Women's Hostel Mission & History
If you need help finding emergency shelter or support please see the links at the bottom of the page.
It is with great sadness that we inform you that our Women's Shelter was closed in October 2008. This invaluable resource for the community is greatly missed. Below is a summary of the contributions this program made to our community and a summary of the amazing work of our Shelter Team.
WOMEN’S HOSTEL PROGRAM SUMMARY
The Women’s Hostel Program provided overnight shelter and support for the well-being of women in the Christie Ossington Community who are homeless, street-oriented, ill and fleeing unsafe situations.
Women who use shelter services are facing challenges that directly affect their ability to lead healthy, fulfilling lives. Some of their struggles include mental and physical health issues, addictions, abuse, isolation, unemployment, language barriers and lack of employable skills. In order to address the needs of their clients, the Women’s Hostel Program provided the following services from 2004 - 2008.
As part of our services we offered Individual Counseling & Referrals, Housing Help, Settlement Support, Support in accessing disability payments and other entitlements, Communication & Coordination assistance with regards to medical needs, First Aid care, Support for good health and hygiene habits, Healthy meals, Social Networking Opportunities, Phone, fax and internet access, Informative and skill-based workshops, Interview preparation, Shower & laundry facilities, Access to free toiletries & other necessary items.
The shelter provided consistent and reliable support for women who were and are struggling to coordinate their medical care and other necessities. Shelter workers assisted clients in making and keeping the appointments that were crucial to improving their health and well-being. There was a consistent focus on individualized support, as the agency believes every community member is worthy of respect and attention, regardless of their life circumstances. The shelter aimed to aid in the development of a support network for each woman, improving her chances of pursuing healthy opportunities. Support networks were built in 2005/6 through agency communication with Toronto Police Services and other local partners.
With assistance from hostel workers, Rita found independent housing last year after spending almost three years on the street. Struggling with gambling and alcohol addictions, Rita was unable to maintain housing for herself and her children after the death of her husband. During her time in the hostel, Rita received counseling, and volunteered to assist staff with the program. Rita continues to visit the hostel for occasional dinners, home supplies such as new bedding and informal counseling, keeping hostel workers aware of how her life is unfolding.
The Women’s Hostel regularly responded to crisis situations by providing a safe, non-judgmental and neutral environment. Hostel workers confronted the serious challenges present in our community including an aggressive drug trade, incidents of violence and prostitution activity, with the aim of de-escalation and mutual learning. Many disenfranchised women received medical attention, counseling, resources and referrals following intervention from hostel workers, often after other social systems failed to provide adequate attention and support.
In February of 2006, the Women’s Hostel received new funding (REHF- Redirection of Emergency Housing Funding) to help women who have experienced long-term homelessness find and maintain permanent housing by providing one-on-one, practical support using a Case Management approach.
With the close of the Women's Hostel we lost a valuable resource for many women in our area. We are working towards reopening the Women’s Hostel in the future with a permanent site in our community that will allow us to accommodate more vulnerable women in a programming environment that will best accommodate their needs.
The Women’s Hostel program worked with Co-Op students from three different city colleges to transfer immediate working knowledge of the field to its future workers while achieving mutually beneficial results. As in other Centre programs, the Women’s Hostel was dedicated to assisting aspiring social workers in pursuing more positive results for our local marginalized women.
For more information about hostels, or for immediate help please follow these leads:
SHELTERS FOR WOMEN
Anduhyaun (Toronto) – (416) 920-1492Emergency shelter for abused Native women, will accept non-native women when space is available. Children are welcome, boys are accepted until the age of 12. Counseling is available.
Emily Stowe Shelter for Women (Scarborough) – (416) 264-4357 24 hour emergency phone line. Referrals and assistance in getting social assistance, housing, legal aid, and court accompaniment. They also have supervised activities for children.
Ernestine’s Women’s Shelter (Etobicoke) – (416) 746-3701 Shelter, counseling, and advocacy services, children are welcome.
