Safehaven Annual Report 2022-2023 Accessible



Safehaven’s mission towards a more inclusive world for children, youth and adults with medical complexities continued in 2022-23. A key achievement was the launch of our 2023-2027 five-year strategic plan which guides our approach to caring for our clients, championing change for the developmental services sector and advocating on behalf of this vulnerable population in the communities we serve and beyond.
Our plan is to advance the existing system of care by breaking down barriers and challenging current perceptions of what it means to live with complex care needs.

Over the next five years, our plan is to advance the existing system of care by breaking down barriers and challenging current perceptions of what it means to live with complex care needs.

We are focused on:
• Expand Capacity & Provide Choices
• Innovate for Quality
• Revolutionize Care
• Educate & Engage
• Attract & Retain Talent

Our new blueprint to drive change and innovate the design of community-based care for vulnerable individuals also includes an updated mission and vision that demonstrates our commitment to breaking down barriers.


Safehaven is proud to present the highlights and accomplishments of an exceptional year in this annual report. Our advocacy efforts have been incredibly successful, resulting in unprecedented investments from the Ontario government to support our target population.

Advancements in medical and technological fields have enabled children with complex care needs to live longer and healthier lives. However, the current system struggles to support the transition from childhood to adult care for these individuals. When living at home becomes too challenging, many of them end up in hospital beds or long-term care homes, which are often occupied by a much older population.
To address this critical gap, Safehaven’s strategic plan focuses on expanding our services to meet these needs by creating an inclusive, innovative, and respectful community where everyone belongs.

In the first year of our strategic plan, we achieved several essential milestones that allowed Safehaven to fully embrace our new priorities and truly revolutionize care.

With thanks to the world-leading pediatric care we have in Ontario, many of our medically complex clients are surviving into adulthood. To ensure our clients could continue to be cared for at Safehaven after they turned 18 and aged out of pediatric services, we became licensed to provide care to adults in 2017. This milestone is a very challenging time for families because there has never been a system set up to support these vulnerable individuals after they turn 18. In order to ensure this transition can be as smooth as possible for families, we secured space in Reena’s brand-new Lou Fruitman Residence in Thornhill designed for adults with complex care needs. It took two years of planning to create this adult program from the ground up and in January 2023, we successfully transitioned all fourteen of our now adult clients, where they are thriving in this more appropriate setting. Moving the adults also means we are able to bring in new children into the spaces that the adults have left. The Government of Ontario provided Safehaven with $12 million of additional funding in the 2023 Ontario Budget in order to maintain these children’s beds. This was the single largest operational budget increase Safehaven has ever received and we are incredibly grateful to this government for their support of our clients. We are currently planning for these new admissions and look forward to welcoming them into Safehaven homes in 2023.

In June 2022, we were tremendously proud to achieve the highest level of standards from Accreditation Canada – Exemplary Standing. Accreditation Canada is an independent, not-for-profit organization that sets world-class standards for quality and safety in health. Accreditation is awarded to organizations that implement these standards in an exceptional way to advance the delivery of care for clients. Awarding Safehaven with Exemplary Standing recognized Safehaven’s commitment to exceptional quality, health and safety standards.

Safehaven is dedicated to providing solutions and building capacity for the medically complex population. We champion our values (quality, curiosity, trust and accountability) that push us to think outside the box and support our vulnerable community because #WeBelong.

Safehaven Manifesto

Nothing will test you like this will.
It tests your patience.
Your spirit.
Your strength.
It changes what you care about.
Who you care about.
What you appreciate.
It impacts your goals.
Your dreams.
It’s one of the biggest hardships you’ll ever endure.
But finding life in difference. That’s rewarding.
Rise above perception.
Rise up to resilience.
We all belong.


This was a year of growth and exciting progress for Safehaven, a year of recovery and advocacy.

