Supporting COVID Recovery Site for Homeless Community Members

A testament to the credibility of our work and commitment to dignified care for clients without housing is our work at the COVID-19 recovery sites. In the wake of the pandemic, Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre (PQWCHC) was asked by The Toronto Region to extend its support, and provide staffing and leadership through a community support team at recovery sites for homeless/unsheltered clients, through a model of health and social care.

On April 9th, 2020, through the partnership between Inner City Health Associates (ICHA), University Health Network (UHN), Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre (PQWCHC), The Neighbourhood Group (TNG) and the City’s Shelter, Support and Housing Administration (SSHA) the recovery and isolation site for homeless/unsheltered community members opened. Together we created a model of health and social care, multiple avenues for clients to express their needs and high-quality social interactions that have been critical to keeping people safely in place.  At the end of August we have supported over 900 clients, each staying on average 14 days for over 10,000 days of care.

We thank our community partners from LAMP and South Riverdale CHC, Toronto North Support Services, COTA, Casey House, and Breakaway for redeploying staff to provide care for this group of clients, particularly in the early days of the pandemic when there was much fear and uncertainty about the COVID-19 virus. Through this collaboration, we have provided health and social care that includes, primary health care, case management services, managed alcohol program, Overdose Prevention Service, low barrier safer supply and housing supports.

COVID-19 has amplified the urgent need for a range of sustainable affordable and supportive housing solutions and changes in the emergency shelter system to ensure physical distancing and infection prevention and control protocols.  As we provide these emergency supports, we also commit to using the lessons learned from this work to inform creating longer-term solutions and system changes to eliminate.

To learn more about the work being done to support Homeless Community Members, click here:
Harnessing learnings from community and clients