Following the Council motions passed in July, the 731 Runnymede Community Liaison Committee (CLC) has been formed and has begun meeting. The CLC includes 15 local residents from Wards 11 and 13 who have volunteered their time to help shape this new City-run shelter. City staff from the Social Development and Finance Administration and Shelter, Support and Housing Administration are part of the committee, as are local community and health agencies, Toronto Police Services and the local Councillors. Current and former clients of the shelter system are also participating.
As per the Council motion, "the role of the Community Liaison Committee is to work collaboratively with City staff to identify the resources need to support the development of the men's shelter into the neighbourhood and develop a Rockcliffe-Smythe/Junction Strategy to promote economic revitalization, community safety, social services and land-use planning that includes a Safe Growth strategy."
In order to meet Council's deadline of reporting to the September meeting of the Community Development and Recreation Committee, the CLC is meeting weekly until September 7, with a focus on answering two key questions:
- What is the appropriate number of shelter beds for this location; and
- What programs and services are needed to support shelter clients at 731 Runnymede
The CLC will also be meeting with the architect to comment on the design of the shelter's interior and exterior. You can find out about the committee's work and read agendas, minutes, reports and other materials on this website. You can also contact the CLC with your comments or feedback via a dedicated email: 731RunnymedeCLC@toronto.ca
In addition to advising staff in the preparation of this report, the CLC will have ongoing responsibilities including the development of the community safety plan, and a community wellness plan focused on economic and social improvements for the neighbourhood surrounding the shelter. In order to complete this work, the CLC will strike sub-committees that are open to all residents in the area who want to help advance the work.
The Community Safety Committee will meet for the first time on Friday, September 16 from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. This sub-committee will work to develop a Community Safety Plan to address issues of safety and security with a particular focus on the Runnymede underpass and railway tracks. They will also be conducting a safety audit of the Runnymede Park. If you are interested in working with City staff, Police and other residents to improve the safety and security of the neighbourhood, please contact: RSCommunitySafety@toronto.ca or call Stephen Linton at 416-392-8710. You can see the poster here.
There is considerable work ahead, but I am confident that the strong community engagement we are seeing will ensure that this shelter works for the neighbouring residents and those who greatly need its services.
Councillor Sarah Doucette, Ward 13