On July 4, 2023, Service Depots began operation in Ann Street Park, Cavendish Park, Wellington Valley Park, and Watson Street Park, bringing basic services like food, drinking water, washrooms, and garbage cleanups directly to people living in encampments.
What are Service Depots?
Service Depots are daily services that are set-up for roughly 90 minutes per day as an emergency response providing basic needs to people living in tents and encampments. They are a temporary crisis solution and are time limited services designed to serve those who are already living unsheltered in the area.
The services that have been established as part of this temporary solution are focused on:
- Safe and clean drinking water
- Hygiene and sanitation facilities
- Resources and support to ensure fire safety
- Waste management and garbage collection systems
- Social supports and services
- Resources to support personal safety of residents
While a system level encampment strategy will be created as part of the Health and Homelessness Whole of Community Response, City Council has approved funding to support community organizations in establishing immediate short-term Service Depots to provide basic needs for individuals experiencing homelessness.
The Service Depots are an emergency response meant to decrease additional levels of desperation experienced by those living in encampments, which have been identified by frontline workers, and to help mitigate the effect on surrounding areas, by providing garbage facilities and hygiene stations.
To learn more about the Service Depots, please review the Encampment Response Update to Community and Protective Services Committee – June 13, 2023.
What is the difference between Hubs and Service Depots?
Service Depots are daily services that are set-up for roughly 90 minutes per day in specific areas as an emergency response providing basic needs to individuals. They are a temporary crisis solution to help people who are already living unsheltered.
Hubs are different and will be uniquely purpose-designed physical spaces across London that can provide a range of services under one roof. Hubs do not currently exist yet in London, but are being developed as part of London's Whole of Community System Response. They will have common core functions, such as access to care, health and wellness services, 24/7 safe spaces, transitional and crisis beds, and one phone number to call for referral. Every interaction at a hub is an active and intentional effort to enable an individual’s next steps toward supportive housing. London’s Hubs Implementation Plan was endorsed by Council in July, 2023.