In 2022, The 519 and Homes First opened a shelter dedicated to LGBTQ+ newcomers who have arrived through a refugee pathway. The space prioritizes trans, gender diverse and non-binary folks, and is the first shelter space exclusively for 2SLGBTQ+ adults in Toronto.
The 519 acts as the solo referrer to this space, completes new intakes, and develops and delivers programming for residents. Homes First owns, maintains and staffs Pacewood.
Pacewood residents must meet the following criteria:
- 18+ years of age
- Arrived in Canada through a refugee pathway
- In the process of making a refugee claim
We do not keep a wait list for beds. There are very limited beds available.
- If you are seeking shelter space for an LGBTQ+ newcomer:
- Please call 416-392-6874 ext. 4005 and provide a brief description of the person in need of space and their situation – this will help us determine eligibility and priority.
- Please note, you will only receive a call back if there is a bed available.
Follow Up Supports Program
The 519 is funded by The City of Toronto to provide “Follow Up Support” to 2SLGBTQ+ adults. Through the Follow Up Supports Program we can offer case management that assists with housing and personal stabilization. This may include:
- Setting personal goals and creating plans to meet them.
- Making connections with appropriate resources and services.
- Supporting the development of community connections.
- Developing and maintaining positive relationships with landlords and roommates.
- Preventing eviction.
To be eligible for these services someone must be a 2SLGBTQ+ adult who:
- is exiting homelessness and moving into housing.
- has a history of homelessness and is at risk of homelessness due to an official eviction notice.
For more information about this program or to make a referral email FollowUp@Toronto.ca
Sector Capacity Building
The 519 is funded by the City of Toronto to provide meaningful and relevant training to organizations delivering shelter support and housing to 2SLGBTQ+ communities.
In a 2022 consultation and report, commissioned by The City of Toronto, it was found that systemic and often unchecked homophobia and transphobia has persisted in the shelter system. This is despite The 519 and fellow community advocates demanding change for decades. These same issues were identified in a similar report commissioned by the city of Toronto in 2002.
Building of years of advocacy and the work of our Education and Training department, The 519 will soon be launching a new learning curriculum which will be freely accessible to staff of all city funded shelter providers.