Frequently Asked Questions
What services do you offer?
We are the central access point to apply for individual supports (case management/Assertive Community Treatment Teams) and supportive housing for people living with mental health and/or addictions. We accept the application for service, process your application, determine if you are eligible for the services you have applied for and then maintain the waitlist for services. When the service is available, our office makes a match between the service available and the next appropriate applicant on the waitlist. We cannot offer immediate services.
Our network includes 51 service provider partners who provide the services directly to you. Our office works as a liaison between you and all these partners to help you get the service you need/have applied for.
Who can make a referral?
Typically referrals are made through professionals however applicants can also make a self-referral. Anyone can make a referral however The Access Point office needs the consent of the applicant in order to process the application. Consent can be either written (by signing the application form, or providing a written statement saying you consent) or by speaking with an Access Point staff member and giving your consent verbally.
How do you apply?
The application can be filled out directly online from our website theaccesspoint.ca. Paper copies can also be picked up from the office or mailed if you do not have access to the internet.
Other documentation like hospital records would be useful for an application for Assertive Community Treatment Teams, however no other documentation is needed for any of the other services you may be applying for.
How does the application process work?
An application needs to be completed and submitted to The Access Point.
Once received, the application gets assigned to one of our staff, called service navigators (SN)
A Service navigator will call you to set up an appointment to do an intake assessment. Please note that this may take serval weeks due to the volume of new applications The Access Point receives. After the assessment, the Service navigator will determine if you meet eligibility requirements for services and will determine the next steps. Wait times vary for the services so it is unlikely you will get an exact time for any service you are applying for. For some housing service requests intake assessments may not be needed. Staff from The Access Point will only be in touch to confirm eligibility and give you an ID number.
What can I apply for?
Case management, Assertive Community Treatment Teams (ACTT), and/or three different supportive housing programs: Mental Health supportive housing, Mental Health and Justice supportive housing, and Supportive Housing for People with Problematic Substance Use. For more details on the eligibility criteria for these services, please see our website at theaccesspoint.ca and go to the “Partners” page.
Who gets to see the information in my application form?
What if I need services in another language?
At The Access Point, we have access to interpretation services. In addition, we also have a number of staff on site who speaks various languages. Our office will be able to process your application with the help of interpretation if needed.
Our networks of partners also have a number of staff who speaks numerous languages. As a result, we will try to match you to a service provider who can speak your language. If there are no agencies who speak your language, interpretation services can be used to help you and your worker to communicate
Is there a fee for the services available through The Access Point?
No, there are no fees for any of the support services.
You will be required to pay rent for a supportive housing unit, however there are no fees for the supports that come with the housing unit.
How much will my rent be for a supportive housing unit?
All of the supportive housing accessible through The Access Point is affordable housing, therefore rent is geared to your income level. Generally, this works out to your shelter allowance if you are on Ontario Works (OW) or Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), or approximately 30% of your income if you are receiving an income from another source. If you are being housed in a program that has meals and/or cleaning provided, there is an additional cost for these services and supplies.
What is the difference between Case Management and ACTT?
The major difference between case management and ACTT is the level of support and the frequency of visits. Case management offers one-to-one supports by a case manager. The purpose of case management is to provide support for the client that is goal directed and time limited. They can help with things like: getting social assistance, finding a job, applying for a new place to live, learning a new skill, finding a doctor etc. Case managers will negotiate with clients to determine what goals will be achieved together. They will meet the client in their home, coffee shop or wherever mutually agreed upon and usually meet weekly, although based on need, visits can be up to 3 times per week when there is a need for that level of frequency. Case Management is not counselling or therapy however; a case manager can help you get counselling if you need/want it. The support that is provided by case managers is usually practical in nature and they can help link to various other types of supports needed.
ACTT operates as a multi-disciplinary team and see clients more often. You would be seen by more than one team member and ACTT teams can visit as frequently as daily if there is a need for that level of frequency. Often with this type of program, medication administration is an aspect of the support provided. Specific criteria such as number of days in hospital, diagnosis, and hospital records supporting the need for this intensive rehabilitation program are necessary.
How are clients matched to services?
If waiting for support services, The Access Point matches you based on the geographical location you live because the services providers operate in various areas throughout the city. It is important to update us if you move so that when we submit your application to a service provider, we are submitting it to an agency that will be able to serve you in your community.
If waiting for supportive housing, The Access Point matches you based on the housing selections you made when filling out your application form.
How can I update my application form?
You can update your application by calling the office. You can either speak directly to a staff member or you can leave a detailed message with your full name and date of birth and the aspects of your application that you would like to update. It is very important that you keep us informed of any changes in address and phone number so that we can reach you when we are able to match you to a service. If you do not have a fixed address or a phone number, it is helpful if you could give us contact information on someone with whom you have regular contact, like family, a worker, or a doctor so that we can still try to reach you when needed.
Can people living outside Toronto apply for services?
Applicants must live within the Toronto area catchment (Steeles Avenue to Lake Ontario, Highway 427 to Port Union Road) to apply for individual supports or have the intention to move to the Toronto area within the next 6-9 months.
