Backgrounder: TCHC is continuing to connect with seniors and vulnerable tenants to ensure they have support during the COVID-19 emergency
TORONTO, April 17, 2020 — Seniors and vulnerable tenants who call Toronto Community Housing (TCHC) home live independently; however, many rely on a network of community support and agencies for assistance in their daily lives. Toronto Community Housing has full-time staff who work with City agencies, partner service providers and volunteers to help link seniors and vulnerable tenants with the personal and community supports they may need, such as visits from personal support workers, links to health teams or deliveries from Meals on Wheels.
During the COVID-19 emergency, TCHC staff have been contacting vulnerable individuals and seniors to offer assistance. In some cases tenants' usual supports are not available while in other cases, seniors who are self-isolating as a precaution now need home deliveries of groceries and medicine for the first time.
As of April 9, 2020, TCHC staff reached more than half of 16,160 self-identified vulnerable tenants and seniors by telephone to offer supports. Staff connected with 8,679 tenants by telephone including over 5400 seniors. Over 94% of tenants have indicated they have supports in place. Staff also donned protective equipment and deployed to knock on the doors of vulnerable tenants who did not answer the calls. As of late last week, more than 900 of these tenants had been reached in person, and the outreach continues this week.
Toronto Community Housing is working closely with the City and with agencies to ensure food deliveries and other needs of all our seniors and vulnerable tenants continue to be met during the emergency. All tenants who require information or assistance during the emergency are asked to contact TCHC's 24-hour Client Care Centre at 416-981-5500 or through email at email@example.com.
Supports to vulnerable Toronto Community Housing tenants include:
- Continuing to call tenants and do wellness checks for all tenants who have been previously identified as vulnerable and all those in seniors buildings.
- Working with all tenants who need help with daily help tasks during this time, such as food and medicine delivered to their home. Tenants should call TCHC's 24-hour Client Care Centre at 416-981-5500 and we will assist them.
- Asking all tenants who are self-isolating to voluntarily inform us so we can take appropriate safety measures and connect them to needed supports.
- Food banks which agencies normally operate in TCHC buildings are still open, with special precautions for cleanliness and social-distancing.
- Food delivery for seniors –1-833-204-9952: Toronto seniors and other who are in need of food but who are unable to leave their homes to access food can call Red Cross at 1-833-204-9952 to register for food hamper delivery. With support from partners, United Way Greater Toronto and a generous in-kind contribution from Red Cross, this service is available for qualifying seniors and others that do not have alternative access to food (such as through family, friends, or grocery delivery services) and are not receiving assistance from another community food program.
- Mental health support for seniors – Seniors can call 211: Toronto Seniors in need of mental health support during the COVID-19 pandemic can call 211 to access support and get connected to one of three primary mental health service partners serving seniors for direct phone support (Progress Place Warm Line, Toronto Seniors Helpline and Gerstein Centre). Mental health service information is also available at http://www.211toronto.ca/.
TCHC staff are working with volunteer networks and others to ensure we are able to deliver food to tenants who are self-isolating and in need of help with daily living needs, such as food and medicine, during the COVID-19 emergency period. TCHC is also working with partner agencies in Toronto, including health agencies and food bank providers, to fill any gaps when agencies have had to cut back services, and to ensure we continue to support vulnerable tenants.
Details about resources for seniors in Toronto during the COVID-19 emergency, including daily updates in multiple languages and links to Public Health information are available on TCHC's dedicated COVID-19 page. TCHC also distributes posters about COVID-19 in its buildings, translated into several languages. TCHC and other supports for seniors in Toronto are also outlined on the City of Toronto COVID-19 webpage.
About Toronto Community Housing
Toronto Community Housing is Canada's largest social housing landlord, providing homes for nearly 60,000 low and moderate-income households in neighbourhoods across the city. We are wholly owned by the City of Toronto and our 2,100 buildings represent a $10-billion public asset.