All City of Toronto community centres have now been returned for community use after helping with the COVID-19 response. Today, the City of Toronto finished moving about 200 homeless residents staying in temporary sites in vacant community centres into hotels. Before any of the centres reopen for use by the community, they will undergo cleaning as per all recommended protocols.
Since mid-March, as part of a three-tier COVID-19 response focused on prevention, mitigation and recovery, the City has opened more than 30 new sites in hotels, community centres and expanded facilities for homeless clients with supports. This effort has included the reuse of vacant community centres as temporary shelter respites as a place for clients to physical distance inside with meals, showers, laundry and other supports. Clients were screened and anyone with COVID-19 symptoms was sent to an assessment centre for testing and to one of three isolation or recovery sites with health supports.
While the use of these community centres did not create additional capacity in City shelters, it allowed the City to achieve 100 per cent physical distancing in all 75 existing shelter sites as well as all temporary locations.
Since mid-March, the City has moved almost 3,200 people for physical distancing, as part of our ongoing commitment to providing inside space to the most vulnerable in our community. This has included moving more than 1,000 homeless clients into permanent housing and more than more than 170 clients into temporary housing.
The City continues to open new locations to maintain 100 per cent physical distancing between all shelter beds. As well, to date, the City has moved almost 290 people sleeping outside from more than 30 encampments to inside space, including hotels and interim and permanent housing.
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