Yes, tax receipts are provided for any monetary donation over $20.00.
Gift certificates are also eligible for charitable tax receipts.
Blue Door utilizes 100% of donations towards our mission: To enable housing stability by driving innovative housing, health and employment solutions that prevent and end homelessness.
We accept financial donations online, by cheque, cash, or electronic transfer. Please view our Donate page to see more details and our online donation form.
Please make your cheque out to “Blue Door Support Services” and mail the cheque to Blue Door at:
18838 Highway 11
East Gwillimbury, ON
Yes, one of the greatest times of need for families and individuals is when they move out in the community into their new home. Items like groceries and essential housewares such as pots, pans, dishes and bedding can be a financial hardship after paying first and last month’s rent.
Your generous gift card donation makes a huge impact to support an individual or family’s successful transition from homelessness to home.
Urgently needed gift cards include:
- $5 Tim Hortons gift cards give warmth during extreme cold weather alerts when beds are full
- $25 Walmart gift cards purchase groceries and essential housewares (e.g. pots, pans, dishes) during those first few months when funds are limited
- $25 Value Village gift cards provide basic clothing and footwear
- $25 President’s Choice (Loblaws) gift cards are used by families with infants for formula, wipes, and diapers
- $25 Esso, Shell, or Petro Canada gift cards provide support in traveling to job interviews or housing searches and viewings
Our charitable tax number is 13057 1896 RR0001.
For emergency housing in York Region, call Central Intake at 1-877-464-9675 ext. 76140
Emergency housing provides temporary accommodation while transitional housing – provides longer stays (6 months to a year). Both emergency housing and traditional housing provide wraparound supports to help individuals rebuild their lives without having to think about where they will sleep the following night.
Each year Blue Door serves over 1300 people, from babies to seniors.
Blue Door provides services to families, seniors, adults, and youth experiencing homelessness or who are on the brink of homelessness.
As well, Blue Door’s emergency and transitional housing programs offer population-specific programming to meet the unique needs of underserved groups, such as senior men and 2SLGBTQ+ youth.
While homelessness affects all ages, races, and genders, it is important to recognize that overwhelming structural barriers and challenges including inequitable access to education, employment, housing, and health services have caused racialized groups, 2SLGBTQ+ folks, Black people, Indigenous people, newcomers, and immigrants to be overrepresented among people experiencing homelessness.
At Kevin’s Place, essential youth supports range from housing procurement, financial stability, general health, substance use, and supportive counseling to address a variety of trauma.
At Leeder Place and Porter Place, wraparound supports and resources included housing, mental health, skills enhancement/education, settlement, and legal support.
Child and youth supports are offered to children at Leeder Place and include school assessments, breakfast club, homework club, field trips, school supplies, accompaniment to school appointments, monthly birthday parties, health information, and much more.
Blue Door provides housing and health programs to people in York Region and surrounding areas.
An instant success and proven solution to ending homelessness, Blue Door’s employment social enterprise Construct is rapidly expanding and provides training opportunities in York, Durham, and Peel Regions.
Blue Door provides 102 of the 160 emergency housing beds available in York Region year-round. During the cold winter months from October to June, Blue Door’s Mosaic Interfaith Out of the Cold opens up to provide seasonal emergency housing.
Additionally, during cold weather alerts when temperatures drop below -15°C or colder, additional beds are made available for the duration of the alert.
Individuals and families seeking emergency housing are encouraged to call York Region’s Central Intake Line at 1-877-464-9675 ext. 76140, which will provide information on service providers with availability.
Homelessness in York Region is often hidden. Hidden homelessness includes people who are couch surfing, sleeping in cars, or staying temporarily with neighbours or strangers.
People experiencing hidden homelessness often do not access available supports and it is estimated that for every person accessing homelessness supports, three people are facing hidden homelessness.
Our Housing Retention Program supports individuals moving into housing in navigating potential issues that could lead to eviction by providing consistent follow-up support and connections to community resources that further contribute to longer-term housing stability.
