October 2017

2.7: Emergency Hostel Services - First Nations Delivery Agents

Legislative Authority

Sections 2, 5, 7, 8, 16, and 19 of the Act.
Sections 43(2) of Regulation 134/98.

Audit Requirements

Documentation is on file to support decisions made.

Application of Policy

“Emergency hostel services” means the provision of board, lodging, and personal needs to homeless persons on a short term, infrequent basis by First Nations delivery agents. Typically, these are individuals in crisis seeking temporary supports pending resolution of the issues that gave rise to the emergency.

Emergency hostel services may be provided directly by a First Nations delivery agent or indirectly through a private hostel operator (contracted vendor). Service contracts can be established with hostel operators where they are provided with a per diem rate per participant, in offering emergency hostel services. Hostel operators provide board and lodging to residents, and also provide for the personal needs of their residents through in-kind services or a cash amount as set out in the negotiated service contract.

The per diem payable to emergency hostel operators is $47.00 per day for board and lodging. Where the hostel operator provides personal items and/or cash in addition to board and lodging, the basic per diem may be increased by up to $4.85 to a maximum of $51.85 per day.

Ontario Works Participants Receiving Emergency Hostel Services from First Nations Delivery Agents

Emergency hostels provide individuals in crisis with temporary supports until the resolution of the emergency. Emergency hostel users on reserve may or may not be in receipt of social assistance and can apply for assistance at any time. Where a person has resided in the same emergency hostel for fifteen consecutive days, and there exists a need for ongoing support, an application for assistance should be completed.

If a recipient is serving a period of ineligibility due to non-compliance with Ontario Works, they can still receive emergency hostel services. Once the period of ineligibility is over, a reapplication to Ontario Works should be made.

Residents who are determined to be eligible for financial assistance receive mandatory and discretionary benefits and employment assistance. Residents are not eligible for basic needs or shelter or the provision of a Special Diet Allowance, Pregnancy/Breast-feeding Nutritional Allowance, the Remote Communities Allowance, Special Boarder Allowance, Advanced Age Allowance or Transition Child Benefit. Board and lodging, as well as personal needs (cash or in-kind), continue to be provided by the hostel operator.

Finding stable, longer term housing may be the primary focus for participants residing in emergency hostels. Participants should be encouraged to take part in activities that will help them secure permanent accommodation, stabilize their living conditions, and make participation in employment assistance activities practicable.

In some instances, a person who has already received income assistance for basic needs and shelter may stay in an emergency hostel in the same month. In these situations, the Administrator determines whether or not to apply an overpayment.

In making this determination, the Administrator should consider the circumstances leading to the use of an emergency hostel (i.e., how the participant lost his or her accommodation), and whether the income assistance received is still available (i.e. was the income assistance used earlier in the month for budgetary requirements). Where the Administrator determines the shelter payment has been duplicated, an overpayment may be established. The amount of the overpayment is not to exceed the amount of the shelter allowance paid (see Directive 9.3: Recovery of Overpayments for more information).