By partnering with other organizations to create first-of-its-kind programs like the Transitional Care for Medically Complex Children (TCMCC) and seamlessly transitioning our adult clients to a new home, Safehaven is ensuring that capacity is being built where it’s needed most so clients can be cared for in the most appropriate setting.

We implemented a new, innovative digital learning platform to expand our Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) program where frontline staff across the developmental services sector can easily access critical IPAC education that enables them to safely care for the most vulnerable populations.
None of our achievements would have been possible without the incredible commitment of our wonderful staff. They have been nothing short of inspiring this year. The love and care they show for our clients every day and their efforts to help them thrive have been extraordinary.

Change is always challenging and moving our fourteen adult clients to a new facility was a significant effort. Staff worked closely with families to ensure their child’s new bedroom felt like home, packed up belongings, and learned how to use new equipment. They embraced the commitment to #WeBelong, understanding that this new facility would provide a higher quality of life for our adult clients.

With the ongoing pressures and demands of the pandemic continuing in 2022-23, the biggest challenge we faced was related to healthcare human resources. Considering the vulnerability of our clients, high quality and safe care is always a priority. Safehaven worked hard to recruit and retain skilled staff.

We are so proud of everything we achieved this year, bringing us closer to an inclusive world where children, youth and adults can thrive as they reach different milestones in their lives. Safehaven is determined, resilient and passionate – we are only just beginning and will continue our work to change perceptions about what it means to live with complexities.


154 FAMILIES SUPPORTED WITH CONDITIONS THAT INCLUDE (This number is lower than previous years because our respite program was limited due to sector-wide COVID-19 restrictions):
Aquired Brain Injury
Cerebral Palsy
Genetic Disorder
Muscular Dystrophy
Multiple Complexities
Retts Syndrome
Seizure Disorder

Our organization meets the unique circumstances of each family that walks through our doors. They are welcomed by caring and compassionate staff, and feel relief knowing that that their loved one is in safe and capable hands at Safehaven.
The programs and services offered at Safehaven are structured around building a community where every client’s unique needs are supported.
We currently are planning a significant redevelopment of our Bloor Street location to accommodate more adults waiting for housing options as well as expand our current children’s programs.


With the addition of our new partnership with Reena in Thornhill, Safehaven now has six locations across the Greater Toronto Area – Our supported group living program provides around-the-clock care, 365 days a year to individuals with developmental disabilities and complex care needs. As part of our independent, inclusive model, most children attend school during the day. We are committed to working closely with our government partners to ensure seamless transitions wherever possible when clients turn 18.


After sector-wide restrictions required us to pause our respite program over the pandemic, we were very happy to reopen these services at our Bloor location this year. This has been a very challenging time for families as access to respite programs was significantly limited. We have missed our respite clients dearly and love to see our Bloor location noisy again with the sounds of our clients and staff laughing and playing.


Our goal is to provide fulfilling and meaningful experiences for our clients who live with us and those who come for respite. Our recreational programming sets Safehaven apart. With the support of our generous donors, clients participate in programs including music therapy, pet therapy, therapeutic clown programming, baking, arts and crafts, holiday celebrations, birthday parties, sporting events, spirit days and swimming sessions. The therapeutic programs help build our clients’ cognitive and fine motor skills. Finding and curating opportunities that allow our clients to grow, thrive and have fun is crucial for their development and well-being.


In November 2022, Safehaven developed the Transitional Care of Medically Complex Children Program (TCMCC) in partnership with Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital. This program was created to alleviate pressures in the hospital for children with complex medical needs who are waiting to return home or for a placement in the community. A team of clinical leaders, including nurses, social workers, recreation therapists, transition coordinators and quality leaders, work together to ensure that patients are transitioned smoothly from hospital to Safehaven where they will stay for up to 120 days and then ultimately return home or transfer to a community setting. The leadership teams meet regularly to review referrals into the program, quality metrics and strategize to support the ongoing success of the program.


