Housing Support Services refer to those non-financial supports that tenants receive to promote housing stability and improve quality of life. Different types and intensity of supports will be required to meet the varying needs of Home for Good Toronto tenants, and this framework should be used as a guideline only. Programs may not fit neatly into one category of support.

The supports provided to tenants will be based on individualized assessment of need and tenant preferences. Supports may be provided directly through programs, or through partnerships with other organizations.

Types of Support

Support services provided through Home for Good Toronto programs fall into four broad categories: Housing Supports, Complementary Supports, Personal and Health Supports, and Clinical Supports.

Home for Good Toronto funds Housing, Complementary, and Personal and Health Supports. SSHA recognizes that Clinical Supports are an essential element of successful housing with supports program, particularly for people with intensive support needs. Programs that include clinical support elements must be able to leverage partnerships or alternative funding to support the provision of these services. An outline of what is considered under each category of support is provided below.

Indigenous tenant supports are recognized as important to creating housing stability for this specific tenant group and an outline of eligible supports services is also provided.

HFG/SSHA FUNDED SUPPORTS
Housing Supports

Housing Supports will be available to all tenants of a Home for Good program and refers to assistance provided to help tenants get and keep housing. The intensity and length of the housing supports provided will vary based on the program type and individual needs of the tenant.

Case planning should use a strengths-based approach where individualized and flexible supports build on the skills of the tenant and encourage personal development and autonomy where possible. Tenants should be involved in decisions around their support needs and the services they need to best support them to maintain their housing and increase their independence.

Key supports might include:

  • finding appropriate housing;
  • re-housing as needed and appropriate;
  • negotiating and signing a lease;
  • accessing and maintaining a housing subsidy and income stability;
  • pest control prevention and treatment;
  • hoarding intervention;
  • neighbourhood orientation;
  • budgeting skills;
  • facilitating relationships with landlords;
  • assisting to understand the rights and responsibilities associated with maintaining a tenancy;
  • furnishing units;
  • eviction prevention support;
  • support to establish community connections;
  • health advocacy;
  • maintaining units, including teaching skills for self-maintenance;
  • minor upgrades to units to meet AODA requirements;
  • unit maintenance and repairs required to meet health and safety needs; and
  • referrals to appropriate clinical and complementary supports.

Complementary Supports

Complementary supports refer to those services which aim to improve quality of life, encourage social connections and community engagement, enhance spiritual and cultural wellbeing, and aim to increase tenant skills and resiliency. They might take the form of on-site or off-site programming, and be delivered directly by service providers, in partnership with other agencies, or via established referral agreements.

Key complementary supports might include:

  • life skills training;
  • peer support;
  • social and recreational activities and resources;

 

  • employment training and opportunities; and
  • educational opportunities.

Personal and Health Supports

Personal and Health Supports refers to a range of supports directed at promoting a tenant’s overall physical and mental wellbeing. Supports might be provided on-site or off-site, and be delivered directly by service providers, in partnership with other agencies, or via established referral agreements.

Key personal and health supports might include:

  • Care coordination;
  • daily check-ins;
  • harm reduction services, supports and resources;

 

  • medication reminders and secure storage;
  • meals;
  • transportation;
  • health advocacy; and
  • activities of daily living.

Example staff positions for providing Housing, Complementary, and/or Personal and Health Supports include:

  • Personal Support Worker
  • Peer Support Worker
  • Residential Support Worker
  • Housing Support Worker
  • Follow-up Support Worker
  • Case Manager
  • Supervisor
  • Vocational/social activity instructor
  • Cook

SPECIALIZED SUPPORTS
Indigenous tenant supports

The need for housing support programs for Indigenous people who have experienced homelessness has been identified as a priority through research, engagement and consultation. The 2006, 2009, and 2013 Street Needs Assessments (SNA)0F[1],1F[2] demonstrate the overrepresentation of Aboriginal people in Toronto’s homeless population.

Specialized services for Indigenous tenants should be tailored to the unique needs of Indigenous people as they move out of shelter and maintaining housing, including recognising the impact of the history of colonialism, intergenerational trauma and marginalization, and experiences of cultural isolation, lack of social support, discrimination and racism and difficulty finding culturally appropriate services2F[3].

SSHA recognize that culturally appropriate supports are an essential component of housing programs targeted at Indigenous tenants, and are a necessary part of helping someone to achieve housing stability. As such, funding is available for culturally specific services, such as:

  • traditional Indigenous medicines;
  • engagement and consultation with Elders, Traditional Healers and/or Medicine People;
  • Sweat lodges and other ceremony.

HFG/SSHA NON-FUNDED SUPPORTS
Clinical Supports

Clinical Supports refers to a range of supports directed at the treatment and management of a tenant’s physical and mental health, including serious addictions and behavioural issues. While clients who have complex clinical needs are eligible to receive the services listed above (housing, complementary, personal and health, Indigenous tenant supports), programs intending to include clinical supports in their program model are encouraged to connect with an alternative funding provider for which they are eligible, such as their Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) or Disability Services Ontario (DSO).

Key clinical supports might include:

  • Primary health care, including physical and mental health;
  • addictions treatment;
  • withdrawal management;
  • behavioural therapy; and
  • nursing care.

Example staff positions not funded include:

  • psychologists
  • psychiatrists
  • physiotherapist
  • behavioural therapist

 

  • nurse
  • nurse practitioner
  • family physician
  • mental health clinician


[1]
City of Toronto (2013, 2009, 2006), Street Needs Assessment

[2] The term Aboriginal was used in the 2013 SNA and has been used here for consistency with that work. The term Indigenous has been used throughout the rest of this document.

[3] Feedback from City of Toronto SSHA consultations with Indigenous service users and providers