Social services in Scarborough Ontario for a pregnant marginal woman?
May 16, 2022 3:38 PM   Subscribe

There is a woman who begs for money in my neighbourhood in Scarborough Ontario. What social services are available to someone who is pregnant, single, unvaccinated, and out of status?

I take the things she tells me with a grain of salt, but I am reasonably sure:
- she came from Kosovo as a refugee and is waiting for some kind of decision from a court about whether she can stay in Canada. She does not have a Social Insurance Number, and is not legally allowed to work in Canada.
- she refuses to get vaccinated against COVID-19 (which limits her access to some social services).
- she is two months pregnant, and her boyfriend is "gone".

Further details... She has a place to live, but she is behind on the rent. So she isn't homeless, but she is in danger of becoming homeless.
She has a smart phone, so she has access to phone, internet, and email.
She speaks good, but not great English.
She belongs to an Eastern Orthodox church, so she isn't completely isolated.

Thank you in advance.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic to Law & Government (6 answers total)
Best answer: Ontario 211 is a central point for social services. I’m sorry I cant recommend specific things. Without a SIN (and presumably an OHIP card) I don’t know what there would be accessible. The Church may be the best point of contact for people willing and able to help with assistance outside “the system”. Maybe finding someone to help with the residency application? Without that, and OHIP, the situation seems very difficult because of medical bills alone. Thank you for trying to help.
posted by valleys at 4:01 PM on May 16, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: BTW, you can get a work permit as a refugee in Canada unless you can support yourself without public assistance, as it seems this lady can't. In evaluating how she can be helped, you should be prepared to find out that she's lying about being an asylum applicant (or about her case not having been resolved yet).
posted by praemunire at 4:34 PM on May 16, 2022 [2 favorites]

Best answer: 211 is the best but she could also look at Scarborough Women's Centre - they will help connect her.

She might be a bit out of area for COSTI but they do have a language centre in Scarborough so they might be able to help, and they provide a housing-first support service if her housing is precarious. They also do refugee hostel services but has to be referred through the City of Toronto. I can vouch for COSTI in the 90s, my org partnered with them and they were good people then, I'm sure they have continued to be.
posted by warriorqueen at 4:48 PM on May 16, 2022 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Midwives in Ontario provide services (for free) regardles sof OHIP status. They also generally have training specifclly on trauma as well as the challenges that refugees face.

There are significant supports for refugees, and there are a lot of scammers that beg for money ... so I would n ot provide any direct cash to her. Although she may be behind on rent, evictions take a long time, especially now the Landlord and Tenant tribunal is so backed up. So her housing should remain stable for a while (I am pretty sure Toronto also offers a rent bank).
posted by saucysault at 10:20 AM on May 18, 2022 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thank you for your help, everyone. I am going to mark this as resolved, just to be tidy, but if anyone can think of any further suggestions, I would love to hear them.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 6:03 PM on June 25, 2022

Response by poster: Just to follow up, she gave birth on 26 December 2022. Mother and child are healthy.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 5:52 PM on December 27, 2022

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