COVID-19 Prevention

Yesterday, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Todd Smith, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services, provided an update on the measures being put into place across the social services and youth justice sectors across Ontario to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus within our community.
Today, the Ontario Government declared the province in a state of emergency. Coinciding with recommendations from our health professionals, YWS is taking action to ensure our youth remain safe and healthy with the growing concerns of the COVID-19 virus.
YWS has enforced the following:
  • Suspension of all visitors and onsite volunteers (such as meal preparation and tutors)
  • Thorough screening for all new youth intakes
  • Thorough screening of all donated goods, corresponding with City of Toronto guidelines
  • Providing onsite flu kits and COVID-19 information for all residents and staff
  • Access to Self Assessment Screening for all residents and staff
  • Increased sanitation measures to keep our home safe
  • Posting of safe hand washing methods across the shelter
  • Suspension of all outside group activities, including March Break day trips for the resident youth
  • Following all directions from Toronto Public Health
  • Taking part in the Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health’s recommendation to suspend all events of over 50 people, we are postponing Cover Me Urban until the fall. We will share the new fall date for Cover Me Urban as soon as it becomes available
Although all onsite activity with visitors and volunteers is on hold until further notice, we are currently accepting donations of goods for our youth during this challenging time. Accepted goods include non-perishable food items for our YWS kitchen and food bank.
PLEASE NOTE: All donations of goods must be pre-approved with a scheduled drop off day and time.
For more information on donating goods, please contact Anastasia at
We thank you for your support at this time, and will continue to monitor the situation to ensure the safety of the youth we serve here at Youth Without Shelter.
A message from our Executive Director, Steve Doherty
The impact of COVID-19 continues to unfold rapidly around the globe. At Youth Without Shelter (YWS) we are monitoring the situation closely in conjunction with our partners the City of Toronto and Toronto Public Health, relying upon the best up to date assessments and recommendations from leading Canadian public health authorities. At the heart of every decision we make is the health and safety of the young people we serve, the dedicated YWS Team, and our committed community of support. 
As we navigate this uncharted time, Youth Without Shelter is focused on the future, committed to empowering youth facing homelessness to reach individual potential. During these challenging times your support of Youth Without Shelter and the youth who call YWS home is especially meaningful. Thank you.
We cannot wait to welcome you to our “house” as soon as this is all behind us.  
– Steve Doherty, Executive Director

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