COSTI & the Community

Housing Public Service Announcement

“Don’t Close the Door, It Could Be You” – a 30 second public service announcement produced by COSTI Immigrant Services is designed to change the perception and attitudes toward the homeless population, enhance awareness within ethnocultural communities, and to engage the general public to participate in practical solutions to homelessness. The public service announcement was funded by the Government of Canada’s Supporting Communities Partnership Initiative (SCPI), administered by the City of Toronto.

Designed to draw attention to the issue of homelessness within newcomer groups, with a specific focus on their experiences, the public service announcement is available in twelve languages:

  • Arabic
  • Cantonese
  • English
  • Farsi
  • French
  • Hindi
  • Italian
  • Portuguese
  • Punjabi
  • Spanish
  • Tamil
  • Urdu

The aim of the campaign is to demystify the homeless population by educating and conducting outreach to ethnocultural communities and newcomer groups in a clear, linguistically, and culturally appropriate manner.

New immigrants face many of the risk factors for homelessness simply due to the resettlement process. They may struggle with issues such as isolation, loss of financial and social status, loss of family and community support and post traumatic stress as a result of their pre- and post-migration experiences. In 2005, over 10,000 people accessed COSTI’s housing services – many were in desperate need of decent, affordable housing. COSTI’s housing services provide a vital lifeline to individuals and families facing the ever-growing issues of homelessness and eviction. Without safe, secure, affordable housing, people too often remain trapped in a cycle of poverty. Our housing help services help them to take a major step towards self-reliance.

COSTI believes that the community at large can make a difference – landlords by renting and facilitating access without barriers to affordable housing, neighbours – by welcoming newcomers, and tenants – by becoming involved in their communities.

The Public Service Announcement is available for posting in all twelve languages, free of charge. If you are interested in posting the PSA on your organization's website, please contact North York Housing Help.

Background Information

Supporting Communities Partnership Initiative (SCPI): The Government of Canada launched the National Homelessness Initiative (NHI) in December 1999 to support communities’ efforts to help homeless persons and those at risk of becoming homeless. As part of the NHI, the Supporting Communities Partnership Initiative (SCPI) program, administered by partnering municipalities, is continuing to make a difference by encouraging the development of flexible, community-driven solutions to help alleviate homelessness and support those who are at risk of homelessness. The City of Toronto’s Shelter, Support and Housing Administration Division administers the SCPI program throughout the city as per The Community Plan for the Supporting Communities Partnership Initiative in Toronto, 2003-2006, which was developed in consultation with the community.