Survey of Domiciliary Hostel Program Tenants in Ontario

This is a summary of a 2009 survey of Domiciliary Hostel Program tenants in Ontario.

The purpose of the survey was to generate a comprehensive portrait of tenants who live in Ontario’s domiciliary hostels so that service planning and policy development can be responsive to tenants’ needs.

Who is this summary for?

People who are involved in service planning or service provision in the Ontario Domiciliary Hostels Program, tenants in the Ontario Domiciliary Hostels Program and their families and friends.

Key messages:

  • Most tenants in Ontario Domiciliary Hostels are younger than 65.
  • Most tenants face signicant physical health problems, mental health problems, or developmental disabilities. Serious mental illness is prevalent.
  • Over a third of tenants have a history of homelessness. The average tenant has lived in a domiciliary hostel for five years. This suggests that those at risk of homelessness are able to remain housed in domiciliary hostels.
  • Participation in community life and social/recreational activities outside the hostel is extremely limited, and participation in the paid workforce is almost zero.
  • Domiciliary Hostel staff assist tenants in a number of ways, including helping with medications, accompanying them on health visits, and providing social support.
  • Most tenants feel socially well-connected to family, friends, and hostel staff. About one-quarter of tenants have little contact with friends or family.
  • Tenants perceive the quality of their housing to be quite good. Most express a preference to stay at their current residence.
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