COVID-19 restrictions cause concerns about spaces, safety at GTA shelters

Oct 22, 2020 | COVID-19

Melanie Valente-Leite

With cold weather and winter approaching, unhoused people in the Greater Toronto Area are facing news struggles to try and find shelter, with COVID-19 restrictions in place.

The Ontario government has ordered anyone staying in shelters must wear a mask at all times, even while sleeping, to reduce the spread.

Several organizations in Ontario, such as Just Socks, Covenant House, Blue Doors, and others in the GTA, are asking for donations to provide families in need with safe housing.

The Toronto Board of Health announced in May that the city had disbursed $200 million to open new shelter facilities and asked the province to help pay the costs.

The Ontario government gave $150 million to aid those in municipalities and urban indigenous community partners.

Shelters were temporarily closed in Ontario around May because of the high number of COVID cases, so it is not yet confirmed what will happen once the weather drops below zero as cases may increase.

Below is a map with several locations that are currently open in the GTA: