Precarious housing is a mounting crisis in the city, and recently declared an emergency by the Toronto City Council. People experiencing under housing and deep poverty also have difficulties in navigating and accessing social services, such as housing and income support, which directly affect their health.
One in five patients who visits the Emergency Department (ED) at St. Michael’s Hospital is precariously housed. In an effort to support patients with challenges beyond health, the community partners and members of the Community Advisory Council of the Downtown East Toronto Ontario Health Team (DET OHT) have developed the Emergency Department Outreach Worker Program.
With the aim of helping patients facing unstable housing situations achieve stability and long-term support, this program assigns a dedicated outreach worker to each individual in need. The outreach worker’s role includes securing housing, ensuring access to meals, finding sustainable sources of income, and, if required, providing legal assistance. Presently, the program has one outreach worker on staff.CONtinue reading