EDUCATION & IMMUNIZATION 6790 IPAC Education Modules Attended 2589 Sites Visited 144 IPAC Champion Sessions Attended 1044 Individuals Vaccinated


In 2022, Safehaven continued our leadership role by championing best practice guidelines, developing updated programming and educating other staff in the sector. Safehaven created the Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) program to address a gap within the developmental services sector, launching a new platform to host our IPAC education for a seamless user experience.

The advancement of IPAC education strategies across Toronto and Central Regions provided an accessible option for frontline staff working in many different health care environments across the city, while incorporating feedback from the Safehaven program evaluation from the previous two years since the program was launched.
In addition to providing virtual education, the IPAC team has been instrumental in not only supporting our six locations, but offering the developmental services sector access to Covid-19 and flu shot vaccinations.

(Cumulative numbers since start of program in 2020)


As more of our clients survive into adulthood and turn 18, it became a priority for Safehaven to find a more appropriate space for them since all of our current sites were built and designed to provide care to children.

Supportive housing options are severely limited for adults who age out of children’s services when they turn 18. Two years ago, we began looking for a new home where we could develop an adult program. We secured space in Reena’s new Lou Fruitman Residence in Thornhill for our clients. The units are apartment-style and accessibly designed for adults with complex needs.

Each client’s room was customized to accommodate their medical and technological needs and personalized with their favourite colours and interests, so they felt at home. We are proud of our staff and clients for adjusting to all the changes that come with moving to a new home and are looking forward to meeting members of our new community in Thornhill.

While we were successful in creating this new adult program, there is still a long road ahead of us to build a system for these vulnerable individuals who surpass all expectations and survive into adulthood. Our advocacy efforts this past year focused on this group and we had an OpEd published in the Toronto Star, very fittingly, on Family Day, to shine a light on this gap in the system and what needs to be done to address it.



Safehaven has developed long-standing partnerships with our academic institutions to provide vital experience in the community sector. This past year, Safehaven welcomed students who required clinical experience as part of their post-secondary learning program and provides them with an opportunity to develop their skills delivering care to vulnerable, medically complex clients. Currently, we collaborate with three schools; Durham College, Centennial College, and the University of Toronto, to support the educational needs of students across various programs. Students collaborate with clients and families, throughout their time with us. They develop skills in health promotion strategies, health teaching, health education, determinants of health, community-based assessment, and program planning and evaluation, all valuable experiences they can take with them as they start their careers in the health sector.


My name is Hossein. After arriving to Canada in October 2018, I searched for an organization that offered services for my daughter, Arnica. I’m a single parent and I have religious barriers that made it difficult to properly provide for her. I knew I needed to find a place for Arnica where she would be surrounded by love and receive the support she needed.

I came across Safehaven and after meeting the wonderful team, I knew that this was the best place for my daughter but there was no spot available at the time.
She’s my child, I want what is best for her and I fought for something she deserves – a better life, to receive the specialized care she needs, and to be surrounded by 24/7 support.

I persisted in my advocacy for her and when a spot opened up last year, Arnica was able to move into the Clayland location which is only a short five-minute drive away from home. The transition could not have been more seamless. She accepted the new environment so easily and loves the staff there.

Whenever I visit, she’s almost always happy. I want her to know that I am still with her and the open communication with the staff makes that possible. They’re all amazing and I always get updates about how Arnica wants to be the centre of attention and how much she is enjoying herself. She’s so comfortable there and that’s all I could have asked for and more.

Knowing that Arnica is benefiting by living in a place where she feels like she is at home gives me peace of mind. I know she’s in good hands. Safehaven goes above and beyond, and it is a gift to me to have Arnica in a home where she can thrive and belong.

“Safehaven goes above and beyond, and it is a gift to me to have Arnica in a home where she can thrive and belong.”


At Safehaven’s newest location in Thornhill, two young adult clients named Majad and Rohan became new roommates and fast friends. Both facing unique medical complexities, their shared experiences have led them to form an extraordinary bond.
Majad is spirited and loves music and wheeling around in his chair, interacting with people he is around, and Rohan loves to listen to music and enjoys the company of his friends. Since becoming roommates, they have been inseparable.

