A letter from Councillor Perks – New Men’s Shelter – 2299 Dundas St. West

Friends,

RE: New Men’s Shelter

2299 Dundas St. West, at Bloor St. West

More than 8,000 people experience homelessness on any given night in the city. City Council has responded by directing staff to search for properties to expand the shelter system in response to this urgent situation. Since last year, City staff have been working hard to add 1000 new shelter beds by the end of 2020 in neighbourhoods across Toronto as well as to find locations to accommodate the planned revitalization of homeless services on George Street. New programs have already opened in the downtown as well as in North Etobicoke, the Annex, Leslieville and Scarborough.

Many factors are considered by City staff when siting a new location for a municipal shelter, including size, building condition and configuration, zoning requirements that permit municipal shelter use and proximity to services such as public transit.

As you may have heard, the City of Toronto has entered into an agreement to purchase the property at 2299 Dundas St. West and after conducting careful due diligence, the sale of the building will close on March 13th 2019.

Because of the urgent need for services, extensive renovations will begin very quickly after taking possession so that the new program can open in the Spring of 2020. In the coming months, those renovations will add smaller more private rooms, pet-friendly spaces, technological supports, recreational spaces, space for healthcare and case management, a more attractive architectural design and more.

In addition, a new shelter service model will be implemented at 2299 Dundas St. West with a focus on providing the residents with a pathway to permanent housing. Working with dedicated housing case workers on service plans that focus on health, recreation and employment, people will have the tools necessary to find housing.

Working with my office, a comprehensive community engagement process will unfold in the coming months with City staff providing information and seeking feedback through various communication channels.   Stay tuned for more details. To sign-up for ongoing updates, please contact my office directly at 416-392-7919, councillor_perks@toronto.ca .

Sincerely,

Gord Perks

City Councillor

Ward 4, Parkdale-High Park