City of Toronto increasing funding for shelter safety measures and working with partners on COVID-19 vaccination for those experiencing homelessness

The City of Toronto is making an additional $3 million available to all shelters, 24-hour respites sites, temporary response programs and daytime drop-ins to support implementation of additional Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) measures. The measures respond to the emergence of COVID-19 variants of concern (VOCs), which create increased risk due to their potentially greater transmissibility.

This additional $3 million is part of the support provided by the Province of Ontario's Social Services Relief Funding and the Government of Canada's Reaching Home Funding.

Allocation of this funding is:

  • $1 million will go to drop-ins to expand the availability of daytime indoor space. The funding will be made available through a call for proposals in collaboration with Toronto Drop-in Network,
  • $2 million will go to shelters, 24-hour respites and drop-ins for the following:
  • Enhanced IPAC measures, as well as additional cleaning support and training
  • Wage enhancements during outbreaks to ensure staffing levels are maintained
  • Activities to improve ventilation, such as higher quality HVAC filters or portable air filters
  • Activities to support vaccine roll out
  • The purchase of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to implement updates to the current directive that require protective eyewear for staff and medical or three-layer masks for those accessing services,
This funding will also help support implementation of new provincial IPAC requirements for shelters in response to COVID-19 VOCs.

This funding is to enhance measures already in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the shelter system and protect our most vulnerable. Find out more at:

The City continues to support health care partners and the Province to roll-out vaccinations to people experiencing homelessness and frontline workers in the homelessness sector as quickly as possible.

Based on direction from Toronto Public Health (TPH), local hospitals, Ontario Health Teams, Local Health Integration Networks, family doctors and community-based health care service providers began vaccinating people experiencing homelessness staying in shelters and respite sites, accessing drop-ins, and living in encampments starting the week of March 1, 2021.

More information about the Province of Ontario’s Social Services Relief Funding:

More information about the Government of Canada's Reaching Home Funding:


“We have worked throughout the pandemic to protect our homeless residents. City staff continue to work closely with our health care partners to roll out vaccination clinics at all of our shelter and homelessness services. As we work to get people vaccinated, we are making these additional resources available to ensure frontline staff are able to continue to enhance protection for vulnerable residents. Making these additional funds available to shelters, 24-hour respites sites, temporary response programs and daytime drop-ins will help support these valuable City partners with implementation of the recently announced new Infection Prevention and Control measures and further protect our City’s most vulnerable people from COVID-19 variants of concern. I want to thank the Provincial and Federal governments for the initial funding that allowed us to redirect funds to where they are needed most.”

- Mayor John Tory

“As the Chair of the City’s Economic & Community Development Committee, I fully support the City's ongoing efforts to prioritize funding to further protect people working in, and accessing, our shelter system. The funds announced today will ensure that all necessary IPAC measures are implemented at these sites, including improved ventilation and timely vaccine roll-out to people experiencing homelessness.”

- Deputy Mayor and Councillor Michael Thompson, Chair of the Economic Development Committee

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