Rohan finds it entertaining to watch Majad roll around the unit and playing with his toys. He can frequently be seen smiling when Majad is laughing at his TV shows or with staff. Their positivity is infectious.

Safehaven staff marvel at the transformative power of this friendship – their bond is a source of inspiration and motivation for everyone around them. They have defied the limitations of their conditions.

The space they share has become a sanctuary of laughter, resilience and hope – a place where they can be themselves and create meaningful memories together. Their journey is a testament to the remarkable difference that an inclusive environment, dedicated caregivers, and the power of friendship can make in the lives of individuals facing medical complexities.

“Their journey is a testament to the remarkable difference that an inclusive environment, dedicated caregivers and the power of friendship can make in the lives of individuals facing medical complexities.”


Each year our circle expands, so does our voice. The generous support of our community provides much needed recreational programming to our clients, allowing them to participate in activities and lead meaningful lives.
All dollars raised are directly invested into the programs we provide and support the development of all our clients.


Our volunteers are dedicated and share a love and passion for inclusivity. Thank you to our volunteers who created memorable experiences for our clients through things like arts and crafts, playing music, and helping them in the pool. You demonstrate the true meaning of inclusion and community.
To learn more about volunteer opportunities at Safehaven, visit our website:

Mary Peterson – President, member of Strategy & Capital Planning Committee and Governance Committee
Sacha Kennedy – Vice President, Co-Chair of Philanthropy & Communications Committee, member of Governance Committee
Connie Lombardi – Secretary, member of Governance Committee
Eric Clarke – Treasurer, Chair of Finance & Audit Committee
Khalil Alfar – Director, member of Strategy & Capital Planning Committee
Renee Blomme – Director, Chair of Quality, Safety & Risk Committee
Julie Castle – Director
Dave Dame – Director, member of Strategy & Capital Planning Committee
Noela Fowler – Director, Chair of Governance Committee, member of Strategy & Capital Planning Committee
Janet Gillespie – Director
Judy Litwack-Goldman – Director, Co-Chair of Philanthropy & Communications Committee
Jennifer Lovrics – Director, member of Finance & Audit Committee
Sandra Smith – Director, Chair of Strategy & Capital Planning Committee


Beyond our exceptional programs and services, Safehaven’s team goes above and beyond by actively participating in community events, fostering an atmosphere of inclusivity and belonging.
We recognize the importance of connecting with the broader public and creating opportunities for meaningful interactions. By actively participating in local events, we aim to break down barriers, challenge stigmas, and promote understanding and acceptance of individuals with medical complexities.
Our involvement in community events serves a dual purpose. First, it allows for clients and staff members to experience inclusion and belonging. Secondly, Safehaven’s presence at these community events acts as a catalyst for awareness and advocacy. By engaging with the broader community, we actively strive to educate and inform, and raise awareness about the unique needs of our clients living with complex care needs. These interactions foster empathy, breaks down stereotypes, and promote a more inclusive society where everyone can thrive and contribute.
Here are some community events Safehaven took part in this year:

For the second year in a row, Paolo Di Zazzo organized a skating event where his local hockey team the Seven View Chrysler Marlies hosted a day filled with joy, inclusion and unforgettable memories. This event brought together two communities that may seem worlds apart – young athletes and Safehaven’s remarkable clients. In a heartwarming display of compassion and unity, Paolo and his team warmly welcomed Safehaven’s clients to their skating rink, making them a part of the team for the day. Paolo said about the event, “Each year, my goal is to introduce the opportunity of giving back to the community., Our Safehaven skates day will be another success where families from Safehaven and my team will come together to experience a day of fun and inclusion.” Thank you to Paolo and his team for exemplifying the true spirit of community, and for organizing this amazing event for us.

