Frequently Asked Questions for the Shelter Rebuild
What happened to the women and children who were staying at the shelter?
The women and children who were residing at NYWS have been moved to other shelters or have found permanent housing. The beds from NYWS have been divided in the Toronto violence against women (VAW) shelter system so that there was no reduction in the beds available for women and children in Toronto.
How long will the rebuild take?
The rebuild is scheduled to begin this Spring and will take approximately 18 months to complete. The new shelter will reopen sometime in Spring 2019.
What happened to the crisis line?
The crisis line is still accessible but all calls are re-directed to other resources such as the Assaulted Women’s Helpline.
Where can women and children in the North York area go to get help?
If they are in crisis, they should contact emergency services immediately by calling 9-1-1. If they are looking for support with addressing abuse or violence, they can call the Assaulted Women’s Helpline at 416-863-0511 or 1-866-863-0511. If they are looking for shelter, they can contact the City of Toronto Central Intake at 416-397-5637.
A list of shelters is available at: https://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=e29dd4b4920c0410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD
What happens to the staff while the shelter is shut down?
The front-line staff are currently on layoff notice and will be recalled when the shelter re-opens.
Are there any programs continuing while the shelter is being rebuilt?
Yes. The Expressive Arts Therapy program will be continuing. We are also building the capacity of our Volunteer program and introducing Anti-Violence Advocacy and Outreach programs. During the shut-down, we are taking the time to go through the intensive process of program evaluation and planning to ensure we are prepared to offer the best evidence-informed services when the new facility opens.
What will be included in the new shelter?
The new shelter will be a modern, accessible facility with over 20,000 square feet of space for service delivery, programming, and offices to support women and children. The new building is being designed through a trauma-informed evidence-based lens and will focus on highlighting therapeutic spaces that support healing. There will also be a publicly-accessible community space with wrap-around services to support residents, former residents, and women and children in the North York Community who are at risk for or experiencing violence. Many new and improved programs and services will be available in the new shelter including emergency residence, case management, trauma therapy and counselling, expressive arts therapy, children’s services, medical services, research and advocacy, life skills workshops, health and wellness programming, and more.
Where are donations going?
Your donations support the on-going programming that continues while the shelter is being rebuilt, such as the Expressive Arts Therapy program, the Outreach Program and our Volunteer Program. Your money also supports all of the program evaluations and planning required for the new shelter; a process that will take the entire 18 months to complete. Your support also enables us to continue day-to-day operations including regular communications and updates to stakeholders; strategic planning for the new facility and the future of the organization; developing and updating policies procedures, and guidelines; building a strong network of community partners for service delivery, supporting information requests and referrals; and other administrative duties. We are relying on your ongoing support to stay connected to the community and ensure we have a plan in place to ensure the success of the new facility.
Where is the money for the shelter re-build coming from?
The federal and provincial governments have invested $8.84 million to support building a new, modern, accessible shelter.