What is Homeless Connect Toronto?
Homeless Connect Toronto is based upon a successful initiative, Project Homeless Connect, which started in San Francisco in 1998 and has since been implemented by 221 communities in North America. These events bring together essential resources on housing, employment, ID clinics, health care, and other services under one roof for those at risk of or experiencing homelessness in Toronto. Service providers deliver as many of their services as they can on-site, minimizing the need for referral or follow-up. As a volunteer and service-run event, people from various sectors participate and actively engage in being a part of the solution to overcome homelessness in our city.
Homeless Connect Toronto held its inaugural event at the Harbourfront Community Centre on April 13, 2014. Over 50 service agencies and organizations provided services to 200 guests. We were delighted to have former MP of Trinity-Spadina Olivia Chow, Trinity-Spadina MP Adam Vaughan, and former Deputy Critic for Housing Mike Sullivan show their support at our event.
Our second event was held at the Mattamy Athletic Centre (former Maple Leaf Gardens) on November 9, 2014. Approximately 400 guests received services from 70 on-site service agencies and organizations.
Our third event was held at the Mattamy Athletic Centre on November 8, 2015 where 650 guests received supports and services from 70 on-site agencies. We were also delighted to be first location in Canada to distribute the Citypak, donated by Samsonite/High Sierra Canada, to all our guests who attended the event.
Our fourth event was held at the Mattamy Athletic Centre on October 30, 2016 where 773 guests received supports and services from 80 on-site agencies. We continued to provide access to a variety of high-quality services, including dental care and pet care. CityPaks filled with donated toiletries were distributed to guests attending the event.
Our fifth event was held at the Mattamy Athletic Centre on October 29, 2017 where 907 guests received supports and services from 110 on-site agencies. We provided a record number of dental supports with our dental partners, and also brought increased the number of haircuts and foot care on-site.
Homeless Connect Toronto is committed to helping individuals to connect the dots to end homelessness in their lives.
Our Mission and Objectives
Homeless Connect Toronto's mission is to engage the community and create sustainable partnerships to overcome homelessness in Toronto by:
- Increasing access to services by bringing providers to one centralized location
- Empowering the guests by providing a space for their voices to be heard
- Fostering collaboration among local social service agencies by providing a comprehensive network of services
- Engaging business organizations to build partnerships with social service agencies
- Raising advocacy and awareness of issues contributing to homelessness through the united efforts of homeless persons, volunteers, social services and businesses