The City of London continues to work with community stakeholders and partners to provide supports to Londoners, including those most vulnerable. Through discussions with shelter and other service providers, a number of actions have been taken to ensure supports are available during the COVID-19 challenges.
Enhanced supports – Social Distancing:
Recognizing that social distancing can be difficult for those who are living in shelter and unsheltered, shelter providers are implementing plans to create additional social distancing within their existing shelter services. It is recognized that this may result in some loss of shelter beds but it is intended that the use of hotel rooms as indicated above, may help to address some of this concern.
To help address the shortage this may create, the City has secured 50 hotel rooms which will be used to support the most vulnerable individuals that have been identified by service providers, who are either currently living in shelter or unsheltered. Rooms will only be available and allocated through service providers.
As needed, shelters have also implemented some isolation spaces for those that are unwell. This will continue and they may involve access to hotel rooms as well.
The City is also working with Middlesex London Health Unit to support shelter providers in ensuring stringent infection control practices and procedures.
Community Informed Response – Supports for People who are Unsheltered:
At this time, the Community Informed Response team will to continue to provide supports to people who may be unsheltered. This includes outreach and supports being provided to those living rough or unsheltered in the community. Where possible, efforts are being made to help those who identified as the most vulnerable to seek alternate living arrangements. The City will continue to monitor this situation and as necessary, work with shelter providers to create additional housing options to ensure.
Access to Basic Needs, Foods and Other Supports:
Although a number of community agencies have had to change or reduce their services in light of COVID-19 concerns, there are a number of supports that continue to be available. Information about social services access will be provided through a Support for Basic Needs list.
Comfort Stations and Washroom Facilities:
Because a number of facilities have been shuttered, access to comfort stations and washroom facilities, especially in the core area, has been reduced. To help alleviate this, the City has provided comfort stations at Victoria Park that can be used.
City Services – Social Assistance and Housing and Homeless Prevention Supports
The City of London continues to provide supports to those who receive or are seeking social assistance, needing housing supports or urgent homeless supports. Individuals can contact the City at (519) 661-CITY for further supports.