About TDIN - About & History
The Toronto Drop-In Network (TDIN) is an active coalition of over 50 drop-in centres throughout the City of Toronto, working with people who are homeless, marginally housed or socially isolated. Our Network includes drop-ins of all sizes and diverse philosophies serving men, women, transgender people, youth, seniors and families.
TDIN works to increase the capacity of Toronto's drop-ins to serve their participants through training, communication, coordination, advocacy and engagement with other member agencies, related service providers and government.
Safe, healthy and vibrant Toronto communities supported through a diverse and dedicated drop-in network.
To enhance the capacity of Toronto’s diverse network of drop-in centres to improve the quality of life of people that participate in drop-ins in Toronto by:
- Providing high quality services, supports and resources, and
- Helping their voices to be heard
The Toronto Drop-In Network values and supports drop-ins that strive to be:
- Community driven
- Adaptable and innovative
- Respectful of diversity, and
- Dedicated to cultivation of professional expertise, service excellence and empowerment of program participants
- To support drop-in workers through training and resource sharing
- To provide a forum for discussion of issues from the perspective of participants and from both front line and management staff
- To provide a voice for drop-ins to advocate for drop-in participants’ and drop-in providers’ issues; using strategies that build participant ownership of drop-in communities and programs
- To promote standards of good practice for drop-in services
- Capacity Building - Continue to develop and provide training to enhance capacity of drop-ins and to build on past learning. Facilitate drop-in resource sharing and the capacity for agencies to work together to identify needs.
- Communication and Community Engagement – Develop resources to enhance the external image of the Network and to provide accurate information. Promote knowledge exchange among drop-in providers and participants.
- Research and Evaluation – Act as a clearing house for research on drop-in issues, poverty, hidden homelessness, staff salaries, staff burnout, and service related privacy issues. Build upon previous public education efforts in 2006 with newly developed research and research partnerships.
- Social Enterprise – Facilitate and support shared drop-in community economic development initiatives that employ drop-in participants.
- Network Infrastructure – Develop and sustain an effective and strong operating structure for the Drop-in Network that meets current and future needs of TDIN members.
History of the Toronto Drop-in Network
Drop-ins in Toronto started forming networks to advance an understanding of the drop-in model and address issues of common concern in the 1990s. These networks joined to form TDIN a drop-in sector-led initiative and a vital communication and capacity building network in the drop-in sector in Toronto.
TDIN's activities over the years include:
- Documenting the collective practice wisdom of drop-in workers, managers and participants in the Good Practices Toolkit.
- Compiling a bi-annual membership brochure and special holiday meals lists distributed to the sector and to community based organizations and partners throughout the City of Toronto.
- Maintaining a communication network for drop-ins and partners.
- Participating in the City of Toronto Drop-in Review.
- Developing a made-in-Toronto measurement framework, Measuring Success, to support drop-ins to measure and evaluate their success in supporting drop-in participants to achieve positive outcomes
- Providing training to hundreds of drop-in workers, volunteers and participants including the innovative "Knowledge is Power" popular education curriculum.
- Mounting public education campaigns, like "Drop-ins Make Good Neighbours" which helped build relationships with drop-ins and their local communities and the "Sock It To Me" sock drive which worked with local schools to build understanding of issues of poverty and social exclusion while gathering donations of socks that were shared among member drop-ins for distribution to their members.
The Toronto Drop-in Network
is a Trusteed project of St. Stephen's Community House.