The Open Window Hub consists of a Registered Social Worker who provides a variety of services and supports to customers of all 18 branches of the Mississauga Library System. A central location (Hub) is operated out of the Mississauga Central Library with services to branches offered on a referral and identified as need basis.
The program has been in operation for almost 8 months and continues to develop and evolve with an increase in individuals connecting with services as awareness of the program has increased through advertising and branch and community outreach. While the basis of the program remains serving individual who identify as homeless or at risk of homelessness with notable successes of a few chronically homeless individuals utilized the library daily are now housed. The program seeks to provide support any individuals seeking support on a variety of issues by assisting with system navigation, information/referral and advocacy and representative of The Open Door being there for everyone.
The program has developed strong partnerships with other City of Mississauga services to include Corporate Security, Mi Way Transit, Municipal Enforcement, Animal Services, Community Services as they intersect with resident in need of support. Ongoing discussion regarding training and more developed collaboration continues.
The Open Window Hub continues to seeks to promote library services to community partners and agencies while seeking opportunities to conduct outreach marginalized and at risk groups in order to highlight library programs and services which are often free and easily accessible. The program has begun implementing various initiatives which include supporting homeless, marginalized individuals with replacement/renewal of health cards and Ontario birth certificates as having no fixed address and no ID are barriers to obtaining identification and housing through defined partnerships with Service Ontario.
The Open Window Hub continues to demonstrate how important library spaces are to the community as they are vital sources of information, resources and services while providing a safe, inclusive, accessible place for people to come.
City of Mississauga, 300 City Centre Drive, Mississauga, Ontario Canada L5B 3C1