The men staying at this shelter, where are they coming from?
A: From several places, the largest referral comes from emergency shelters and hospitals. Those clients that have employment as their focus are referred to this shelter, but we take anyone who needs a shelter and then we develop a service/case plan with them to meet their needs.
Q: How do you chose a person for this shelter program?
A: Clients may be referred or they come on their own. Many residents in Toronto live with some mental health issue, so people using this shelter may also have mental issues or issues with addictions. We create programs to identify where they are on the employability spectrum and assist them to achieve employment, and if they are employed, we even connect with their employers to support the client at work. Not everyone in this program is successful, but staff monitor the service plan to make any adjustments as needed.
Q: What exclusions do you have?
A: It is determined in the 1st Assessment. If the client states that they cannot focus on employment related matters, then we refer them to another program. Example, if somebody is 55 years old and not sure if the employment is going to be his path, then we would refer him to another program. In another case, if the client needs support upgrading his skills or learning new ones we will support them until we can and we may refer them to outside agencies.
Q: What is the most common emergency situation in the shelters?
A: Aside from the social determinants/indicators of health, eg. Poverty, it could be a mental health episode, or challenges faced by clients as they age.
Q: If there is violent behaviour and the police get involved, where do these people go?
A: All staff are trained in de-escalation, but if there is a situation that cannot be managed, the police is called. We may refer a client to another shelter, but no one is excluded from the shelter system. As well, if there a service restriction, it gets reviewed and there is an appeal process, but there is an obligation from the shelter to secure a bed for that client.
Q: What would you recommend as helpful and positive types of services for a shelter program?
A: Services such as health services, employment services, settlement, etc.
Q: What is happening on George St? A person was recently killed at that emergency shelter.
A: [Note that the death did not occur at the shelter site.] Staff from Police Division #11: I have worked with the Police for more than 29 years and my experience is that at emergency shelters you see people with mental health issues, drug addiction and there may be petty crime such as loitering, drinking, but you don’t see major crime issues at shelters. We encourage residents to document concerns they have for one week and send the information to us. Once we receive the information, we review and a police team will go to the area more frequently for a period of time to resolve the issue. A member of the CLC stated that he works in the prison system in Ontario, and people who are getting out of prison and want to commit a crime are not interested in going to an emergency shelter. They don’t want to be in a place that is supervised and managed. They will go elsewhere.
|3.||Minutes of last meeting and business arising
||Facilitator will be attending next meeting Staff will invite reps from the Birkdale and Oakwood Vaughan CLCs to the Sept. 7th meeting.|
Several data sets were requested by CLC:
|Staff will continue to follow up with the data requests|
|5.||Establishing work groups
||Flyers to be distributed by CLC members and posted on website Costanza to follow up with the Rockcliffe-Smythe TSNS network table.|
|6.||NEXT MEETING: August 24, 2016 at David Appleton Community Centre, 7:00 to 9:00 pm.
Meeting adjourned at 9:15 pm
|Staff to invite architect Steve Hilditch from Hilditch Architects to next meeting.|