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 oversees the resource and support services, with the support of 2 Assistant Managers
- Central phone and fax numbers are available for host site volunteers, staff and guests to make inquiries, referrals or donations.
- An interactive website 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 Streets to Homes Assessment and Referral Centre (SHARC)
- Referral services
- Laundry service for blankets
- TTC tickets in the morning for overnight Guests
The East and West End Drop In Network
- An evening and overnight staff complement is supplied to each site that requires it.
- 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 kept current with public health information surrounding communicable diseases and emergency protocol.
- Host sites have access to an on call Manager at all times.
- 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.
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.
The 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. Initially this program started as an employment strategy, however it has evolved now and a Regent Park couple have taken over the laundry program and are running it as their own small business, with Out of the Cold being their largest client. The business operates under the name Neatly Folded Laundry Service, if you have questions, comment s or are interested in hiring them for your laundry needs please contact Chantal at firstname.lastname@example.org.