The addition of Blue Door’s Intensive Case Management Program aims to complement our existing housing and housing retention supports. Together, Blue Door’s Intensive Case Management Program and Housing Retention Program provide support for individuals in housing placement, housing retention, and homelessness prevention.
In 2023 Kevin’s Place continued to support single individuals experiencing homelessness, who needed a place to isolate if COVID-19 positive.
Participants in Forward and INNclusion live independently in the community in a shared space. Families in Abode will each have a separate unit.
2SLGBTQ+ youth face identity-based rejection, discrimination, and abuse causing many to leave home in search of safety.
25-40% of youth experiencing homelessness identify as 2SLGBTQ+.
However, due to discrimination faced at men’s and women’s emergency housing providers, children choose the safety of sleeping on the streets.
Without anyone or anywhere to turn to, 1 in 3 2SLGBTQ+ youth experiencing homelessness attempted suicide in the past year alone.
Transitional housing provides families (Abode), senior men (Forward), men (Passage House), and 2SLGBTQ+ youth (INNclusion) with independent housing, case management support, and intended lengths of stay ranging from 6 months to one year as the individual or family works towards overcoming barriers and securing housing in the community.
Case management is provided to help individuals set goals towards education, health, employment or gaining income support, and making plans for moving to permanent housing.
Lengths of stay in transitional housing are flexible and dependent on the barriers individuals and families experience.
Intended lengths of stay for senior men in Forward and men in Passage House are six months, while families in Abode and 2SLGBTQ+ youth have approximately one year.
Transitional housing is intended to be a stepping stone to help very vulnerable people move from emergency housing to affordable housing, ultimately preventing people from cycling back into homelessness.
80% of people who experience homelessness will never experience homelessness again. For these individuals emergency housing, which offers 30 days for men, 3 months for families, and 6 months for youth, is often enough time and support.
However, 20% of people experiencing homelessness will do so repeatedly, lacking the time and support offered through emergency housing to overcome barriers and trauma. This is particularly true for youth, who lack support networks, education, and employment experience.
76% of youth facing homelessness, will experience multiple periods of homelessness.
To better support people in permanently escaping homelessness, transitional housing provides longer stays and ongoing support to address the root causes of homelessness specific to each individual.
The intended length of stay in emergency housing is 30 days for an individual, 3 months for a family, and 6 months for youth – not nearly long enough for very vulnerable individuals such as seniors (ages 50+), 2SLGBTQ+ youth, men, and families to address and overcome compounding and overwhelming housing barriers, such as:
- Financial hardship or limited income
- Combination of complex issues (e.g. physical/mental health issues, etc.)
- Prolonged newcomer settlement issues
- Employment-related barriers to housing
Blue Door’s transitional housing programs promote independent living and participants are expected to contribute a percentage of their monthly income towards program occupancy.
Blue Door supports financial budgeting and percentages never exceed 30% of the individual’s income, ensuring the housing remains affordable.
Blue Doors Mosaic Interfaith Out of the Cold location and schedule can be found in the download link on our Seasonal Housing page.
Please note, the schedule is subject to change.
Mosaic Interfaith Out of the Cold partners with faith communities in Richmond Hill and Markham, who generously open their doors to support people experiencing homelessness. In 2023, the seasonal housing program operated out of five locations:
- Holy Trinity Anglican Church
- Ebenezer United Church
- St. Mary’s Anglican Church
- Richmond Hill United Church
- Richmond Hill Presbyterian Church
Approximately 80% of individuals who experience homelessness will only face homelessness once in their lifetime.
For 20% of people, life challenges and systemic inequities result in episodic or chronic homelessness.
Episodic homelessness refers to individuals, who are currently facing homelessness and have experienced three or more episodes of homelessness in the past year.
Chronic homelessness refers to individuals, who are currently experiencing homelessness and have been without a place to call home for six months or more in the past year.
Delivered by a Peer Worker, peer support involves building an authentic, trust-based relationship rooted in the sharing of similar lived experiences. This form of support enhances mental health and yields results comparable to traditional therapy, as it provides individuals with the opportunity to be heard and understood. When a person arrives with nothing, feeling they have lost everything and are all alone, unloved, and hopeless, the Peer Worker becomes their temporary support network, their guiding star.
