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What We Do

Homes First is one of the largest non-profit housing providers in Toronto. We are committed to breaking the cycle of chronic homelessness by providing emergency shelter and supportive housing and services for people with the fewest housing options in our city.

We provide:

Emergency shelter: We provide shelter for over 1,500 people each night across 11 shelter properties and do our best to connect them to stable housing. Through our integrated outreach networks, we act as a service navigator and community connector to prevent anyone from slipping through gaps in the system.

Supportive housing: We provide residents permanent, stable and supportive housing across 14 properties, including children, youth, women, single parents, adults, seniors and large families.

Essential support services: We help people stay housed or access permanent housing through initiatives such as eviction prevention, housekeeping, behavioural support, trauma-informed counselling, addictions and harm reduction services, and specialized supports for seniors to age in place. We also work with residents on life skills, hygiene, financial literacy, tenant rights and obligations, and other matters that contribute to their personal well-being.

Our Programs

Centralized Food Program (CFP)

The purpose of the Centralized Food Program is to improve food insecurity amongst our most vulnerable residents in both our supportive housing and shelters. The CFP can be broken down into four ongoing activities:

Meals at Home: weekly individualized meals prepared and delivered to our most vulnerable, supportively housed population.

Cultural and Dietary Accommodation Meals: weekly party-sized dishes of dietary and religious-specific foods prepared and delivered to our shelter residents.

Drop-In Dinners: monthly prepared and communally served (depending on COVID) meals at varying Homes First locations.

Neighbourhood Drop-In Dinners: Monthly communal meals (depending on COVID) for the Jamestown area community for their drop-in participation (Jamestown is where the CFP Shelia Miller kitchen will be located).

The CFP is in its infancy stages; Homes First was awarded a $1,000,000 grant in 2021 to convert some vacant space into a commercial kitchen at our Sheila Miller, downtown Toronto, supportive housing site. This new kitchen will be the future home of the Centralized Food Program’s food preparation, storage, and delivery centre, and is scheduled to begin early spring 2022.

There will be multiple opportunities for one-off or ongoing volunteer engagements. When the Sheila Miller kitchen is complete, we would like to hold a launch party at which volunteers could participate and cook a large meal for our residents and community. There would also be ongoing opportunities to prepare individualized meals for residents and or/ larger Homes First community dinners; volunteers could both prepare the food and serve or make deliveries.

Sites Running This Program:

  • Willowdale Welcome Centre
  • Better Living Centre

Our Properties

Homes First owns and or manages several different properties across the GTA. Click the link below to read more about each of our properties.