Meeting our Client's Needs
Last year Cota led focus groups with over 70 clients. The focus groups revealed that clients were looking for improved access to food and nutrition, making food security a top priority in our Strategic Plan (2016-2021).
Cota brainstormed creative ways to help meet this need and one of our solutions was to fundraise. Since 2015, we raised $24,000 through our participation in the Scotiabank Charity Challenge and a one-time private donation.
Thanks to the support and generosity of our fundraising team and donors, we were able to pilot a breakfast program and provided more than 10,000 meals at our Scarborough Short-Term Residential Beds (STRB). We are also planning on adding a lunch to the program in the winter of 2017.
Short-Term Residential Beds Program (STRB)
Cota’s STRB program is one program within a coordinated network of Safe Beds across Toronto. Our STRB is located in Scarborough and provides short-term accommodation and support to adults living with serious mental illness who are experiencing situational crisis resulting in homelessness. The program offers support in the areas of short-term accommodation, personal/situation stabilization, the development of a longer-term housing plan, service navigation and referrals (e.g. case management, primary care, housing, etc.).
The program is intended to meet the basic needs of those in crisis by offering a safe place to reside for up to 30 days, 24/7 support, and access to basic necessities such as toiletries, clothing and food. Since its inception the program had only been able to offer one meal per day (dinner) and access to snacks. In 2016 we were able to offer breakfast to individuals!