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10.3 Emergency Shelter Solutions


Ontario Works Effective Date: July 1, 2022
Topic:Homelessness Prevention Replaces: NEW
Subject: Emergency Shelter Solutions Policy No. H.10.3


The vision of the Homelessness Prevention Program is to provide the necessary resources to establish a coordinated housing and homelessness system so the people at risk of or experiencing homelessness have the housing and support services that they need to retain and/or obtain stable housing and achieve better outcomes.

The goals of the Homelessness Prevention Program are to:

  1. Prevent homelessness: people at risk of homelessness remain housed and have connections to support services
  2. Address homelessness: people who are homeless and chronically homeless obtain and retain housing and support services
  3. Reduce chronic homelessness: reduction in chronic homelessness

Emergency Shelter Solutions

Services and supports that provide immediate relief or protect households/people who are experiencing homelessness.  

Emergency shelters may target specific sub-populations, including women, families, youth, or Indigenous persons. These shelters may have minimal eligibility criteria, may offer shared sleeping facilities and amenities, and may expect clients to leave in the morning. They may offer food, clothing, or other services. This would include hotel and motel stays, where no emergency shelter exists or in overflow situations.


The eligible expenses listed below would be supported through partnership agreements with eligible service providers. Service providers who wish to establish a partnership agreement must make their request in writing to the Manitoulin-Sudbury District Services Board.


  • Services related to the provision of emergency shelter beds including beds provided in hotels/motels and vouchers for hotels/motels
  • Necessary basic needs including food, clothing, blankets, hygiene items, diapers and other essentials
  • Services offered within the emergency shelter or by shelter employees including housing search assistance, childcare within the shelter, nursing, transportation for shelter residents, outreach to former shelter residents.
  • Costs to reduce the potential for infection and transmission among shelter residents and those who work with them i.e. Personal Protective Equipment
  • Minor retrofits or upgrades to existing emergency shelters with a total funding request of less than $50,000


New Facilities:

  • Costs to assist with the acquisition of buildings that would be converted/upgraded to provide emergency shelter.
  • Conversion of an existing property and/or expansion of an existing facility to create additional emergency shelter spaces.
  • Conventional or modular construction to increase emergency shelter capacity.


  • Renovation, retrofitting, repair and upgrading of existing emergency shelters to meet building code standards and public health requirements (e.g., building self-contained bedrooms, adding walls/partitions, washrooms)