Each year in the Davenport community in Toronto, there is a fantastic street festival called Big on Bloor that takes over Bloor Street for a weekend in July. Safehaven participated with an event tent outside of our Bloor location where we welcomed the opportunity to interact with our neighbours in the area as well as visitors from across the city. It was a chance to share the role Safehaven plays in the community and promote our work to create a more inclusive world.
For the last few years, Safehaven has participated in the annual Toronto Waterfront Marathon. This past September, Safehaven’s team of clients and staff participated in the 5km walk. The community was beyond supportive, cheering for our team as we made our way along the route towards the finish line. The impact our presence had was heart-warming and our clients loved every minute of it – especially receiving their medals at the end!

In December, one of Safehaven’s generous donors, the Knights of Columbus Cardinal Carter Assembly Woodbridge, organized and hosted a Christmas brunch for our clients and their families. The Knights go above and beyond with this event and purchase gifts from each client’s wish list as well as for their siblings. They bring in Santa, elves and clowns, as well as craft stations. The brunch has become a tradition that Safehaven families look forward to each year and we graciously thank the Knights for their incredible generosity.


Our donors exemplify the power of compassion and empathy. We are so grateful for all those who made generous contributions to Safehaven that enabled us to provide meaningful experiences for our clients. In additional to many generous financial donations, we also received extraordinary corporate donations.

LiUNA Local 183 has generously donated to Safehaven for a number of years now and we are immensely grateful for their continued support of our clients.

To help us celebrate our staff on International Nursing Day and Personal Support Worker (PSW) Day, LUSH generously donated gift sets for all of our staff. Each gift box contained bath and body products to help them unwind and feel pampered after a long day.

Spin Master is one of the largest toy companies in the world and this year they generously donated Christmas gifts for all of our clients! Each year, we try to make the holidays special so our clients can experience the magic of the season. Through generous donations like this one from Spin Master, we can make that possible.


This past year, our team has been exemplary, resilient, and pivotal to our mission. Through their hard work, they are a window to the world for our clients – a nurturing and guiding force. We celebrate our wonderful staff and applaud those who have gone above and beyond to live out Safehaven’s values – Quality, Accountability, Trust, Curiosity


Individual Winner: Sarah Seergobin, Arley Flores
Team Winner: Aurora Team
Individual Winner: Samatha Herbert, Sara Ingriselli
Team Winner: Clayland Team
AWARD: Trust
Individual Winner: Briana Moncrieffe
Team Winner Intake & Transition Team
Individual Winner: Marliser Regis
Team Winner: Educator Team – Sherri-Ann Dean

5 Years: Romesh Rajendra
Patrizia Verone
Maria Sofronova
Vimala Sait

10 years:
Mercy Minimah

30 Years: Opal Mclean, Nancy Sison

We have a small army of advocates in the community who support us on our mission to break down barriers to support our clients and their families. Together we are creating meaningful and impactful change for the future of our sector. We could not do it without our team of volunteers.

The Seven View Chrysler Marlies
(City of Vaughan Hockey Association)

Cardinal Carter Assembly Woodbridge Knights of Columbus


Our donors’ unwavering generosity has enabled us to adapt to new ways of delivering exceptional care to our clients, in continued service to our mission of breaking down barriers and changing perceptions about what it means to live with medically complex care needs. With these donations, we are able to persevere in building an inclusive community where our clients truly feel that #WeBelong

$25,000 AND ABOVE
Angels from Heaven Youth
Foundation Inc.
$10,000 – $24,999
J.P. Bickell Foundation
LiUNA! Local 183
$5,000 – $9,999
Gregory Lipton Trust, Estate of Sidney Lipton
Jean and Susan Bisaillon
Ruth Mandel
The Perkell Family
$1,000 – $4,999
Chris and Sacha Kennedy
Dave Dame
Eric Clarke
Judy Litwack-Goldman
Khalil Alfar
Mary Peterson
Noela and David Fowler
Sandra Smith
Unilock Ltd.

