AMO’s Call to End Homelessness
There is a rising homelessness crisis that exists amidst a housing affordability crisis, and it is taking a devastating toll on individuals and communities. The government’s significant investment through the Social Services Relief Fund has mitigated some of the worst impacts of COVID-19 on the homeless population. This has literally saved lives during the pandemic. The implementation of by-name lists and enumeration by service managers are also important measures.
Increasing housing affordability is the primary solution; however, there is a range of actions that can be taken by all orders of government to prevent and break the cycle of homelessness. AMO is inviting the provincial government to work together to build on the productive work to date with AMO, municipalities, and District Social Services Administration Boards.
The next step is to come together to co-design and implement a plan of action to end homelessness in Ontario. With time, this is an achievable goal and there is a moral and economic imperative to act now. It is in the interest of all Ontarians.A proposal to the province, with five recommended foundational steps and twenty-three actions, can now be found on AMO’s website.
AMO Housing Paper Upcoming Release
AMO is actively engaging with municipal associations and the provincial government on the housing crisis. Our white paper, Blueprint for Action: An Integrated Approach to Address the Ontario Housing Crisis, with recommendations will be available later this week. The paper acknowledges housing challenges in every part of Ontario. The province is anticipating its release, and it is expected that the paper can serve as a platform for integrated problem solving. The paper proposes clear actions for all orders of government and the development industry.
Managing Off-Load Delays
As ambulances face increasing offload times in hospitals, the Ministry of Health has now provided guidance should the expansion of consolidation (“batching”) of patients within the hospital be strategically needed to enable paramedic crews to return to service quickly. This practice has been used by various paramedic services across the province and this ministry direction is now providing a more consistent approach to “batching”.
Hospitals and paramedic services that are considering further expansion and formalization of the batching of patients may work towards establishing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the hospital(s) and paramedic service(s). This MOU is to include the assignment of liability and is to be done with appropriate municipal council/DSSAB approvals where the Single/Upper Tier Municipality/DSSAB employs and delivers paramedic services.
Additional information on Paramedic Guidance for Addressing 9-1-1 Patient Flow Issues in Hospitals due to COVID-19 Omicron Variant can be found in the Ministry’s memo.