PROGRAMS AND SERVICES
This website gives general information about our programs and services.
We offer various structured and seasonal programs to support women and gender-diverse people from communities facing systemic barriers to equity and underserved groups. We deliver development and skills-building programs, mental health and peer support, and other low-barrier programming and services to empower and help our communities move forward.
Contact us to find out what program will work best for you. Our support and programs centre the rights, access, and unique needs of women and gender-diverse people. Services are confidential and free for eligible community members.
Due to the impacts of COVID-19, we continue to provide services and programs online and select in-person until further notice.
EMPOWERING CARE PROGRAM - RELIEF SERVICE
Our Empowering Care Program offers direct support to women*, girls, and gender-diverse individuals who experience the impacts of gender-based violence, social isolation, income disparities, and structural barriers that hinder their justice, well-being, and basic rights.
We provide humanitarian relief services that focus on advocating for the community, implementing prevention and assistance strategies, and making it safer for women and gender-diverse people to request access to tailored support they need and deserve. The supports are intended to provide women and gender-diverse people with relief to help restore their safety and agency, and invest in their well-being on their terms.
Please note that this support service has a waitlist. GOOD TO BE GOOD is actively expanding our financial resources, so we may only be able to support some applicants. If we cannot confirm assistance from the first application, we will automatically put you on our waitlist for the next round of emergency and relief supports. We can support more community members monthly through this program as we grow. Financial assistance will not be provided to applicants with reasonable financial means or access to full housing and income support.
GTBG’s Empowering Care Program offers direct financial assistance to support women*, girls, and gender-diverse individuals who experience the impacts of gender-based violence, social isolation, poverty, systemic racism, and structural and institutional barriers hindering justice, dignity, and basic rights. It is intended to provide community members with humanitarian relief and a boost of investment into their well-being in a dignified manner. We aim to reduce barriers when accessing support and empower equity-deserving women and gender-diverse people to build safe, thriving livelihoods. We employ trauma-informed and anti-oppressive enhancing care while centring their voices and experiences within communities. We start with supporting their basic needs and fundamental rights through advocacy, awareness creation, and mobilizing and re-distribution of resources—we view this as an investment in realizing gender equity.
We ensure that women and gender-diverse people facing inequities can access the resources, opportunities, networks, and support they need rather than prescribing a static, one-size-fits-all intervention. We believe people are best placed to determine the support they need. Empowering Care Program addresses community members’ immediate needs, allowing them to retain their safety and agency and invest in their well-being and development on their terms.
Empowering Care supports can include:
- Transportation expenses
- Nutritious food boxes
- Gift cards for necessities
- Menstrual and wellness products
- Essential home care
- Family products
- Transportation passes
- Essential expenses related to leaving violence or establishing lives in Canada
- Expenses related to attaining permanent resident status or Canadian citizenship
- Financial assistance for reproductive or gender-affirming care health services
- Emergency housing and safety planning for survivors of abuse
- Case management for community members including providing referrals, information, advocacy, and wraparound support
- 1:1 Support Counselling
Empowering Care is offered case-by-case to supplement rent, utilities, phone bills, and education and employment training opportunities. One-time financial assistance will be considered if there is evidence suggesting that a person is in a ‘marginalized’ or ‘vulnerable’ situation, including but not limited to women, girls, and gender-diverse people who are/have: experienced gender-based violence or abuse, unstable/precarious housing or homelessness, intersection with the criminal justice system, health conditions and disabilities, immigration or migration, displacement, poverty, unemployment and underemployment, or facing barriers to institutional and formal methods.
Outreach services can also be delivered to partnering agencies with women, girls, and gender-diverse communities as part of their constituency.
To apply to the Empowering Care Program, contact:
Jenny Hong, Program Manager
FREE MENSTRUAL PRODUCTS SERVICE!
Through our programs and services, we offer free access to clean, safe, and culturally-appropriate menstrual products to people who menstruate with high needs in our communities. This initiative aims to provide community members from priority groups with the necessary menstrual products, so they can participate in essential activities without facing exclusion. Using reusable or sustainable products can improve the quality of life for women by eliminating the need to regularly purchase expensive hygiene products.
This Program Prioritizes:
– Black Women, Indigenous Women, Women of Colour, Transgender, Non-binary, 2-spirit, and gender-expansive community members;
– Low-income individuals who are over the age of 14 years and
– residing in Canada.
The service operates on a need-to-need basis without arduous administration or policing of bodies and needs. To apply for a free menstrual product, email Jenny, Program Manager, at [email protected].
