Homes First

Homes First provides affordable stable housing and support services to help people break the cycle of homelessness.

Our Impact Why We Exist

There are over 5,000 people in Toronto without a safe stable place to live. Hundreds live “rough” – in ravines, stairwells or on the street. Hundreds more suffer with mental illness and addictions. As reported by Toronto's Vital Signs report, 77,109 people in Toronto are actively waiting for affordable housing. This is who we serve. We believe that people need a home first.

The vast majority of vulnerably housed and homeless people – even those with severe mental health and/or substance use issues – can successfully stay housed and off the street when the right supports are in place.

With a home people can be part of a community, obtain ID, register for social services and keep in touch with family and friends. 

We believe that everyone needs a home.

Our Story What We Do

Homes First houses 550 men, women and families every night and has done so for over 30 years. With a home, people gain respect, dignity and the ability to care for themselves and others. Housing First saves lives, saves money and creates hope and opportunity.

In 2015, Homes First provided the following value to the community:

·         1,928 of referrals and connections to community partners

·         107,700 of meals served

·         351  people in supportive housing (including children)

·         60,800 of nights of emergency shelter: 

·         23 former CAMH patients now living at a Homes First property

·         Cost of 1 year at CAMH: $250,000

·         Cost of 1 year at Homes First: $30,000 = Savings:  $5,720,000/year

It costs a lot to house the homeless. It costs more not to.

Our Programs How We Do It

Homes First has 16 buildings in nine Toronto neighbourhoods, each as unique as the people living with us. We fill a great need in the city as 77,109 people in Toronto are actively waiting for affordable housing, as reported by Toronto's Vital Signs report.


13 long-term housing sites provide affordable or supportive housing to 374 men, women, and children - people who have nowhere else to go.


  • Savards—a shelter for women with a long history of homelessness and mental illness
  • Scarborough— a mixed shelter for the recently homeless
  • Strachan— a transitional shelter for the chronically homeless

Supports to help people keep their home

  • Employment & volunteer engagement
  • Food/Meals
  • Health Clinic
  • Community Engagement
  • Life Skills: budgeting, housing, hygiene, self-esteem,  networking in the community
  • Connections to social and government services

What You Can Do

There are many ways you can give back, such as:

Becoming a Home Builder

A donation of...

·         $12,600 will provide water, heat, and electricity to six families for a year

·         $1,000 will ensure 10 new residents receive a home starter kit when they move off the streets and into their home

·         $100 will provide a holiday basket to one single person or family

Sponsor an event:

Partner with us to raise money and awareness to break the cycle of homelessness. Tie One On (May 11th 2016), Homes For Dinner (November 2016) and Home With Friends (November 2016)


Join our volunteer community of over 250 . You could run a yoga program once a week, help out at one of our events, or even cook a holiday meal. The opportunities to get involved are endless.

Tie One On – there will be a designated website soon

Homes for Dinner/Home With Friends can link to the same site =


Kim Mole
Administrative Coordinator
Charitable Number: 865843932RR0001

Finance & Governance


Join the Conversation