COVID-19 Update: Programs and Services as of June 22nd, 2020

Dear Sistering Community Members,

Thank you for your compassion and support of Sistering. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues across the world, it is important that you know that our team of front line workers continues serving and protecting our participants 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

With the virus threat level reduced and the city preparing to further re-open businesses and services, Sistering is also entering its next phase of its pandemic response.

Returning to 962 Bloor

Starting Thursday, June 25th, we will be reopening our 962 Bloor Street West location as a respite site. 

With direction from the City of Toronto, we will be taking a limited capacity of participants to comply with the public health directive of maintaining 2 metres or more of physical distance. All referrals will be done through the City of Toronto’s Central Intake Line. We anticipate being at capacity for the foreseeable future and will work with community partners to ensure all participants find adequate shelter as needed.

No congregation or smoking will be allowed in the front space. We will maintain a strict intake procedure in place for anyone approved to enter the space, including a temperature check and hand sanitization. Our site will continue to be cleaned multiple times a day with PPE available for each staff.

If you have any questions about this reopening, please contact our Community Engagement Associate Annabelle Bernard at abernard@sistering.org

Available Services

We continue to maintain the following programs at our 962 Bloor site:

  • Food Access: Lunchtime takeaway meals will be available at
    our back kitchen door entrance between 12:00pm – 1:30pm daily
  • Harm Reduction: Access to harm reduction supplies and support will be
    available between 10am and 4pm.
  • Medical Clinic: Inner City Health Associate doctors will provide on-site
    services as needed, maintaining health and safety measures. Virtual
    support is also being provided.

Our Case Support and Parkdale teams will continue supporting clients remotely.
All other programs continue to be suspended, including our Drop-In program in
Parkdale and our Volunteer Program.

In the month of May, we have been able to:

  • serve over 5000 meals to participants including takeaway and delivery;
  • check in on 200 participants via phone and home visits;
  • distribute over 9000 harm reduction kits; and
  • conduct physically distanced social activities for participants like evening bingo
  • resume programming virtually such as SPUN Studio’s weekly journaling class

Community Initiatives

Friendly Neighbour Hotline

We have partnered with the Friendly Neighbour Hotline run by the University Health Network’s OpenLab. The hotline will help with deliveries of food and medicine to our senior participants. They are looking for volunteers so please visit their site if you’re interested in learning more.

Mural at 962 Bloor

Sistering is working with Hektor Projects, a non-profit organization that supports young artists through community-based projects, to create a community mural for the front of our closed 962 Bloor Street West space. Hektor Projects will be providing an honorarium to the talented Isabella Vella to work on this, as well as provide materials funded by Taking IT Global and Canada Service Corps. We look forward to unveiling this sometime in the month of June. If you have any questions in the meantime, you can email Annabelle Bernard at abernard@sistering.org

Sistering Community Gardens

Sistering launched its Community Gardens Initiative in June. We are calling out to any folks in the community to consider growing a Sistering Garden this summer in support of our kitchen. Anyone can grow produce, from a single tomato plant in your window sill to a bushel of zucchini from your yard – every morsel will go directly to feeding Toronto’s most vulnerable women and trans folks. If you’re interested in participating, please email fundraising@sistering.org