Community Liaison Committee Runnymede Minutes: August 31, 2016
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Location: David Appleton Community Centre
Adam Cygler, Deane O’Leary, Gabrielle Gillespie, Heather Rollwagen, Hollie Pollard, Jonathan Berges, Miriam Hawkins, Marla Powers, Stephanie Wilson Virginia Presseault
Babur Mawladin (Jane Alliance Neighbourhood Services), Jeff Attenborough (Toronto Police Division #11), Scott Weinmark (Toronto Police Division #12)Sandra Almeida (Four Villages Community Health Centre), Noel Simpson (Regeneration Community Services)
Councillor Nunziata; Jennifer Cicchelli, Councillor Doucette, Gregory Denton
Costanza Allevato (Social Development, Finance and Administration (SDFA) and Meeting Chair), Tracy Campbell (Shelter Support and Housing Administration (SSHA), Melody Brown (SDFA), Nicole Williams
Jim Faught (Lura), Niki Angelis (Lura)
David Fitzpatrick, Alicia Freeborn, Samantha Martin, Siobhan Kelly
1. Welcome & Introduction
- Jim Faught opened up the meeting to welcome the group followed by a round of introductions.
- The purpose of today’s meeting is to seek the CLC’s input on programs and services that should be offered at the shelter
2. Minutes & Business Arising
- Add date of next meeting in the meeting minutes.
Exterior Building Rendering
- As a follow up to the previous meeting, Steve Hilditch prepared an exterior rendering of the shelter as an example of what could be possible at the site. The model shows the existing mass of the building with some changes to it.
- Suggested that a Runnymede frontage suits itself to having a public presence.
- Along the side street, fenced enclosure with green space to give it a more residential feel.
- Provide a space that could be used for clients with pets.
- The colour has been altered to show more neutral tones with added greenery.
- Community space frontage on Runnymede.
- Back lane side: proposed to have fencing off asphalt area turning it into a fenced space with plantings
- Q: Are the skylights shown existing or proposed?
A: The skylights are proposed as a good way to bring light into the space where building codes restrict windows.
Q: What will the colour be?
A: Subject to discussion, We have chosen a neutral colour for the rendering
August 31 final presentation (PowerPoint)
- Melody Brown (SDFA) opened up the presentation with a reminder that the purpose of today’s meeting was to discuss the types of services and programs required at the shelter first. The local neighbourhood planning table will identify gaps in programs services needed from the broader community. Tracy Campbell shared her personal experience with services in shelters and noted that shelters develop programs to meet the needs of their diverse clients, so each shelter program has unique programming. Above all; we must keep clients at the centre of our planning and balance the services clients can access in the centre with those services they can access in the community. One of the key goals of service provision is to help clients reintegrate back into the community
- The following information is summarized from Seaton House client consultations. These conversations were conducted prior to the selection of the Runnymede Shelter site.
- Further context: Seaton house is unlike any shelter in the City. It holds upwards of 500 beds (upwards of 600 with flex beds). This shelter offers dorm style living with limited privacy.
- Preferred shelter design – smaller shelter with smaller shared accommodation, more washrooms and larger elevators, enhanced security, dedicated quiet/computer space, specialized programs , separation of programs to specialize/cater to specific groups
- Q: What are the pros and cons of the specialized model?
- A: Benefit to having people with like needs together. General support and targeted services, however we need both (specialized and emergency) so people can choose services that work best for them.
- Services which are important in the shelter and services which are important in the vicinity of the shelter were outlined.
- Services in the shelter: health and mental health, housing help and recreational.
- Health & Mental health – partner with an agency, health care provider who comes into the facility to provide service. Need to have a balance with inside and outside support/services. Priority is to keep connections that clients may have had before coming into shelter. Ideally we would like to have services which are able to move with clients once they are housed, this helps support them in housing makes it less likely for them to re-entre the shelter system.
- Q: Would they book appointment times?
- A: Typically yes, however differs at each location.
- Q: Is medication distributed in a shelter?
- A: Typically, people come in with their own medication and continue to manage it themselves. Some facilities have rules about narcotics. Medication management policies at shelters, varies from shelter to shelter. We can recommend medication management program.
- Q: Lockers and security – how do you prevent other people from entering rooms/ locker areas?