PEER SUPPORT SERVICES
We offer strengths-based, anti-oppressive, and trauma-informed Peer Support and Engagement services that are free and confidential. Our trained Community Workers, Peer Support Workers, and Peer Counsellors connect women and gender-diverse folks to meet their needs through the following avenues:
- Social Work Services
- Women’s Services
- Justice Services
- Referral Services
- Peer Support Counselling
Our GTBG team connects women and gender-diverse members to meet their needs by referring them to community programs, support services, recreation opportunities, and information while supporting their well-being, safety, and journey to healing and restoration. They also provide mentorship, emotional support, problem-solving and goal-setting guidance, and crisis risk assessment. We can help answer members’ questions and offer advice towards appropriate referrals in Canada.
We provide trauma-informed care services using anti-oppression and feminist practices. Our team promotes empowerment and self-determination during program participation through non-judgemental and confidential support. Currently, we offer our free 1:1 Peer Support Services and Monthly Peer Support Groups.
1:1 Peer Support Services are case-by-case, depending on the individual’s specific needs, situation, and motive to receive assistance. After an initial assessment, we establish a trust-based, compassionate relationship with supportive listening and facilitation in connecting to other resources and finding solutions as required. Peer-based counselling and peer support services are free to eligible community members, and available through phone or video calls by appointment only.
This service can help community members to:
– Access social and practical support and/or referrals to services;
– Connect with services tailored to fit individual needs, goals, and abilities;
– Connect with other community leaders and individuals in their support systems or with service agencies;
– Advocate for individual healing choices and actions, ones that lead to positive results.
This program also allows community members to connect and learn more about GOOD TO BE GOOD in general, and to receive support in navigating some of the options available.
We’re committed to empowering women and gender-diverse members by giving them access to information, advocacy, and personalized resources to make informed life choices on their terms. Referrals to other agencies or services are undertaken with the utmost care to ensure that the individual is treated from a feminist perspective. Please note that while our Peer Support and Community Workers can offer emotional and practical support, they do not provide medical or scientific advice or diagnosis.* For intake, email to connect or set up a video call.
Peer Support, Counselling and Engagement Services contact:
Lindsay, Peer Engagement + Social Work Specialist
*We do not provide crisis or clinical services of any kind. If you, or someone you love is at immediate risk please contact your local emergency services. After connecting through email or phone, you will be connected to a Community Worker who will collect information about the issue(s) you are facing and schedule services based on any requirements. Peer counsellors and workers can help with a range of issues, including relationship challenges, stress, depression, anxiety, addiction, family issues, grief and more. Services are confidential and available in English.
MONTHLY PEER SUPPORT GROUP
Our monthly Peer Support Group offers a supportive and empathetic space for peers to increase healing, recovery, and a sense of belonging and a place to share experiences that impact mental health and validate peers, whatever their circumstances. Group sessions run throughout the year. New members are welcome, and no referrals are needed. Due to limited group space, participants are required to register for each session in advance. It is free, and there is no commitment required.
Monthly groups are guided by Peer and Community Support Workers who share similar backgrounds and experiences to their peers. Peer Workers also help to reduce barriers to accessing services and resources by providing advocacy, connection, and referrals. The monthly program has grown to offer support groups that include guest speakers and focus on health and wellness activities, receiving positive feedback from our community.
During the monthly sessions, the group will explore resources and exchange knowledge and skill-building tips that nurture well-being and connection. This group-based service provides a safe, non-clinical, non-judgemental environment for women and gender-diverse people to share their personal experiences, feelings, coping strategies, and systemic issues facing women and gender-diverse folks to help them feel less alone, anxious, or isolated, and more empowered and connected. Topics can include:
Recovering From Trauma
Developing and Maintaining Healthy Relationships
Care-Giver Support Self-Care
Before joining a monthly peer group, our Peer and Community Support Workers are here to help participants explore how we can all make connecting in an online group comfortable, safe, and welcoming by using group guidelines and safety standards. We strive to meet accommodation and virtual accessibility requests such as audio descriptions, closed captioning, breakout rooms, and sensory items. Peer support groups require all participants to adhere to group guidelines prior to joining their first session.
Peer Support Groups and General Info contact:
Natalia Beatriz, Peer Support & Community Worker
CHANGE MAKE-HER - ENTREPRENEURSHIP SUPPORT GROUP PROGRAM
Development workshops to build women’s entrepreneurial inner skills.
Change Make-Her is FREE interactive virtual program is for women, non-binary and gender-diverse folks* interested in developing their entrepreneurship and leadership skills through mentorship-based training workshops, skills development, community building, peer support, resource-sharing, and other opportunities.
This is a community-led, capacity-building initiative that strives to bridge the gap for women and gender-diverse folks with entrepreneurial spirits who face systemic obstacles by leading them through comprehensive economic-readiness workshops with a low-barrier and compassionate approach.
