the Bulletin

April 6, 2020

1. COVID-19 update - find services, resources, news

Stay healthy, physically distant, and socially connected survivors. 
You have human rights whether or not you have COVID-19 according to our own community building and the Ontario Human Rights Commission. 

Many agencies and social services are closed or limiting services. Try to call ahead so you can be Soapy hands in a sink with a blue sponge in the background.screened and you can get service. Find phone numbers of agencies at #211. And city services at #311.

Good News: Sound Times is open for mental health and justice clients. And we can help members with most of your needs by phone (416-979-1700). If you do not have a phone, you can visit our location.  

April 7 - Virtual Forum about COVID-19 and People with Disabilities.
Convened by the AODA Alliance and the Ontario Autism Coalition

Tuesday April 7th from 10:00 to 11:30 am

Survive, learn, madly! 
Navigate Below
  1. COVID-19 - Update
  2. COVID-19 Resources
  3. COVID-19 News
  4. Free Events
  5. Crackdown Podcast - Recovery
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2. COVID-19 Resources

For City Services - Check the city of Toronto website 

  • Shelters and respites are open. More hotels are beds are opening up to isolate people with COVID-19 or suspected of contact. City says the staff has training and the shelters will be safe, but they are trying to create more space. 
  • 3 employment and social services offices are open
  • Public Health, Police, Fire, Ambulance, Water, key city staff are working
  • Non-essential businesses
  • Libraries, community centres, city services (weddings, licences etc.) 
  • Provincial offences courts, ticket courts and counters

This map shows downtown resources like food banks, washrooms, drop-ins and COVID-19 assessment centres:

Map of resources in downtown. Link to the google map.

Money Matters

Financial relief, EI and more are changing fast: updates (April 6)

  • GST credit for low income people increase to $400 ($600 for a couple) April 9th
  • Canada Child Benefit will increase $300 per child
  • (CERB) Canada Emergency Response Benefit will provide $2000 to employees, small business owners and other workers who would not qualify for EI. 

  Caremongering not fearmongering - Mutual Aid - Individuals helping individuals

Caremongering TO - helping other members of their community with with money, ideas for immediate needs. Facebook group. 

Health - COVID-19

The novel coronavirus (SARS-2) causes the condition known as COVID-19. The symptoms range from common to severe respiratory illnesses and include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Muscle aches and tiredness
  • Difficulty breathing

Ontario has a screening tool for COVID-19.

If you have mild symptoms call Telehealth for Medical Advice - 1866-797-0000 . Do not go directly to your doctor.

Physical / Social Distancing is important but impossible for many survivors

  • New law in Toronto says that if you are in a city park within 2 metres with someone who you do not live with you can be ticketed from $750 and above.
  • You must also identify yourself to a police on demand. If you do not have ID explain this.
  • There are programs that may help you fight these tickets. Sound Times members should call our staff. Legal Aid Ontario clinics may also help. If you are a youth 
  • "Remain, for longer than an incidental period, closer than 2 metres to any other person who is not a member of the same household;" TORONTO Bylaw on distancing in parks and squares.

People who use drugs - Toronto Public Health has prepared guides for COVID-19.


  • Clean your hands
  • Don’t share gear
  • Prep your own drugs
  • Get extra harm reduction supplies
  • Avoid putting drug baggies/wraps in your mouth, anus
  • Work with your Methadone/Suboxone/OAT Prescriber
  • Prepare for unplanned withdrawal (dealer gets sick)
  • Respond to overdose


Legal Aid - Less or no direct contact with lawyers. Still working on strategy

Contact Sound Times if you are a member in need of LAO support.  

Shelters and Housing

Some Drop-ins are still available in some places
- This also includes a list of meals.

Evictions are suspended
  • Landlord Tenant Board is not available, evictions are not supposed to be enforced. Let us know if landlords are still trying to evict. There is at least one case in west Toronto.

City of Toronto: All City-operated shelters, respites and 24-hour women’s drop-ins are open.

There have been at least 2 cases of COVID-19 in Toronto's shelters. The city has set up a 40 bed isolation building. The city has also brought 350 new beds online through shelters and hotels.

Toronto's Central intake centre is closed for walkins

Service is still available by phone at Homeless shelter intake/Central Intake Line 416-338-4766  

Safe Laundry Tips - Now magazine

  • Lots of other tips about surviving COVID-19 - kill COVID with regular soap and water. Keep physical distance from others and consider wiping down surfaces.