- A: This depends from place to place. We can make recommendations on what we would like to see in these locker areas. Example some shelters provide keys to client’s rooms, and people have secure lockers in their rooms.
- Housing Supports – case plan and assessments are the primary function of the case management staff. Housing/Case worker assists clients in identifying barriers to housing and accessing housing suitable to their needs. Follow up support is limited once people leave the shelter; but if we see they need ongoing support, we will connect them with agencies who can help them (prevent people from “falling through the cracks”). Connect with long term case management agencies in the community where they are housed.
- Recreational – done by front-line client service workers (CSWs), they work with clients to develop programs (movie, bingo, trips – but not typically something outside agencies come in to provide)
- Q: Is staffing adequate; should it be a priority to have more staff on site?
- A: Typically, the number of CSWs is reasonable.
- Q: Would priority be given to homeless in this community?
- A: No way to know where someone is coming from (unless they disclose). People access the shelter system in a variety of ways; call or walk in, sometimes people are brought in. Admissions are not typically based on where clients come from geographically, but on bed availability. That is not to say that people cannot state a shelter or location preference. If there is a bed available at the location they identify, they will most likely get it. People can call central intake and request a certain geographical area but if not available will be sent somewhere else where a bed is available. It is built into new shelter standards that client preference is factored in.
- Q: Why is addiction support not on the list?
- A: These were the top 3 from the consultations taken with this particular group.
- Services near a facility – coffee shops, libraries, public transit, recreation/drop-in centres.
- Tracy outlined a number of programs and services in the area available to support the shelter and clients and included possible space requirements for each service within shelter.
- Colour coded packages were provided to tables – services we are in touch with, services, details, open times, and a map with services.
- Costanza advised that there would be meetings soon with agency staff from health and mental health group, Public Health, Toronto Central LHIN and City.
- Q: Are there hours of operation for the shelter?
- A: This shelter will be opened 24/7, people do not have to leave during the day but there is a curfew. Encourage before midnight, but range of different times. No curfew established for this shelter yet.
- Q: In the shelter, do clients receive a stipend?
- A: Everyone can apply for basic needs allowance from Ontario works.
4. Small Group Discussion
- CLC members were asked to discuss what types of programs and services they would like to see offered at the shelter and gaps in service
- Table 1 Feedback:
- Referrals to mental health and addiction services
- Closer distance to accessing services (some of the supports are far away) so increase frequency of in-shelter visits
- Housing services
- Employment services
- Access to legal services (whether legal aid or in-shelter visits)
- Drop-in services
- ID clinics
- Barber/hygiene services – barber services would be free to clients but at a cost for residents
- Exercise space
- Flexible space
- Lending library
- Quiet space
- Multi use
- Dedicated prayer space
- Internet access and access to computer
- Accessible kitchen for community use and training
- Gaps: quiet room, computer room, flexible use of space so there are lots of options and services available to pets
- Table 2 Feedback:
- Makers space for all (community, and clients) to develop skills
- Counselling services come into shelter
- Cleaner, livelier space
- Life skills programs
- ID clinic
- Therapy sessions traditional or indirect through group games or activities (like card games)
- Wi-Fi throughout
- Gym/weight room
- Two TV lounge areas to accommodate different interests
- Computer room
- Table 3 Feedback:
- Legal, financial, and ID services that would also be open to the community
- Indoor gym equipment/activity space.
- Financial services space onsite
- Lack of addiction services in area. AA/NA meetings proposed for the area (good for community and shelter)
- Partnership with a local vet for pets on site.
- Gaps in addiction services. Already good services for new comers and seniors in the area, the shelter could be a niche shelter. No prayer space for Muslims – this service may or may not be accommodated by the local places of faith.
- Councilor Nunziata advised the group that she has been in talks with Toronto LHIN who confirmed that they would fund a coordinator for this site.
- Not essential for the group to come to consensus on the number of homeless men to be accommodated at the shelter. A range of occupancy levels was provided at the last meeting.
- Agreed to prioritize the list of shelter programs and services at next meeting
5. NEXT MEETING is Wednesday September 7, 2016at David Appleton Community Centre, 7 to 9 p.m.
Meeting adjourned at 9:15 p.m.