TORONTO -- Toronto is launching a new initiative to help people living at some of the city’s biggest encampment sites move into city-run hotels.

The Pathway Inside program will help people living in encampments at Moss Park, Alexandra Park, Trinity Bellwoods and Lamport Stadium transition to indoor shelter at temporary, city-run hotels across the city until they can obtain permanent housing.

The city says it has secured enough space inside hotel programs “for everyone” at these four sites.

“We have given our Shelter, Support and Housing staff direction to do everything needed to house homeless residents. That is why we are continuing to open up new emergency shelters in hotels across the city and opening up every Toronto Community Housing unit we can,” Mayor John Tory said in a statement.

“Safe, indoor housing that helps people heal and move into more permanent housing is my goal and should be our collective goal so we can save lives and protect the health of all of our residents,” he added.

The city did not say how many people are estimated to be living at the four sites.

Members of the Pathway Inside team have engaged daily with the encampment residents to hear about their needs and concerns, the city says.

These individuals said they need programs close to their existing supports, shelter space for couples and on-site harm reduction.

The city says it is aiming for these encampment residents to transition to a newly opened, temporary hotel program at 45 The Esplanade and other hotel programs by April.

“The Pathway Inside initiative is an excellent first step for those experiencing homelessness. It provides the short-term assistance people need as they move with our support toward permanent housing that is safe, secure and stable,” Deputy Mayor and Chair of the Planning and Housing Committee Ana Bailao said in a statement.

The new program comes as encampment fires continue to be a consistent concern in the city, with the latest killing a man east of downtown last month.

The fatal fire was the 27th fire crews responded to at encampments in the city so far this year.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the city says it has opened 40 more shelter sites for homeless individuals and that nearly 1,400 people moved into these spaces.

Last year, the city says it helped almost 6,100 people experiencing homelessness move from the shelter system into permanent housing.