The City of Toronto with input from a wide variety of stakeholders associated with the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) have released today a Midtown School Safety Plan as children head back to school next week. This Plan outlines actions that are being implemented to achieve a successful integration of the local Roehampton shelter into the neighbourhood and to keep children safer while attending school in the area.
With the school year beginning next week, the plan outlines roles and responsibilities for issues identified over the past several months and provides a framework for continuous engagement with all stakeholders. The overall goal of the School Safety Plan is to reduce the likelihood of any hazards or threats from happening and to minimize any impact on the safety of community members should they occur.
This plan has already been updated based on feedback from local Councillors, family and schools associations, school council chairs, local school trustees, principals and other school officials, and the Toronto Police Service. The plan is available online.
In addition to the safety and security measures already in place in the areas around the shelter including laneways, streets and roads in the neighbourhood, additional measures being implemented as part of the School Safety Plan include:
The City is committed to engaging communities and has been actively communicating with the community including though Community Bulletin Updates, which are posted online.
The safety plan is meant to be a living document and be flexible to feedback from the community and in response to any safety issues that may arise. The City is committed to continue meeting with school representatives as the plan is implemented.
The City delivers shelter services at more than 100 sites located in neighbourhoods throughout the city. These services are located within communities which means they are often near other community services like parks, childcare centres and schools. Shelters provide critical services and operate as good neighbours within our communities.
As part of the COVID-19 response plan, the City leased the Roehampton for two years, with an option to extend to a third, as a temporary shelter. This hotel was slated for demolition and will be part of a future redevelopment application by the property owner. Clients began moving into Roehampton on July 3. This site has 109 units for up to 174 clients and is run by City staff. It is one of 17 hotel locations activated since mid-March. The site offers case management, housing search help, meals, harm reduction and recreational programming. For more information visit toronto.ca/PhysicalDistancingShelters.
Since mid-March, when COVID-19 began to circulate in Toronto, the City has moved more than 3,500 people throughout its emergency shelter system, including more than 1,500 individuals who have been transitioned to permanent housing, to achieve physical distancing of two metres between shelter beds, in accordance with Ministry of Health guidance for congregate living settings. The City took these urgent actions in order to save lives and protect vulnerable people, who are at greater risk of COVID-19 related harms.
Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit the City’s website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.