The City’s announcement of opening warming centres will only help if these sites are properly staffed.
Existing drop-ins, like the Peter Street Referral Centre, have seen nights with 80 individuals and only two staff when this location is not equipped nor staffed to act as a shelter.
The safety of Toronto’s homeless and of shelter staff is at risk when the City continues to respond to the known shelter crisis with these types of band-aid solutions. With temporary, emergency shelters — the risk of violence increases, workplace tensions are raised and the potential for infectious outbreaks increases.
Local 79 is waiting for the City to provide a plan on how emergency warming centres will be staffed. Adequate staff to client ratios, health and safety measures and the use of existing shelter workers is needed. Our members will continue to provide high-quality service and supports to Toronto’s homeless in this time of crisis but a long-term solution is needed.
Local 79 members: Tell us your stories of how the shelter crisis has impacted service delivery, staff and clients by filling out the form below. All responses will remain strictly confidential. Contact information will only be used for further clarification.