UP TO $1,000
Accessibrand Inc
Adam Kramer
Ahran Cho
Alex Simonelis
Andrea Sass-Kortsak
Andrew Robertson
Angelo D’Amico
Ann Mowat
Anne Strutt
Ashley Pettifer
Brad Tigwell
B. Gallagher
Brian Whittaker
Bruna Ruggiero
Carli Dasilveira-DiMinni
Carole Wiseman
Cathy Mallove
Cindy Tjon
David Poley
Dawn McGoldrick
Debi Archinoff
Deborah Fowler
Don Mills Civitan Club
Doug Coughlin
Dr Caitlin Gallagher Inc
Elisabeth Ward
Ema Gradascevic
Emilio Ricciardi
Flora Kalogirou
Frank Wice
Garima Dhawan
Gaurav Vashishtha
Griffin Ristevski
Gwenno Hughes
Heidi Last
Humber Valley United Church Women
Janet Quinn
Jason Bisnath
Jennifer Briscoe
Josephine Rockman
Julie Castle
Julie May
Karen Lasky
Julie May
Karen Lasky
Katherine Lee
Keith Sequeira
Laura Bustamante
Linda Hutjens
Linda Wright
Lorrine Peruzzo
Louie Mata
Luisa Amato
M. Debora
Mark Cancian
Melissa Walasek
Neda Saniei
Parkbridge Lifestyle Communities
Peter & Greg Walker Contracting Inc.
Peter Tjon
Queen of the Holy Rosary Shrine
Queeny Tran
Renee Blomme
Richard & Gisele Woods
Ron Taylor
Ryelle Strategy Group
Sandra Nasu
Shashank Sharma
Tamsin Eames
Tara Keane
Vincenzo Carinci
Dani Peters – Magnet Strategy Group
Melanie Paradis – Texture
Spin Master


Assets Mar-23 Mar-22
Current assets 13,109,771 13,783,227
Long Term Lease 746,550
Capital assets 3,568,843 3,859,725
Intangibleassets 219,861
Total Assets   17,645,025   17,642,952
Liabilities and Fund Balances
Current liabilities 1,418,845 1,190,258
Deferred revenue related to capital assets 972,466 1,068,747
Fund balances 15,253,714 15,383,947
Total Liabilities and Fund Balances   17,645,025   17,642,952
REVENUES 2023 2022
MCCSS subsidy 5,943,320 4,765,733
COVID-19 revenue 1,394,168 2,197,099
ODSP, CSA, and Agency contributions 1,850,750 1,457,730
Contribution from other agencies 920,054 194,473
Projects 303,704 71,824
Rental Income 212,944 208,869
Donations 166,528 292,133
Gifts in Kind 158,844 228,376
Amortization of deferred contributions related to capital assets 144,085 157,234
Grant revenue - Employment and Social Development Canada 15,854 45,690
Miscellaneous 8,951 1,782
Total Revenue   11,119,202   9,620,943
Staffing 7,835,965 6,785,062
Supplies 838,420 466,258
Occupancy 655,407 497,972
Professional fees 601,034 579,729
Office and general 540,485 566,145
Amortization 390,310 443,616
Gifts in Kind 158,844 228,376
Food 88,080 56,707
Investment management fees 69,594 68,932
Transportation 64,976 17,873
Total expenses   11,243,115   9,710,670
Deficit before undernoted item   (123,913)   (89,727)
Investment income (loss) (6,320) 306,431
Surplus (Deficit)   (130,233)   216,704


Because of you, our
clients live happy, healthy lives with exceptional care from our frontline staff.
With the help of our partners, we have not only been able to
deliver our mission of but a more inclusive world where our
clients truly belong.


We appreciate everything you do for us and our clients. Your support goes directly to their programming. We hope to count on your continued
generosity as we champion an inclusive community where we can break down barriers and change perceptions about what it means to live with medically complex care needs.