What is emergency housing?

Emergency housing is short-term accommodation for people who are homeless or in crisis.

At an emergency housing facility, you can get basic necessities, such as a place to sleep, shower, do laundry, get clothing, and eat or get money for food.

This can be helpful if you are:

  • Sleeping "on the street"
  • Couch Surfing
  • Evicted from your home and need a place to stay while you look for a new permanent place to live.
  • Asked to leave or kicked out of your family home
  • In danger of being hurt if you stay in your home

Shelters and hostels are 2 common examples of emergency housing. There may also be smaller religious or community-based organizations that provide emergency housing.

Usually these facilities restricted to men, women, youth or other groups with specific needs, such as victims of abuse. Some facilities offer counselling and group support and refer clients to legal, health, employment and other services. You may be able to access these services even if you are not staying there, if they have daytime "drop-in" programs.

Some may have staff members that speak different languages or can arrange for interpreters.

Read Who can get emergency housing? for more information.

You can contact a community agency for more information about emergency housing. To find help in your area, go to Services Near Me.

For More Information

  • Assaulted Women's Helpline - A telephone crisis line for any woman who has experienced abuse. Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • 211 Ontario - Search for shelters and other community services all over Ontario.
  • Benefits Wayfinder - This bilingual one-stop portal lets you search for federal, provincial, and territorial benefits, as well as COVID-19 related resources. From Prosper Canada.
Last updated: March 7, 2022 4001313