Team Leads are needed for the Street Needs Assessment, a city-wide event on April 26, 2018 that combines a census of the number of homeless people in Toronto with a 23-question survey. It is performed on a single evening with volunteers who are led by experienced Team Leads. We are no longer recruiting volunteers. Anyone still wanting to sign up will be put on a waiting list.

Volunteers either survey people outside, where they are expected to walk for up to four hours regardless of the weather, or inside City-funded emergency shelters and respite programs.

Outdoors, the survey is done by volunteers covering designated areas in the city and stopping everyone they see to ask if they have a place to stay that night. Volunteers ask anyone who does not have a place to sleep to complete the survey.

Volunteers are also going into emergency shelters and respite programs on the same evening to ask people to complete the same survey.

City staff gather the actual number of people staying in all shelters that night, as well as gathering the bed count for those of no fixed address who are staying in treatment and health care facilities and correctional institutions for that same night.

For the first time, the City of Toronto’s homeless count is part of the federal government’s national coordinated point-in-time count. Results will be included in the 2018 national snapshot of homelessness. The provincial government has recently made local homeless enumeration on a bi-annual basis a requirement for municipalities in order to receive funding for homelessness services.

Where

Multiple locations indoors and outdoors within Toronto’s boundaries.

Indoors: homeless shelters and 24-hour respite programs

Outdoors: streets and other public spaces (primarily downtown)

Date & Time

Thursday April 26

Indoors: 4:30 to 11 p.m.
Outdoors: 5:30 p.m. to 12 midnight

Time Commitment

Volunteers: 6.5 hours
Team Leads: 10.5 hours, including 4 hours of pre-event training

Street Needs Assessment Volunteers

  • We are no longer recruiting volunteers. Anyone still wanting to sign up will be put on a waiting list.
  • Count and conduct a short survey of individuals experiencing homelessness either indoors or outdoors.
  • Outdoor survey involves walking for several hours, regardless of the weather
  • Indoor survey involves surveying individuals staying in a shelter or 24-hour respite program.
  • This position is ideal for friendly people who like helping.

Street Needs Assessment Team Leads

  • Manage a team of 2 to 4 volunteers surveying individuals experiencing homelessness either indoors or outdoors.
  • Outdoor survey involves walking for several hours, regardless of the weather
  • Indoor survey  involves administering a survey with individuals staying in a shelter or 24-hour respite program.
  • This position is ideal for people who have experience working with vulnerable persons or people experiencing homelessness, experience leading teams, have training in conflict resolution and experience administering surveys.

Street Needs Assessment Indigenous Team Leads

  • Manage a team of 2 to 4 volunteers surveying individuals experiencing homelessness either indoors or outdoors and promote cultural safety for Indigenous-identified people encountered during the assessment.
  • Outdoor survey involves walking for several hours, regardless of the weather
  • The indoor survey involves administering surveys with individuals staying in a shelter or 24-hour respite program.
  • This position is ideal for people who have experience working with the Indigenous community, vulnerable persons or people experiencing homelessness; experience leading teams; have training in conflict resolution and have experience administering surveys.

We are no longer recruiting volunteers. Anyone still wanting to sign up will be put on a waiting list. To check eligibility criteria and to be put on the volunteer waiting list go to volunteer registration.

To check eligibility criteria and sign up to be a team lead go to team lead registration.

If you have questions about registering for the Street Needs Assesment, please email the Street Needs Assessment Registration Team at sna@toronto.ca

Are there eligibility criteria for volunteers?

There are no special skills required. Of course, you must be respectful of everyone you encounter and you agree to keep confidential all personal information shared with you in the course of doing the surveys.

Is training provided?

Online training provides information about what you are required to do and how to do it. It covers the basics of when you need to show up, what to wear, and where to go.

In addition, there will be a brief review of the training essentials when you arrive at your Field Office on April 26. You will also always be working with, and in sight of, a Team Lead, who is a professional in the social services field with experience working with vulnerable people. You will be assigned to a team and a Team Lead on arrival at your Field Office.

What’s in it for me?

As a volunteer on this project you will gain more understanding of homelessness in Toronto; you will be helping to provide homeless people with a voice to policymakers; and you will be participating in an important initiative that gathers information that is the basis for improved services and service delivery to a vulnerable population in our city.

If you are in a situation where community service hours are important, we can provide you with the appropriate documentation.

Will I be paid?

No, volunteers are not paid.

Does this count as community service?

Absolutely. Tell your Team Lead that you need documentation.

I would like to bring my child along for the experience. Can I do this?

We are prepared to accept 17-year-old volunteers if they are accompanied at all times by a parent or guardian. We cannot accommodate those younger than 17.

Will I be safe?

Safety of volunteers, staff and clients is the top priority. Emergency Services are aware that this event is happening and Team Leads have been briefed on the safety rules. You will never be alone, whether you are participating in the outdoor or indoor surveys. Safety rules will be reviewed at the Field Office on April 26 and include the basics, such as don’t wake anyone up; don’t lose sight of your Team Lead, call 911 for serious injury or illness.

I have a disability, can you accommodate me?

Please indicate that you need an accommodation on the registration form and we will contact you. If something develops after you submit the form and on April 26 you find you require an accommodation, please call 416-338-2211.

What do you do with the results?

The results are reported to the public and to Council and provide a clearer picture of who is currently using homelessness services and to how they are using them. A stronger understanding of client needs helps to shape more responsive services and make recommendations for improvements or new types of services needed.

Thank you for your participation as a Volunteer for the 2018 Street Needs Assessment! Your participation will help collect important data on the demographics and service needs of people experiencing homelessness in Toronto.

Before the Street Needs Assessment on April 26, it is important that everyone involved has a good understanding of their roles and responsibilities. Please read through the Volunteer Training Guide as well as the 2018 Street Needs Assessment Outdoor Screening Tool and the 2018 Street Needs Assessment Outdoor Survey.

We look forward to seeing you on April 26th for the 2018 Street Needs Assessment.