Community Mapping for Effective Referrals

Community Mapping for Effective Referrals

On June 25th 2020, housing professionals from across Toronto gathered in a series of Community Conversations to collectively discuss the ways in which the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic has caused significant shifts in the ways agencies are able to provide services for clients who need them, resulting in uncertainties and inconsistencies in the availability of some supports. 

Together, housing professionals shared services available at their own agencies, discussed shifts and changes to services for referrals, and identified new services that have emerged since the beginning of the pandemic to provide adapted supports for clients. Gaps in services were highlighted in an effort to share challenges and strategies for addressing them.  

The conversations produced a number of resources that can support holistic, client-centered services by offering:  

  • Housing Help 
  • Financial Support  
  • Food and Basic Needs 
  • Employment and Life Skills  
  • Health and Wellness  
  • Social Supports  
  • Specific services that are limited, or needs that continue to be largely unmet, during the COVID-19 pandemic include: 
  • Mental health supports, increasing as people continue to be isolated 
  • Social supports and opportunities for community building  
  • Telephones and internet access as physical spaces continue to be closed 
  • Harm reduction and safe consumption outside of the downtown core 
  • Daycare and parenting support  
  • Eviction prevention, as the LTB opens in July there is an anticipation of high volumes of evictions that have been prohibited 
  • Supports for international students & newcomers who are ineligible for many programs 
  • Service bottlenecks that are inconsistent between media advertising and availability of services, long wait times  

Identified Services and Supports

A-Way-Express  Consumer/Survivor led courier company 
In addition: 

    • Food Bank on Wednesdays 1pm until 3pm only
    • Employment Counselling online
Food and basic needs 

Employment and Life Skills 

A-Way Express 
Reena  Updated information for organizations and community members on how to maintain safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Health and Wellness  Reena Covid-19 Community Resources 
Evangel Hall 
  • Take-out Meals, Mondays to Thursdays, 10:30am to 12:30pm (counselling being offered outside)
  • Clothing bank by request only (no donations)
  • Washrooms (allowing people to enter one at a time)
Food and basic needs 



Spiritual Services 

Evangel Hall Mission 

Evangel Hall Housing 

Adjusted Drop-in Services (including meals) 

John Howard Society 
  • Danforth location: Harm Reduction equipment 
  • Other services are over the phone (transitioning to seeing one client at a time in outdoor locations) 
Harm Reduction supplies  John Howard Society of Toronto Services 
Furniture Bank 
  • Phone ahead of time 
  • Home deliveries will resume by July 6th 
  • Accepting corporate donations only at this time 
  • May offer virtual tours in future 
  •  – Still doing some deliveries 
  • Can’t go and look at furniture 
  • No option for pick-up 
  • Flat rate for delivery of furniture 

Alternative options: 

  • Habitat for Humanity has furniture on website 


  • For Women, interest free loans for furniture when moving into a new place 

Income Supports for Women 

Accessing Furniture Bank Services 
Toronto Public Libraries 
  • Hotspot (internet) and computer lending 
  • 17 locations to open on June 29th 
  • Will open for computer use and holds, curbside pick-ups 
  • July 20th rest of TPL locations that can open will open 


Wireless Hotspots 

TPL Services 

TPL Reopening Plan 

Mustard Seed  Take-a-lunch on Friday, Saturday and Sunday  Food and basic needs  Mustard Seed Program 
Native Child and Family Services  Youth location: 

  • Help Indigenous Youth to find housing 
  • By appointment only 
  • Online by Zoom and Instagram 

Food Hamper Services (once per week) 

  • For Indigenous community 
  • Youth and families 
  • Call: 416-979-8510 or 437-217-3278 

Mental Health Support Strategic Partnership 


Food and basic needs 

Youth Services 

Mental Health Support Strategy 

City of Toronto  930 Subsidy allowances for people on waitlists: 

  • Housing Connections (for anyone) 
  • For Indigenous People (Wigwamen, Gabriel Dumont, Anishinaabe Homes, Amik) 
Income Supports  City of Toronto Covid Service Updates 

Rent Geared to Income Subsidy 

Housing Connections 

City of Toronto  Cooling Centres 

  • Locations mainly downtown 
  • Need more around the city 
  • Need access to phones, washrooms, and drinking water, Internet and computers 
Health and Wellness 

Basic Needs 

List of Cooling Centres 
211  Continues to provide service and referral information over the phone and online.   Varied  Ontario 211 
Chalmers Bot  Requires a computer. Provides regularly updated services available near you through map, including:  

  • Emergency shelter 
  • Food  
  • Clothing depots 
  • Drop-ins open 
Varied  Chalmers Bot Website 
Redeemers Common Table Drop-In   Updated Listing Locations for:  

  • Food 
  • Drop-ins 
  • Shelter 
  • Wifi, phones, hotspots 
  • Washrooms, Showers 
  • Clothing, Laundry 
Varied  Covid-19 Resource Guide Pamphlet 

Common Table Meal Program 

Common Table Drop-in  

Native Women’s Resource Centre  Offering: 

  • Online Counselling 
  • Support Line 
  • Support Email 8AM-12AM 
Health and Wellness 
NWRTC Website 
Yonge Street Mission  Now offering: 

  • Food Bank Services 
  • Mental Health Services 
Health and Wellness 

Food and Basic Needs 

YSM Modified Services Directory 
Street Health  Offers updated food bank directory  Food and Basic Needs  Food Banks Directory 
George Brown College Augmented Education  Offering free employability skills programming with 82% employment rate:  

  • Culinary Skills Preparatory (September) 
  • Construction Craftworker Foundation 
Employment and Life Skills  Augmented Education Program 
Rogers  Connected for Success Program:  

  • Partnership Agreement for Low-cost internet access 
Basic Needs  Connected for Success Info 
Ontario Works  Offices allow people to use their phones   Basic Needs 


OW Office Locations 
Choice in Health Clinic  Offering abortion services   Health and Wellness   Choice in Health Covid Contact Information 
University Health Network  Changes to service delivery include: 

  • Home delivery program 
  • Food delivery  
  • Virtual Care  
Health and Wellness   UHN Covid Updates 
Rexdale Community Health Clinic  RCHC is undertaking ongoing advocacy to open more Harm Reduction and Safe Consumption Sites beyond the downtown core of Toronto. Join their advocacy efforts.   Health and Wellness   Rexdale Adapted Healthcare Services Directory 

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