Dixon Hall is a multi-service agency that has been offering programs in the east downtown area of the City of Toronto since 1929. Dixon Hall operates a music school for children and youth, has training and employment programs, provides services and supportive housing care for seniors and has many programs for the homeless in the Homeless, Hostels and Housing Services Department. This department is responsible for the management of three shelters, a drop-in, breakfast and dinner program and supports approximately one hundred formerly homeless people in their housing.
Dixon Hall’s Guiding Principles
“Community partners in creating opportunities for people…to dream, to achieve, and to live full and rewarding lives”.
Good jobs, good health, safe shelter, vibrant cultures and strong communities.
- Equity and accessibility
- Second Chances
- Dreams and possibilities
In August of 2003 the City of Toronto contracted with Dixon Hall to offer resource and support services to the OOTC host sites. After three years of successful service delivery Dixon Hall and the Out of the Cold Host Sites continue to work collectively to address the Out of the Cold Guests. Funded by Hostel and Support Services of the City of Toronto, Dixon Hall remains committed to providing the highest quality support services to the Out of the Cold Host Sites.
Dixon Hall Resource and Support Services for OOTC Program Office
Dixon Hall Resource and Support Services for OOTC Site Services
- One program manager who oversee the resource and support services staff the office.
- Central phone and fax numbers are available for host site volunteers, staff and guests to make inquiries, referrals or donations.
- An interactive website was developed to help spread the word about the incredible work that the volunteers do. The website also helps facilitate volunteers, donations, program history and allows partner agencies the opportunity to provide their clients with an up to date schedule.
- Site schedule, outreach literature, program updates etc. are available.
- Dixon hall provides weekly statistics reports, monthly updates and a final report for the City of Toronto.
The following are available:
Dixon Hall Resource and Support Services for OOTC On Site Staffing
- Evening and overnight support workers
- Maintenance staff
- Site cell phone for emergencies and updated nightly occupancy for Street Help Line
- Referral services
- Laundry service for blankets
- Van transportation for guests
- TTC tickets in the morning for overnight Guests
Dixon Hall Resource and Support Services for OOTC Van Service
- An evening and overnight staff complement is supplied to each site that requires it.
- The staff to overnight guest ratio is 1 to 20.
- Site teams are experienced and understand the challenges of working with the homeless population. They have training in many areas including: first aid/CPR, hostel standards, conflict resolution/de-escalation/mediation, referral services, harm reduction, health and homelessness as well as understanding and managing aggressive behaviours.
- Staff are updated constantly with public health information surrounding communicable diseases and emergency protocol.
- Host sites have access to an on call Manager at all times.
- Shift Supervisors are equipped with a cell phone and are in constant communication with the Street Help Line network.
- OOTC sites are provided with maintenance workers to ensure that the site is clean and equipped for hosting the guests. The maintenance workers are essential to the set up and the clean up of the areas where the programs are held.
Dixon Hall Resource and Support Services for OOTC Partnerships
NA-ME-RES Housing Workers
- The DH-OOTC Van operates 4 days a week between the hours of 3 p.m. and 11 p.m.
- The primary responsibility is to provide safe transport to the OOTC sites’ overnight guests.
- All essential supplies are delivered to the OOTC sites.
- The van is part of the OSIS street outreach network.
- Assistance is provided to the Street Help Line Network, providing transportation to guests seeking shelter. All Dixon Hall van staff are cross-trained on the inner workings of the Street Help Line.
- Emergency transportation is provided to guests to the 110 Edward Street Referral Management Centre.
- The van is also used for picking up and dropping off donations to the OOTC programs.
The City of Toronto funded NA-ME-RES to provide housing workers to specifically service the OOTC programs as well as 110 Edward Street. The housing workers have been well received by the guests of the program and are making a profound impact on the program.
Community Care Access Centre
The Community Care Access Centre provides nurses that service the guests of the OOTC programs. The nurses are recruited from St. Elizabeth’s and PARAMED and are trained in homelessness and health. The nurses attend the inner city OOTC programs and see a number of guests each night. The nurses are available between the hours of 6:00 p.m. 10:00 p.m.
The East and West End Drop In Network
Regent Park Neighbourhood Initiative
- A large number of the guests that use the OOTC programs use the drop-in
centres throughout the day when OOTC sites are closed so it was essential
to form this partnership. OOTC is represented monthly at the network meeting
that allows both programs to have continuity of care.
- A list of the nearest drop-in locations and services are posted at all of
the OOTC locations.
- CCAC Nurses are able to perform medical follow-ups at the drop-ins.
Regent Park Neighbourhood Initiative
worked in partnership to develop a community economic development strategy for the laundering of the blankets. Local community members from the Regent Park area have been hired to provide the laundry service to the OOTC program. With the space provided by the Toronto Community Housing Corporation and the assistance of Coinomatic Laundry Company, the laundry project is off to a great start.
Street Help Line
All OOTC sites and van are connected to the Street Help Line, a service that connects individuals to available shelter and resources.
Street Help Line provides OOTC site staff with available occupancies throughout the city to ensure that guests can be provided with shelter when OOTC sites are full.
110 Edward Street
- In December 2004, the City of Toronto opened a temporary emergency shelter
located at 110 Edward Street. The facility offers 80 beds and is open 24 hours,
7 days a week.
- From 8 p.m. to 8 a.m., the Referral Management Centre operates out of the
110 Edward Street facility. Emergency referrals and support services are provided
to the homeless.
- The Referral Management Centre offers housing workers on site and has a
number of accessible services available for guests.
- Dixon Hall Resource and Support Services for OOTC and the Referral Management
Centre have participated in cross training and are currently planning on how
the closing of the OOTC programs will affect the Referral Management Centre.
- The Referral Management Centre supports the OOTC programs by providing referrals
and space for overflow of Guests from the OOTC programs.
- The OOTC programs provide support to the Referral Management Centre by assisting in the transportation of guests that have been provided with referrals by the Centre.