To address compounding and intersecting challenges, Housing To Health provides a wide range of supports to meet vulnerable people where they are at.
- Peer support
- Check-ins and home visits
- Support finding and moving into a new home
- Individualized wellness plans
- Referrals and connections to community services
- Help navigating larger social service systems
- Mediating with landlords
- Orientation to the local community and available resources
- Setting and achieving personal goals
Housing To Health uses a Housing First approach, a best practice in Canada and throughout the world, that provides immediate access to independent housing for people experiencing homelessness. At the same time, Housing To Health provides wraparound supports to help promote successful housing retention and overall wellbeing.
The Housing First approach centres around the proven idea that people are better able to move forward when housed first.
Housing First has been shown to increase housing stability and improve the quality of folks’ lives and health.
Poor mental and physical health can lead to homelessness; however, homelessness rapidly worsens people’s health.
Faced with stigma, shame, the overwhelming stress of trying to survive from one day to the next, and unbearable loneliness, 64% of people experiencing homelessness report having a mental health issue.
Living on the streets, up against the elements, and with limited or no funds to purchase food, 30% of people experiencing homelessness report having a chronic health condition.
The average life expectancy of a person experiencing homelessness is roughly half that of the national average. According to Charity Intelligence Canada’s Homeless in Canada report, the average life expectancy for a person experiencing chronic homelessness is 39.
People experiencing homelessness face barriers to accessing traditional healthcare services including:
- Losing or having health cards and IDs stolen while sleeping rough
- Not having the funds to travel to hospitals, walk-in clinics, or a family doctor
- Not having a family doctor, often as a result of moving across cities, regions, and provinces
- People experiencing homelessness face stigma and discrimination including in healthcare settings, which fosters distrust in the healthcare system
- Lacking a support system and guidance on how to navigate the healthcare system
The importance of access to healthcare was spotlighted during the pandemic when Blue Door operated one of the only COVID-19 isolation sites for people experiencing homelessness in York Region. At the isolation site, families and individuals were able to quarantine on-site while receiving healthcare provided by nurses.
Blue Door quickly realized that when vulnerable people experiencing homelessness have access to emergency housing and are triaged by healthcare professionals who ensure their medical needs are taken care of, their journey into permanent housing is not only faster, but much more successful.
Blue Door receives partial funding for our programs from the federal, provincial and regional governments and from the United Way of Greater Toronto, community events (including Coldest Night of the Year – Richmond Hill, Hockey Helps the Homeless, and GivingTuesday), charitable foundations, and generous community members like you.
Blue Door is a mission-driven not-for-profit organization governed by an elected volunteer Board of Directors.
41 years, Blue Door opened its doors in 1982.
Kevin's Place Re-Development Project
Blue Door serves individuals experiencing homelessness in York Region, one of the most vulnerable populations in our society. Through thoughtful dialogue with representatives from Blue Door, The Town of Newmarket, York Region, and various community partners, we realized that there is a pressing need to strengthen community services for people experiencing homelessness, therefore re-developing Blue Door’s emergency housing program, Kevin’s Place.
What is Kevin’s Place?
Integrated into the proposed development, and already located at the Gorham Street and Alexander Road site, is Kevin’s Place, Blue Door’s emergency housing program. In addition to housing, it offers occupants supportive services, including:
- Support finding and maintaining affordable housing
- Accommodation and food
- Referral to community partners and services
- Employment support and preparedness
- Assistance obtaining identification
- Connection and mediation with landlords
- Budget/financial planning
Thank you for your interest and involvement with Blue Door and the Re-Development of Kevin’s Place. Without your support, we would not be able to make these innovations in order to provide the best possible service to our communities’ most vulnerable.
This is a community partnership with EllisDon leveraging its extensive experience in public infrastructure, leading design-build teams, and financing; Blue Door bringing its operational expertise in the supportive and emergency housing sector; and Habitat for Humanity GTA conducting the build with opportunities for vulnerable people facing homelessness to gain employment and training through Blue Door’s construction social enterprise, Construct.
