Press Release: Barrier Free Client-Centred Care

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE :     Toronto’s homeless and under-housed population gets boost from new, accessible nursing and community mental health clinic space.

Street Health’s accessible coach house creates barrier free, client centred care for homeless and under housed people.

Toronto – On Wednesday September 28, 2016, Street Health welcomed clients, community partners, funders and supporters to an Open House and ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open its newly accessible Coach House. This renovation enables an enhanced level of care to clients with private, well-equipped space to meet one-on-one with a nurse or community mental health worker.

“Toronto’s homeless and under housed individuals face many health inequities”, states Kapri Rabin, Executive Director of Street Health. “The barriers of homelessness include income disparity, food insecurity, and multiple health challenges. At Street Heath we are working diligently to remove these barriers. Creating an accessible physical space for clients is essential to improving access to nursing and community mental health case management supports for our clients.”

  • Street Health clients’ reflect Canada’s aging population, who increasingly require accessible facilities
  • This level of care and access is what most of us take for granted
  • This wheelchair accessible space helps further the work of Street Health’s nursing and community mental health teams.

In 2014, Street Health received a $97,300 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) to help with the renovations to the Coach House.

“I am delighted Street Heath is continuing their commitment to improve the health and well-being of residents of Toronto Centre with the opening of the newly accessible Coach House. Through their many programs, Street Health has assisted countless numbers of homeless and under-housed residents of downtown Toronto. I am truly pleased to see the Ontario Trillium Foundation contribute to the legacy of Street Health and their excellent work of improving the lives of the most vulnerable in our community.”   – Glen Murray, MPP for Toronto Centre

“Thanks to the Ontario Trillium Foundation, The Echo Foundation, Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network and the James Rutley Grand Memorial Fund this accessible facility ensures Street Health will continue to work toward our vision of a healthy community where all members have equitable access to housing, income, quality health care and services necessary to achieve optimal health and well-being,” states Samara Starkman, Board Chair. 

For 30 years Street Health has worked to improve the health and well-being of people who are homeless and under-housed by providing nursing, community mental health, identification replacement, secure ID storage, harm reduction and peer programs. Street Health works with over 3500 individuals annually.

For more information, please contact:

Kapri Rabin, Executive Director, Street Health

(416) 921-8668 or

Street Health – Press Release


MEDIA ADVISORY                                                              September 27, 2016


Enhanced Level of Care for Toronto’s Homeless and Under-housed: Official opening of Street Health’s accessible Coach House

WHATOn Wednesday, September 28 at 2:30 P.M. Street Health will officially open its newly accessible Coach House. Street Health provides nursing, community mental health, identification replacement, ID safe-storage, harm reduction and peer programs working with more than 3500 individuals annually who are homeless and under-housed in Toronto. Street Health’s accessible Coach House provides an enhanced level of care to clients with private, well-equipped space to meet one-on-one with a nurse or community mental health worker.

Speakers include:  Kapri Rabin, Executive Director and Sushi Rosborough, Street Health Peer will be talking about the impact of this new facility on the local community.

WHENWednesday, September 28, 2016 at 2:30 PM (event concludes at 4:00 PM)

WHEREStreet Health 338 Dundas Street East, Toronto, ON


For more information, please contact:

Kapri Rabin, Executive Director

Street Health

(416) 921-8668

Street Health OPEN HOUSE !


Through the summer of 2016, we renovated the inside of an adjacent building in our backyard to make it wheelchair accessible.
We also installed an upgraded medical exam room & accessible counselling space. We are proud of this new space for how it will improve client care, and would like to invite the community to come see what we’ve done.
Clients are already comforted by the spacious, private, well-equipped facility. Join us for a tour!
This event, as part of our 30th Anniversary celebration, will include guided tours of the new Coach House & our main office space, interactive displays of the services & programs we offer, a video retrospective of our 30 years of client care, and a chance for you to meet with other donors, funders, staff & Board members, and our numerous community partners.
Many folks know what we do here at Street Health but fewer have seen where we do it, met our staff, or learned about the clients who motivate us every day. We hope to see you then!

Wednesday, September 28th         2:00 – 4:00 pm

338 Dundas St. East (at Sherbourne)

Light refreshments will be served.
Please RSVP:
or call (416) 921-8668 ext. 229

Peaceful, Sunny Fun

For some SH clients, living on a fixed (and meager) income usually leaves little left over for expenses like healthy food, transportation, medications, an air conditioner…not to mention social or recreational activities.
Living in poverty leaves you with fewer resources, fewer choices, and fewer opportunities.
To address a subtler side to the social determinants of health, we took a group of folks to take a stress-free break, and a ferry ride to the Toronto Islands…

[Please note: SH always seeks consent before publishing photos]


Street Health 30th Annual General Meeting

Dear Friends,

We invite you and your community stakeholders to the

Street Health 30th Anniversary AGM 

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

338 Dundas St. East

5:30 – 7:00 pm


Staff Photo summer 2016

Our agenda for this meeting:

5:30        Annual Meeting

6:00        Presentation:  Stepping Through History: 30 Years of Street Health (1986-2016)

6:30        Dinner

We ask that you RSVP if you plan to attend, so we can order enough food for everyone. Contact:

We hope to see you there.




Nurse Practitioner; Expanded Service

Our nursing team now includes a Nurse Practitioner (NP). In addition to the existing primary care that our Registered Nurses provide, this NP position can also write prescriptions, make referrals and order diagnostic lab tests. This expanded scope gives clients more comprehensive care and responds to the varied, changing and aging needs of our clients.


