All Saints has a long history of serving marginalized communities. Our mission is to share in God’s love at Dundas and Sherbourne, especially those most in need, in a place of connection, welcome, and practical help. Because we are a faith-based organization, independent of government funding and obligations, we can be “low barrier,” and respond nimbly when need arises. Hence we are one of 7 Toronto drop-ins (out of 58) that remain open during the Covid-19 pandemic. Of those 7 drop-ins, we shelter the greatest number of daytime sleepers. An increasing number of our drop-in guests are “street homeless,” and have no nighttime shelter at all.
As Covid-19 has increased the stress for homeless people who have fewer places to go, the pandemic has also increased the demands on All Saints’ staff. To keep our space sanitary, we have increased our cleaning staff. To screen people on entry and prevent crowding, we have two staff members dedicated to working our door. To serve food in a hygienic manner, we serve meals to each drop-in guest individually. And our managers are in near-constant communication with the City and neighbouring agencies as we strategize ways to keep our people safe and fed.
As long as we maintain our current skeleton staff, the Covid-19 pandemic threatens our continued operation.