Anyone can apply for housing regardless of where they are currently living.
Do I need a formal mental health diagnosis to qualify for The Access Point Services?
Not necessarily, we would still proceed with the application process and determine eligibility according to assessment outcomes. In the assessment we would be looking at the difficulties you are experiencing and the level of support you need.
Who makes a formal mental health diagnosis?
Doctors, psychologists and/psychiatrists are those who make formal mental health diagnosis.
What housing supports are available through the Access Point?
- Occasional support: these are independent apartments or shared housing with very limited staff support. These are units suitable for persons with skills to live independently.
- Daily support: these are shared houses or small apartment type units in a building run by a supportive housing agency. These units offer a medium level of support and have some staff on site for a few hours several days a week. Daily support programs do not have on-site staff overnights or on weekends. Some daily support units offer a meal program, others may not.
- 24 hour support: these are shared houses with staff present 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. These units are suitable for persons who require high supports for daily living. Meals are provided, medication support, cleaning services, personal care, mental health and medical care services could also be available.
How do I select the right type of housing for me?
The different types of housing available are listed below:
- Boarding home: these are units supported by staff on site during the day. You are provided with 3 meals a day, cleaning service and medication reminders. There are more shared bedrooms than individual rooms available. There is a common area and shared bathrooms.
- Shared living in a house or apartment: these are when you have either a single room, or a shared bedroom in a housing unit where the bathroom and common space are shared. These housing types provide a range of support levels, depending on your need.
- Own apartment in dedicated building: these are apartments in buildings throughout the city that are run through a supportive housing agency. All of the residents are living with mental health and/or addiction challenges. These units may offer occasional or daily staff support however the client is required to have the skills of independent living (such as being able to prepare meals and manage their own medication).
- Own apartment in scattered units: these are apartments where a supportive housing agency has a few apartments within general market rent apartment buildings. Not everyone in the building is experiencing mental health and/or addiction challenges. Only occasional supports are offered.
What are the wait times for Housing? Why is it so long?
Due to the large volume of housing requests, it is impossible to give an exact time frame as to how long the wait may be. As a very general guideline 5 to 7 years is most common.
Almost all of the units available through The Access Point are long-term permanent housing, which means that a housing agency can only report a vacancy to our office when a current tenant decides to move out. Right now there is a high demand for supportive housing and there are a limited amount of supportive housing units within our system.
What are the wait times for Case Management?
It is impossible to give an exact wait time however as a guideline the wait can be 8 -12 months.
What are the wait times for Assertive Community Treatment Team (ACTT) services?
The wait times for ACTT vary but are usually more than one year.
Are there immediate or short-term housing available?
The Access Point does not coordinate access to emergency or short-term housing. Please see our Resources page of the website theaccesspoint.ca to find out how to access these services.
The housing with the shortest wait times are a shared bedroom in a boarding home. The wait time for this type of housing is approximately 2-6 months.
If you decide to move into a shared housing unit, you can remain on the waitlist for a self-contained unit and can keep your original application date even though you have been housed in a shared unit.
What is the difference between Supportive Housing at The Access Point and Housing Connections?
Housing Connections manages a centralized waiting list for subsidized housing. The Access Point manages a centralized waiting list for Supportive Housing.
Subsidized Housing means that the rent is more affordable and often geared toward your income however no extra supports are included. With Supportive Housing, the rent is geared to your income as well but there is the addition of support to help you be able to live successfully in your home.
Is there immediate or short-term case management available?
The Access Point does have access to a limited amount of Short-term case management, although you cannot apply for this service directly. When a service navigator is meeting with you, they may determine that your support needs are either immediate, or that your goals could be met quickly, and may offer short-term case management to you. This service is not always available, and depends on the availability within our Service Partners. If you do receive short term case management, this does not impact your wait time for long term case management and you will still be moving up the waitlist for the long term service.
Does The Access Point prioritize anyone applying for services?
Although some people may get services a bit faster because of issues such as homelessness or substance use, The Access Point does not currently have any prioritization mechanism in place.
Can I request another worker if I don’t like the one I’m assigned to in the community?
We always encourage you to speak with your current case manager to see if the two of you are able to negotiate around whatever the issue or barrier may be. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, or have tried this but been unsuccessful, then we encourage you to approach their supervisor at the agency where you are getting the service. After these steps have been taken, you can contact a Service Navigator at our office to discuss the option of being placed back on the wait list if you have not been successful at changing worker. Please note The Access Point does not have authority to make such types of decisions at a particular service provider agency.
What if it is found that I am not eligible for services? Can I appeal The Access Point’s decision?
If you are not eligible for services through The Access Point. Access Point staff will inform you of the reason and make recommendations about where you can get the help you are looking for. If you are still concerned about the decision made by Access Point staff, you can speak with a manager at the office to express your concerns and your application will be reviewed.
What happens if I move out of Toronto while I am on the waitlist for services?
If you move out of Toronto, contact The Access Point office to update your application. If you do not plan on moving back to Toronto, your application may be closed, however, our staff may be able to help you find services in your new community that will meet your needs.