Toronto’s homeless population includes newcomers, older adults, aboriginals, sex workers and members of the LGBTQ community.  Often, low income predicts health outcomes. Individuals who are homeless are more likely to suffer from chronic illnesses, mental health issues and addictions. Barriers to accessing care sometimes lead to health conditions going undiagnosed, untreated and worsened. Poor access to safe shelter, a decent meal, TTC transportation costs and coping with chaotic lifestyles can often make it a challenge to comply with “doctor’s orders”, long hospital wait-times and with keeping appointments. Lost or stolen identification, stigma and past negative healthcare experiences are also large barriers to accessing and following-up with care.

Barriers to accessing care sometimes translate into difficulty following treatment plans. “Clean the affected area, apply this medication, and put on fresh clean socks”, may not be easy for someone with limited resources who is living on the street. Language barriers, mental health issues, problems with vision, mobility, literacy. Limited access to prescription medication coverage, privacy, bathrooms, safe places to rest and/or funds for healthy food make monitoring and follow-up essential to chronic illness management and to achieving wellness.

When compared to the general population those who are homeless are less likely to have a family doctor and more likely to seek care at an emergency department.

The introduction of a Nurse Practitioner to our nursing services with allow Street Health to accept referrals from community services including hospitals, shelters and detox centres and provide urgent access to nursing care and case management. Flexible care is offered in office and at weekly nursing drop-in clinics. Along with our RNs, our Nurse Practitioner promotes timely access to diagnoses and treatment of acute and chronic illnesses, health screening and referrals to specialty care…which improves the patient experience.

The types of clients who could benefit from this expanded scope may include

  • Service users who do not have a family doctor
  • Those who would benefit from case management and support on an ongoing basis
  • Service users who have a doctor but have trouble accessing them, have a poor relationship with them and/or have complex needs that exceed what one primary care provider can offer
  • Service users whose condition may require monitoring, follow-up and health education on an ongoing basis
  • Those who cannot access care through mainstream organizations (i.e. lost or stolen ID )
  • Any service users who need help linking to specialty services (psychiatry, physician care, etc.) with accompaniment

Within the next 10 years the population of older adults in downtown Toronto is expected to increase by 48.5% and the size of the homeless population continues to grow each year. This increases the need for accessible and specialized care.

With this new NP position, this expansion of our services, and with current renovations to create a wheelchair accessible space, Street Health continues to evolve and respond as client needs become more complex.

Street Health 30th Anniversary -Birthday Party


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Join us as we celebrate:

Street Health’s 30th Anniversary Birthday Party

When:             Thursday, March 17, 2016 (Doors open at 11:30am – 1pm)

Where:            All Saints Church (Dundas/Sherbourne)

  • A hot catered lunch; dessert; music; time with friends…


This is a FREE event, with special thanks to our generous sponsors at:

David MintzAt Your Service

Community-Based Research Award

Community-Based Research Award

In November 2015, Street Health’s Harm Reduction Coordinator Mary Kay MacVicar, along with Regent Park CHC colleagues Sabin Mukkath and Josie Ricciardi were honoured with this distinction from The Ontario HIV Treatment Network.

This award recognized their research and results from an evaluation of Street Health’s HIPS Program, which engages peer outreach workers to educate women who are involved in street-based sex work. The objective of the HIPS Program is to reach out & connect with these women in order to reduce the heightened risk of, or to prevent, HIV infection and violence involved in sex work and/or drug use. Peer workers, with their own lived-experience, offer education about HIV prevention and harm reduction, and make referrals to HIV testing and counselling services. HIPS Program workers also organize a weekly , women-only drop-in where sex workers can meet and mutually support other street involved women. Peer workers also present training & education sessions to frontline workers from other agencies that serve sex workers.

Based on feedback from the research participants, we would like to present To The Point, a summary ‘how-to’ guide that others can use to create a similar peer-based program. This brief publication deals with issues such as: why peer-based is more effective; how to get started; things to consider & prepare for; and overcoming stigma.

Click on this link to access To The Point



Street Health has recently received a large donation of new shoes. We received 100s of pairs of shoes, boots, dress shoes, sandals, running shoes, etc.
Our objective is to get these shoes & boots to the clients and community members that we serve!
Shoes for women & men, for winter & summer, for casual & dress, large sizes & small.
Please let your clients and colleagues know that Street Health is having a SHOE PARTY !!!

Street Health Shoe Party 2015
Tuesday, December 15th
1-3 pm
Street Health
338 Dundas St. East

Shoes will be sorted by size & gender; clients will be allowed to choose among them; availability is strictly first-come-first-served.

Shoe Party 2014


SEATON HOUSE and the “George St. Revitalization” Project

Seaton House is the largest men’s homeless shelter in Canada, with a total of 674 beds in various program areas. The city of Toronto is planning to demolish it and ‘revitalize’ the street where it is located. The plan is to replace it with a 384-bed long-term care facility, with only 100 emergency shelter beds…reducing the number of beds by roughly 200.

Street Health has joined 17 other healthcare agencies who provide services to people who are homeless (and 113 individual care providers) to endorse an open letter sent to the mayor and members of city-council, expressing our concerns over the implementation of their plan. We would like to raise concern and attention to:

  • a significant loss in the number of shelter beds within an already over-crowded shelter system
  • any new shelter spaces for current service users be located downtown, where clients access drop-in, harm reduction and medical supports
  • the absence of a clear transition plan for current Seaton House residents who may have complex medical concerns, mental health issues, addictions or cognitive impairments

To read the full text of our open letter, please visit:

Health Care Providers Raise Concerns about George Street Revitalization