We believe that entrepreneurism can be a meaningful pathway for women and gender-diverse people facing multiple barriers to independence and well-being to generate income, build confidence and community, and self-determine aspects of economic circumstances. This program aims to uphold the principle that regardless of circumstances, women and gender-diverse people have the right to pursue economic and social justice with confidence, support, and self-agency.
ALERT: Cohort 4 has finished. At this time, we are not accepting applications for Change Make-Her. Please sign up to our newsletter and be notified of the next cohort (2024 date).
Change Make-Her is built around the power of connection, knowledge-sharing, community, and empowerment! This program aims to empower women and gender-diverse people* with the fundamentals of launching or growing a new micro or small business or income-generating activity (freelance, gig worker, contractor) on their terms while connecting them with established entrepreneurs, industry professionals, mentors, relevant information, easy resources and tools for a changing economy to improve their entrepreneurial skills.
Participants will have the opportunity to:
Build Entrepreneurship & Leadership Skills
Navigate Business Fundamentals
Bolster Empowerment, Inclusion & Personal Development
Strengthen Independence & Interdependence (to achieve safety, security, and connection)
Over eight weeks, and through a series of mentor-based sessions, participants can establish connections, interact with industry professionals for built-in mentor support, learn start-up strategies, develop essential business and leadership skills in marketing, business planning and financial literacy, explore self-care practices, and meet other women and gender-diverse folks facing similar challenges in a supportive and inclusive space. Upon completion of the program, successful participants receive a micro-grant to meet their business needs and the option to participate in a one-time 1:1 mentorship session.
To enable equal participation, participants are provided with access to customized wrap-around supports such as peer support, community resources and referrals, accessibility accommodations, and internet assistance. An assessment of virtual needs will be included in this process. Wraparound supports such as childcare and transportation are available based on need and format of the program. The program is delivered online and in the English language.
The program’s curriculum is informed by educational business theories that are culturally responsive, developmentally appropriate, and real-life experiences. Our commitment is to operate within frameworks that are trauma-informed, anti-oppressive, feminist, and intersectional. All sessions align with the standards and principles of GOOD TO BE GOOD and are guided by its mission and values. The ultimate motivation for economic security is not financial stability in and of itself but rather the ability to lead a life of freedom, safety, and dignity.
Cohort 4 Program Contact:
mercy ayesha alohan-ake, Program Lead
*We recognize that discrimination exists and certain groups of people experience disproportionate barriers to economic, health, and development opportunities which may be amplified due to intersectional personal identities. As an equity-driven non profit organization with a mission to serve marginalized communities, we prioritize women and gender-diverse people from underserved, under-resourced, and under-represented communities, including those who identify as Indigenous, Black, racialized, newcomer, survivor, migrant, refugee, landed immigrant, LGBTQ2IAA+, low-income, unemployed or underemployed, living with mental health conditions or disabilities, and facing multiple systemic barriers to economic and social participation and access to resources.
*For the purposes of our website/program communications, we intentionally use the word “women” and “women and gender-diverse people” to reference an inclusive term that includes and encompasses Two-Spirit, gender non-conforming, gender queer, trans, cis, femmes, non-binary people, gender-diverse people, and people of marginalized genders who identify with the term. Where brevity is required and for the purpose of our work, we use these words as an umbrella term to refer to our mandated priority community. We recognize and uphold the fact that gender is not homogenous and not defined by biology.
We strive to provide accessibility for team members and community members across all functions of GOOD TO BE GOOD by removing barriers and providing accommodations and/or modifying expectations if necessary. Closed captioning is available for online programs, meetings and external and internal webinars. We take positive steps to increase accessibility by improving learning, virtual, and physical accessibility to our services through feedback loop, continued reassessments on our practices and assumptions, knowledge-sharing, consultive partnerships, and collaborative approaches. Technical assistance is also available to address specific access needs throughout communication and engagement to better serve and support community members who identify as neurodiverse. We respect and uphold the requirements set forth under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and follow the recommendations found on the Ontario Human Rights Commission as best as possible. We ask all community members accessing our programs and services to inform us how we can make their experience with us better.
For community members accessing our programs and services for the first time, we collect self-identification data in a confidential manner through intake or sign up forms using ethical practices such as limiting the number of team members who can use this information, maintaining privacy and confidentiality, and openly communicate the purpose of the data collection and how the information is used for services and potential formal or perceived barriers and obstacles to access and provision. We strive to minimize the number of times community members participating in our programs are requested to engage in formal intake.
All GTBG services are confidential, within the limits of the law. This means that no one will ever know that you have used the program unless you choose to tell them.
All online sessions delivered on Zoom are compliant with all federal and provincial privacy legislation and HIPAA, PIPEDA & PHIPA compliant.
If you have ideas or suggestions for our programs and services, or feedback on your experience with any components of the organization or this website, email toge[email protected]. We welcome your comments and suggestions!