Community Partners

Sionito Invites Community Based Agency Partnerships

Sionito is a social economy business model that began as an affordable housing provider and gradually has added other modules towards building an expansive community housing development and management corporation. The Sionito Model advocates for partnerships between the three sectors of a civil society; the government sector, the private enterprise sector and the non-profit charitable sector with a special emphasis on energizing and growing the non-profit housing sector. The model exists to sustain and increase each citizen’s independent life-ability, with a special emphasis on providing ADL dining supports to seniors, allowing them to live free of government interventions and delaying entrance into high cost supportive housing or long term care facilities.

In all its endeavors sustainability has been its strongest guiding value expressed in terms of i) project development, ii) property management and iii) program supportive services. (For details see the Sionito Model section).

Sionito with Community Based Agency Partnerships Have Been Successful in Toronto

The Sionito Model is based on achieving the outcome of extending independence of seniors as they age in place. Independence is defined both as: i) retaining the tenant’s personal independence levels in terms of activities of daily living (ADL), and ii) remaining free of as many costly government interventions as possible for as long as possible. The model is based on research that shows up to 20% of seniors in higher serviced retirement homes and long-term care facilities have been placed prematurely.

The Sionito Operations Model – Congregate Dining Increases Independence

Sionito is unique in that it builds congregate dining into its apartment projects to:

a) reduce the anxiety of going out shopping, transporting food home, daily preparation of meals
b) to ensure seniors maintain high nutritional intake, beyond the common tea and toast syndromes of apartment home living.

This apartment amenity represents a minimalization of the services required internally to provide independence for other ADL activities and reduce medical and even hospital interventions.

The dining room amenity space breaks down isolation, one of the most common experiences of those with mental health challenges who have lost their family supports. It also allows staff to have relational interactions on a daily basis, celebrate birthdays, calendar holidays and other activation events that produce a sense of community. Beyond this it allows staff to notice a decline in mental or physical abilities requiring the support services of Community Based Agencies. In summary, the Sionito model recognizes that housing is a determinant of mental health.

The Sionito Operations Model – Community Based Agency Partnerships

Sionito has been successful in partnering with community based service agencies that are already funded to support the challenges some of Sionito’s tenants encounter. Presently there are over 12 separate agencies providing supports to various tenants within the Sionito Bill McMurray Residence, most of them on a weekly basis. These partnerships are what makes the Sionito model economically feasible and which allows it to increase the independence of its challenged tenants.

The Sionito Community based agencies funded by various ministries of the provincial government are placed throughout the urban settings of the province. These agencies provide regular contacts with challenged citizens in their homes. The services provided are on an as needed basis. They span from medical supports after in hospital stays to regular mental health check ups through in home visits. The Sionito Model is based on partnering with these funded agencies to provide the support services that maintain rental stability in its apartment units. The Sionito administrative staff are focused on finding the right agency support for the right tenant challenge.

From time to time in order to support aging in place these community based supports are upgraded to daily supports provided by personal service workers (PSWs). Sometimes in larger apartment complexes cluster care plans are developed so that an agency worker combines several clients into their daily routine. In this way the ADL needs of challenged citizens can be provided in their own home, rather that in a more expensive supportive housing environment such as long term care.


If you are a social worker or a family member with a client or family member experiencing increasing challenges in their present accommodation Sionito invites you to contact us. It is to be noted that in private retirement homes the initiative is to increase services as this increases revenues, whereas the Sionito Model is focused on increasing independent life-ability skills and extending them for as long as possible.