Do you have a question for Homes First? Check our F.A.Q to see if we have the information you need.
Q: Who does Homes First serve?
A: Homes First serves the hardest to house. This includes those living with complex needs like mental health and substance use issues, as well as other physical and health needs. We house single adults, men and women, some families, and an aging population. We focus on people who have been living rough – in parks, ravines and on the streets – for a very long-time, and work to give them stable, supportive, long-term housing.
Q: I want to apply for housing. How do I do that?
A: Thank you for your interest in Homes First! To apply for housing, please visit our “I Need Help” section. Please note that we currently have a waitlist of over 4,000 people for housing with Homes First and we cannot provide updates on the progress of your housing application.
Q: I sent a housing application (blank) months/years ago and I haven’t heard back. What is happening with my application?
A: Thank you for sending a housing application to us. Unfortunately, as of July 2019, our housing waitlist is at 4,000 people, and we are unable to follow up about the status of your application.
Please note that Homes First does not go through its waitlist in chronological order. Instead, applications are assessed based on the needs of the applicant and if Homes First has a suitable space for them. You will only be contacted if we deem that we have an appropriate unit for you.
Please do not call or visit our office to inquire about housing applications. Again, if you do qualify for housing with us, you will be contacted.
Q: How does Homes First deal with residents’ mental health support, opioid use, and similar issues?
A: All staff and volunteers are trained to work with individuals with complex mental health, addictions, and life skills issues. We have several community mental health partnerships such as CAMH (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health) and teams that deliver mental/physical health supports into residents’ homes.
Staff are provided a variety of training such as de-escalation, conflict resolution, crisis prevention intervention, motivational interviewing, inclusivity training, and more. All staff use a trauma-informed approach in working with our residents.
Q: Is Homes First affiliated with any similar organizations elsewhere in Canada or the United States? Is it run by the City of Toronto?
A: No. Homes First is an independent Canadian charity and not formally part of any other organization or government agency. However we work closely with the City of Toronto and other agencies in the city, including health care providers, mental health supports, and more, to share insight and expertise on creating a multi-faceted approach to ending homelessness.
Q: Where does Homes First get its funding from?
A: Homes First gets funding from a variety of sources. Our funding is like a quilt; we piece together different patches from different sources to make up our whole operating budget. Homes First is a United Way Greater Toronto partner agency, and works closely with the City of Toronto to operate our shelters.