Our 4 CAPs
Homeless and Under-housed CAP
Improving the health of Toronto's homeless and hidden-homeless
The Homeless and Under Housed CAP provides advice and frontline experience to make St. Michael's services better for people who are homeless.
This CAP also supports the hidden homeless - those who are under-housed, who may stay with a succession of friends or acquaintances for days or weeks at a time.
Since 1992, the work of this CAP has helped to advocate on behalf of hundreds of homeless and under-housed people in downtown Toronto, resulting in programs such as supports for people in the Emergency room and access to family practice services at local shelters.
"It's good that you come out here and talk to us and ask us what we need." - Homeless Balanced Scorecard participant
Rotary Transition Centre
Many people who are homeless in Toronto need Emergency treatment - but have to recover back on the street. The CAP identified a need to establish a temporary refuge for patients at St. Michael's who are discharged from Emergency, but have no place to go in the community.
A donation from the Rotary Club of Toronto helped the hospital to create the Rotary Club of Toronto Transition Centre - the first of its kind in Canada. The Rotary Transition Centre is a 24-hour facility that is a safe and welcoming environment for homeless and under-housed patients, where they can get a meal, do laundry, watch TV, use the phone or speak to a social worker. Since 1999, the Rotary Transition Centre has served about 1,000 homeless patients every year.
The Homeless Balanced Scorecard
Through the work of the CAP, the hospital has developed a tool to measure how homeless and under-housed clients at St. Michael's experience and access hospital care, compared with other hospital scorecards, including the general patient population. The results of this 'snapshot' are used for hospital planning, reporting and research projects by the Centre for Research on Inner-City Health. The Homeless Balanced Scorecard is the only one of its kind in Canada, and there is widespread interest in how this tool can be used to assess and improve the care of homeless patients.
Community Support Worker position in Emergency
The CAP recognized that many homeless and under-housed clients were arriving at the St. Michael's Emergency Department (ED) with no one to advocate for them. Working with ED staff, they helped to create a new, permanent position to provide support for homeless and under-housed clients in Emergency and help them link to community services when they are discharged. The person in this new position also acts as a mentor to other staff in the ED to help them communicate and understand the unique needs of vulnerable clients.