Dear Shelter Provider

As you are aware, the City of Toronto is under an extreme weather warning which is expected to continue until Monday January 8th, 2018.

During these cold days it is imperative that the information in the SMIS system be as up-to-date and accurate as possible.

The information in SMIS is critical in connecting homeless people to a safe, warm space.

To assist in ensuring an effective system flow over this weekend, and for the winter period in general, SSHA has attached a Bulletin highlighting key sections of the Toronto Shelter Standards for staff to employ.

Please post this Bulletin in a conspicuous area accessible to shelter staff.

  • Clear Queues regularly, but at a minimum of 4 times per shift to ensure that referring partners are aware of potential available beds
  • Complete intakes in SMIS in real time for every client that requests support services as this allows for better management of the system and ability to ensure that requests for shelter beds are prioritized appropriately
  • Do not hold beds for clients referred to your shelter longer than 2.5 hours
  • Make vacant beds available for use as soon as practical in order to facilitate new admissions
  • Make sure clients are aware of curfew times and that they may be discharged if they miss curfew with no communication or explanation (beds must not be held after curfew unless a client’s service plan requires it)
  • Emergency shelter beds that are vacant as a result of an approved Leave with Permission should be treated as an available bed and assigned to clients seeking shelter
  • During an extreme weather alert, shelter providers will temporarily suspend all service restrictions except in circumstances where the individual poses an immediate threat or danger
  • Shelters may exceed their funded bed capacity during extreme weather alerts as per their operating agreement
  • Notify SSHA immediately of any and all planned service disruptions
  • Report serious occurrences immediately to SSHA and document in SMIS within 12 hours
  • Document incidents in SMIS using the SMIS incident reporting module as soon as possible but no later than 24 hours after the incident
  • Ensure staff are fully trained on the shelter evacuation plans in order to be able to respond to temporary emergencies without disruption of shelter services.

For more information about this Bulletin, please contact your ARO.