March 2020

Please ensure that this Bulletin is cascaded to all relevant staff as soon as possible, and a hard copy of this document posted in a conspicuous place for ongoing reference.

Dear Shelter Providers,

The following outlines expectations of shelter providers regarding requests for a shelter bed:

  1. Please note that due to high occupancy in the homelessness service system, Streets to Homes Assessment and Referral Centre is also experiencing significant capacity pressures.
  2. Section eight of the Toronto Shelter Standards outlines good customer service for all clients seeking a shelter bed.
  3. Please ensure that all in-person and phone requests for service are responded to as effectively and efficiently as possible.
  4. As per Shelter Standards Section 8.2 (b), all shelter providers who are not able to admit a client to their bedded program or provide the requested support services will refer the client to another shelter with space in an appropriate bedded program or to more suitable support services.
  5. This means that when you are making a referral for an individual to secure a shelter bed, you must contact that site first to ensure that there is space and the shelter is prepared to admit or provide support services to that individual. Please note that the uncertainty and fear an individual experiences when seeking shelter space can be minimized by effective and thoughtful referrals.
  6. As per Section 8.2 (i) When a shelter provider does not have a vacancy in their bedded program or other circumstances limit a shelter provider’s ability to complete a referral, the referring shelter provider will (ii) assist an in-person client to contact the Streets to Homes Assessment and Referral Centre, provide directions or transportation assistance and notify the Streets to Homes Assessment and Referral Centre of the client’s pending arrival.
  7. The role of Streets to Homes Assessment and Referral Centre is to provide respite to street involved individuals. The Referral Centre does not have beds for respite clients.
  8. Referrals to Streets to Homes Assessment and Referral Centre do not constitute a shelter referral and should only be made when all other options have been exhausted.


Toronto Shelter Standards