New hospice for the homeless opens in downtown Toronto
TORONTO, ON, April 30 – Journey Home Hospice, a new care facility for people who are homeless and facing the end of life, has officially opened its doors. The hospice will welcome its first residents this week, providing inclusive high-quality care to some of the city’s most vulnerable citizens.
Launched in 2018, Journey Home Hospice is a partnership involving three respected health organizations: Saint Elizabeth Foundation, Inner City Health Associates and Hospice Toronto. It is a joint passion to improve equitable access to hospice palliative care for Toronto’s homeless community in a socially innovative way.
With four beds now open at a pilot site location, the partners are working to fundraise $10 million, with the vision of creating a single-site, 10-bed hospice in the next two years.
VIDEO: Journey Home Hospice – Care for those without a home
“Today marks a significant milestone, but more help is desperately needed,” says Dr. Naheed Dosani, a palliative care physician with Inner City Health Associates. “We need compassionate business and community leaders to get behind this so that no one in our city has to die alone.”
Hospices like Journey Home must rely heavily on donations, as government funding only covers a portion of total costs. The partners are also contributing financially, with Saint Elizabeth Foundation providing $1 million and Inner City Health Associates providing $700,000. Hospice Toronto will provide $250,000 in-kind annually for trained hospice volunteers.
As a centre of excellence for homeless palliative care, Journey Home Hospice will advance national best practices of care delivery. In addition to hospice palliative care, staff and volunteers will have additional training in areas such as harm reduction, mental health and addictions, and trauma-informed care.
To make a donation or learn more about Journey Home Hospice, please visit www.journeyhomehospice.ca.
- There are about 5,250 people experiencing homelessness in Toronto
- With 74% reporting at least one serious health condition, those who are homeless face a higher risk of illness; they are five times more likely to have heart disease and four times more likely to have cancer
- In addition to significant social benefits, research shows that a 10-bed hospice model can save the healthcare system $1.5 million annually
- When fully operational, Journey Home Hospice will serve approximately 100 people a year, plus a larger network of family, friends and caregivers
ABOUT THE PARTNERS
Saint Elizabeth is a not-for-profit charity that has been providing home care, health solutions and education for more than 100 years. As Canada’s largest social enterprise, Saint Elizabeth employs 9,000 staff nationwide and cares for 20,000 people every day. The Saint Elizabeth Foundation works to strengthen community health care through innovative models, partnerships and charitable programs. www.saintelizabeth.com
Inner City Health Associates (ICHA) is group of more than 90 physicians working in over 45 shelters and drop-ins across Toronto. ICHA provides primary, mental health and palliative care to those who do not otherwise have access to care. Palliative Education and Care for the Homeless or PEACH is a palliative consult/supportive service of Inner City Health Associates (ICHA). The PEACH team works in partnership with other agencies and palliative care providers in Toronto to provide community-based palliative care to those who are homeless. ICHA is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. www.icha-toronto.ca
Hospice Toronto is Toronto’s first volunteer and community-based In-Home Hospice Palliative Care program. A recognized leader in providing high-quality programming, including In-Home and residential support, Bereavement and Children’s Support Programs, Expressive Art Therapy as well as a Young Carers program. Since its inception in 1988, nearly 12,000 individuals travelling the journey of a life-limiting illness have been served with the mission of adding life to days. Hospice Toronto is committed to offering tailored programming that is integrated with other community agencies, while providing strong advocacy for excellence in client care at all levels of service and social policy. Today, Hospice Toronto is recognized by clients, communities and caregivers for ground-breaking advances in community-based care. www.hospicetoronto.ca
Journey Home Hospice receives partial operating funding from the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care through the Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network.