City of Toronto, St. Clare's

St. Clare’s mandate is to provide housing and support for chronically homeless people who are living rough or in shelters in the City of Toronto. To that end, St. Clare’s develops and operates housing intended for people without housing. A disproportionate number of people experiencing homelessness have disabilities, including many that have not received formal diagnosis. To genuinely address homelessness, St. Clare’s recognizes that an accessible physical structure is important but not enough: it is necessary to also address the accessibility barriers to both accessing and maintaining stable housing.

Addressing Barriers to Access Housing:

Using its ongoing consultation process, St. Clare’s has created partnerships with 17 of Toronto’s social service agencies, each of which specializes in a population that experiences marginalization. Together, these agencies represent and support a variety of populations that encounter accessibility barriers to housing related to disabilities, including:

• People with mental health challenges
• People with addiction challenges
• People who have a wide variety of mobility issues, some requiring 24 hour care
• People with trauma related illnesses, including domestic, ethnic or political violence
• People of intellectual and developmental diversity
• People with health challenges who qualify for ODSP

In addition to addressing accessibility directly related to disabilities, St. Clare’s addresses barriers encountered by:

• Urban aboriginal populations
• The LGBTQ population
• People living in poverty
• People living with HIV/AIDS