Expanding and Revitalizing Services to Support Community Needs


Following a lengthy period of COVID-19 precautions, the Substance Use and Mental Health team was able to shift towards more in-person group programming this past year. Service users benefited from a range of programming across South Riverdale Community Health Centre (SRCHC) sites, including low-barrier drop-in programming, arts-based programming, Indigenous Circles, gender-specific programming, educational workshops, trauma-treatment groups, Hep C treatment groups and writing circles. These initiatives were led by interdisciplinary teams comprised of community health workers, trauma social workers, health promoters, community support workers and harm reduction workers. 

Other programs were also revitalized through collaboration this year. After an extended closure, the Oakridge Health and Harm Reduction Hub resumed services at 52 Cataraqui Crescent in early 2023. The Hub and its partners hosted a spring information session for service users to solicit feedback about what services and opportunities were most impactful. As part of the East Toronto Outreach Program, SRCHC partnered with different organizations to provide a wide range of services that broaden the scope of harm reduction services. These services include housing support through COTA, legal aid services and support with Sound Times, case management with The Neighbourhood Group, and on-site crisis support with Gerstein Crisis Centre. In December 2023, the Hub partnered with Second Harvest to address food insecurity by distributing food donations through a weekly food bank. This holistic range of services offers a one-stop shop, reducing barriers for people in need of accessing a range of supports.

SRCHC’s Harm Reduction Worker Training and Apprenticeship Program wrapped in 2023. The program saw two cohorts graduate with 39 total participants in the training program, 22 of which went on to apprentice at various organizations in the city. The project has increased participants’ harm reduction knowledge, self-confidence, sense of community and purpose. Congratulations graduates!

The Toronto Community Hep C Program (TCHCP) continues to expand its programming and research partnerships across the city. The TCHCP partnered with University Health Network, Michael Garron Hospital, St. Michael’s Hospital and several community health centres to amplify promising and best practices. Through outreach efforts, the TCHCP has reached a broader range of clients, including individuals living in Toronto Community Housing, accessing emergency room departments and experiencing barriers to accessing testing and treatment.  

The KeepSIX Consumption and Treatment Service has been working with the community to address the needs of neighbours and service users through the Community Advisory Committee, the Community Liaison Committee and open houses at our 955 Queen St E location, which gave visitors the opportunity to take a guided tour of KeepSIX. On average, between 75 and 85 unique clients access KeepSix each month. Service hours have been expanded and the site now operates from 8am to 8pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. KeepSIX is often the entry-point for people who use drugs to access healthcare. In addition to overdose response services, KeepSIX offers brief case management services, clinical care, and information and referrals including onsite access to addiction medicine doctors in partnership with the Comprehensive Treatment Clinic. 

Over the past year, SRCHC has moved forward on several environmental, safety, and community engagement activities as part of a comprehensive quality improvement process. Changes include increased community needle sweeps to twice-daily Monday through Friday. In addition, SRCHC worked with the City of Toronto to install a needle kiosk at Jimmie Simpson park to support the safe disposal of used supplies in the Leslieville community. 

Our team is looking forward to another exciting year guided by relationships, communities and the people who use our services! 


Statistics at Glance

unique clients accessed the Hep C program
diagnostic tests were administered for Hep C, Hep B and HIV to clients
diagnostic tests were administered for Hep C through outreach testing