The City of Toronto says it, along with the TTC, are partnering with an outreach group geared to provide more mental health supports to vulnerable people sheltering on Toronto’s transit system.
The partnership, with LOFT Community Services, will mean more community wellbeing experts will be on hand on the TTC.
“There is an unprecedented need for increased services geared to individuals with complex needs who are using the TTC for shelter and warmth,” the city said.
Officials said starting this month, LOFT staff will be deployed in the transit system to connect people with services, including physical and mental health supports, through a case management approach to ongoing care.
“Individuals requiring more complex and longer-term supports will now have access to case workers and health care professionals, including registered nurses,” the city said. “This will ensure people are receiving the health and social supports they need long after crisis de-escalation and emergency response are complete.”
The news comes as more high-profile and violent incidents have been reported on the TTC in recent months. In an Ipsos poll conducted for Global News last month, it suggested 44 per cent of Toronto residents feel unsafe riding transit alone.
“We want to make sure the TTC is safe for everyone,” said Toronto’s Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie.
“The work of TTC, the City and partners to tackle the challenges on the transit system has been immediate and is getting results. Bringing LOFT onboard now allows us to extend the immediate supports we have already deployed and provide the many ongoing aspects of health and social care that people need to lead healthy lives.”