The property is at Gorham Street and Alexander Road on land owned by Blue Door and zoned “R1-B”, allowing for detached dwellings, bed and breakfasts, home occupation, group homes, accessory residential structures, and accessory uses. Blue Door is seeking to have this underutilized 100-year-old property rezoned into “R4” to accommodate new 14-unit purpose-built stacked townhouses.
A 14-unit townhouse development to provide supportive and emergency housing for individuals and families to successfully exit homelessness and transition into more permanent housing. The development includes:
- Four 3-bedroom units dedicated to Kevin’s Place emergency housing program.
- One 1-bedroom unit for Blue Door staff to provide housing, health, and employment support to anyone in the complex 24/7.
- Four 2-bedroom units, accessible and affordable, on the first floor.
- Nine 3-bedroom units, family-sized and affordable.
- Fourteen parking spaces for residents, visitors, and staff.
An MZO is needed to expedite construction, meet CMHC funding deadlines and requirements, and serve as well as reduce the number of people experiencing homelessness. This includes women and their children fleeing violence; seniors; young adults; Indigenous peoples; people with disabilities; veterans, 2SLGBTQ+ people; racialized groups; and recent immigrants and refugees.
Eighty per cent of people who access an emergency program do so once and for a short duration, especially when this assistance is linked to income support and helps to locate affordable housing.
Housing is a basic human right, and affordability provides access to this right. Canada has an affordable and supportive housing crisis, and every person left without a home is at risk of rapidly declining mental and physical health. Today, the cost of living continues to rise, income is stagnant, affordable housing is decreasing, and encampments are growing. We must support affordable housing solutions for the simple fact that – as humans, we can.
Emergency housing is a more costly short-term shelter. It involves 24/7 staffing, shared facilities and typically lacks privacy and freedom to come and go. Supportive housing is for people who can live independently but require customized support to help ensure they can maintain their housing situation. Affordable housing through Blue Door is rent adjusted to income.
No. This development will add safe, supportive housing for all community members. Occupants could be our parents, siblings, or children – who can live independently, many of whom are employed, yet still can’t afford their rent. The project will help to reduce the number of people experiencing homelessness by providing supported pathways to exit homelessness through access to affordable and supportive housing.
Yes. In York Region alone, on any given night over 300 individuals experience homelessness, 20% of whom are families. According to the I Count: York Region’s 2021 Homeless Count, one-quarter of survey respondents cited an inability to pay rent/mortgage as a reason for their homelessness. Indigenous and Black populations continue to be overrepresented among individuals experiencing homelessness, and youth represent 1 in 7 people experiencing homelessness, with more than one-quarter of youth self-identifying as 2SLGBTQ+. It is important to note that homelessness in York Region is often hidden such as people finding shelter on transit, in coffee shops or through couch surfing.
This development is an opportunity for Newmarket to become a leader in innovating housing practices and addressing the national housing crisis by first dealing with our neighbours without a home. The Town of Newmarket will also be contributing to York Region’s planned 9,000 new housing units, of which 25% must be affordable and accessible.
There are several benefits for York Region:
- This project will model how to strategically rethink land use and create urgently needed affordable housing in perpetuity without impacting taxpayers.
- It helps create space on the York Region subsidized housing waitlist, helping to more effectively move our community’s most vulnerable people along the housing continuum from homelessness to emergency housing to supportive and affordable housing.
- It is a response to Bill 23 that overlooks the need to preserve our community’s existing supply of affordable housing and ensure the same number of affordable rental units are incorporated into new developments.
- It demonstrates that York Region residents recognize the human right of housing for all.
Blue Door is building a social purpose real estate portfolio where acquired properties are turned into rent geared to income (30% of total income) housing, helping to reduce York Region’s subsidized housing waitlist.
- Contact your local MP, MPP or Town Councillor to share your support for Blue Door’s housing project and the continued efforts to reduce poverty by all levels of government.
- Donate to support this and other life-saving work through Blue Door.
- Learn more about homelessness and affordable housing in York Region.