Reach out for a friendly ear: Isolation can be hard

You can call and text for help or to hear a warm voice!

Toronto Public Health: Residents experiencing stress or crisis and requiring emotional support related to COVID-19 can access the following community resources:

  • Distress Centre of Greater Toronto Opens in new window
    Call 416-408-4357, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
    Text 45645 between 4 p.m. and midnight
    Translation is available in many languages for crisis calls only
  • Kids Help Phone Opens in new window
    Call 1-800-668-6868 or text CONNECT to 686868, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
    Service is available in English and French
  • Gerstein Crisis Centre Opens in new window
    416- 929-520024 hours a day, 7 days a week
    Translation is available in many languages

Public Resource Lists

Centre for Independent Living (CILT) has COVID-19 resources

  • resources for folks with disabilities.
  • Plus a warm phone line. Peer Support Program / Parenting with a Disability Network (416) 599-2458 Extension 291 or Email

The 519 - Resource lists

Senior's Resources


Smart Recovery is available online

  • This is a good time to check in with someone! 
Self-Management And Recovery Training (SMART) is a global community of mutual-support groups. At meetings, participants help one another resolve problems with any addiction


3. COVID-19 News

Get the news from trusted sources. Check any claim about "cures" "causes" "treatments" that you see on social media. has around the clock coverage on COVID-19. And all of the other networks are covering it. The Toronto Star has free coverage of COVID-19, for a good Toronto Perspective. Be sure to take some breaks because the news can bring you down or wind you up.

NOW had a great issue last week about RENT

Things are changing so fast...masks, no masks, masks for individuals in public...maybe. YES you might want to wear a mask inside buildings and the TTC to protect others and yourself (keep washing your hands)....

4. Events - Social Distancing

Always check before heading out to an event. Legally events of under 5 people are permitted (as of writing) but many are cancelled for safety. Some of us are actually experts at surviving and thriving in isolation.

Survivors talk about experiences of isolation and worry
The Dulwich Centre Published "From us to you" Narrative Responses to COVID-19" 
I was forcibly isolated in psychiatric services, and frankly it was terrifying for me. I don't feel that way about the need to isolate for Covid19, in fact I don't think I would mind if we are all required to isolate ourselves at home. I'm not sure why it feels different. In both cases, the choice is not in my hands, so it can't just be that. Maybe it feels different because being isolated in a mental health service felt both unnecessary and abusive. It certainly didn't keep anyone safe, if anything it caused harm. But, I think isolating ourselves because of Covid19 is a sensible step.

How about an advocacy party?

Advocate for tenants and low income folks with ACORN ACORN Canada Text: Urgent Action Eviction Freeze, Rent Flexibility, Loan Repayment Freeze, EI for Everyone

Send this urgent message to your Premier, Prime Minister Trudeau and your local MPs, MLAs and MPPs.q

From the Toronto Drop In Network

Resources and Open Letters

  Petitions Let us know if you have more ideas or by email

5. Crackdown podcast: Somebody Else' Problem SAFE Supply!

Drug users in British Columbia are facing two overlapping public health emergencies: COVID-19 and the overdose crisis. Now that countries are closing their borders–the price of street drugs have also started to rise.  It’s a grim time. Vancouver just saw the largest spike in fatal ODs since last year.  

But there’s also a glimmer of hope: the government has finally agreed to provide us with safer prescription alternatives to street drugs. If you have a “Substance Use Disorder” in British Columbia, you can now access a bunch of prescription opioids, benzos and stimulants –something we’ve been demanding for years. 

The Bulletin

Resources for Consumer / Survivors / People who use substances / Service and Substance Users / Fun Folks in TORONTO AREA
#22 - 621 April 6 2020 COVID-19 edition
An oak tree comes from a single nut that stood its ground.” –Author Unknown Organizing Guide for Psychiatric Survivors MindFreedom International
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The Bulletin is published monthly by Sound Times Support Services. Funding for this Consumer/Survivor initiative has been Toronto  Central Local Health Integration Network logoprovided by the Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network (LHIN).
Disclaimer: The views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the Toronto Central LHIN, the Government of Ontario, Sound Times Support Services Staff or Board Members.
Thanks: to survey participants, callers and emailers and the C/S Info Bulletin Team. 
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