Homeless Connect has united individuals experiencing or at-risk of homelessness with necessary services for the past five years. On a single day annually, over 80 service providers gather at the Mattamy Centre in downtown Toronto to provide medical, housing, finance, education, legal and other services, as well as food and supplies. In each year that this project has been running, Downtown Legal Services has been a proud participant, providing guests with legal information and referrals for family, criminal, immigration and refugee, employment and housing matters. This year, DLS was represented by both law and social work students to provide as much support to guests – over 1,000 of them! – as possible.
As a community legal clinic, DLS provides legal and social work services to people from low-income families every day. However, those who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness face additional barriers to accessing the services available to them. For that reason, community outreach and events such as Homeless Connect are a crucial part of DLS’s work – they help to bridge the gap between services and those who need them most, and also allow us to hear directly from community members on how they can best be served. We’d like to extend our gratitude to the volunteers and organizers of Homeless Connect for hosting us, and to the many guests who we had the pleasure of meeting. We will see you next year!