Interval House Toronto – (416) 924-1491 Interval House provides a continuum of services that enable abused women and children to have access to safe shelter and responsive services that help them establish lives free from violence. The continuum includes services related to counselling, advocacy, outreach, legal and housing support, as well as programs to help build economic self-sufficiency.
Julliette’s Place (Scarborough) - (416) 724-1316 Julliette’s Place is a not-for-profit, community-based agency, which provides safe refuge for abused women and their children. Services include short-term shelter, crisis intervention, counseling, advocacy and referral, based on a woman positive empowerment model. Julliette’s Place is committed to the eradication of violence against women and their children through services provided and public education.
Nellie’s - (416) 461-1084 Nellie's is a non-profit women's organization helping women and children in crisis locate safe affordable housing, support services and a bridge to a better future. We operate a 36 bed emergency shelter for women and children who are homeless and women and children leaving violence. The Community Support Program provides aftercare and follow-up support and service to women and children who have left the shelter and are now living in the community.
North York Women’s Shelter - 416-635-9427or crisis line 416-635-9630 At North York Women's Shelter we provide a safe refuge for abused women and their children. We are privileged to have many dedicated and caring people, who continually share their compassion, their knowledge and their time with us.
The Redwood Shelter – (416) 533-8538 or TTY: (416) 533-3736 The Redwood exists to support women and their children to live free from domestic abuse by providing safe and accessible services. We operate within an equity framework and are committed to social change through education and advocacy.
Salvation Army Evangeline Shelter – (416) 762-9636 A women’s shelter run by the salvation Army Stop 86 (http://www.actoronto.org/website/referrals.nsf/pages/0273) – (416) 922-3271 Stop 86 is the only emergency shelter in Toronto exclusively for homeless teenage girls and young women between the ages of 16 and 25.
Stop 86 provides a safe and supportive community where women can assess their situation and plan for their future. The shelter assists 27 young women to re-establish themselves in the community.
Yorktown Shelter for Women – 24hr crisis line (416) 394-2999, Shelter line (416) 394-2950 Yorktown Shelter for Women (YSW) provides a safe and secure haven for women and their children fleeing an abusive relationship. Staffed 24 hours a day by a multilingual and multicultural team the shelter is committed to the well-being and empowerment of women who have been abused and to the healthy development of their children.
YWCA Women's Shelter http://www.ywcatoronto.org/shelter_housing_support/index.htm
SHELTERS FOR YOUTH
Covenant House Toronto – (416) 593-4849 Help for Homeless youth, including food shelter, medical care, education, and employment assistance.
Eva’s Place - (416) 441-1414 Eva's Place helps homeless youth connect to a community that can support them as they move forward. Whether they're getting settled in school or looking for a job or an apartment, we provide the support they need during these difficult transition times.
Horizon’s for Youth – (416) 781-9898 Horizons give youth more than just a bed out of the cold, more than just a hot meal, it gives them hope; hope of finding a job, securing housing so that they can become independent members of our community. Hope for a positive future.
Second Base Youth Shelter – (416) 261-2733 Second Base provides food, clothing and shelter for homeless youth aged 16-21, and offers opportunities for youth in need to become self-reliant within the community.
Stop 86 – (416) 922-3271 Stop 86 is the only emergency shelter in Toronto exclusively for homeless teenage girls and young women between the ages of 16 and 25. Stop 86 provides a safe and supportive community where women can assess their situation and plan for their future. The shelter assists 27 young women to re-establish themselves in the community.
Touchstone Youth Centre – (416) 696-6932 Touchstone Youth Centre helps homeless youth in crisis make immediate and positive changes in their lives, by providing a safe, supportive and structured environment to meet their complex needs and help them reach their full potential.
Youth Without Shelter - (416) 748-0110 Youth Without Shelter (YWS) is an emergency residence and referral agency serving homeless youth aged 16 to 24. Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, YWS believes in second chances, building confidence and teaching life skills to empower youth to break the cycle of homelessness.