PROGRAMS + SERVICES
We offer programs and services focused on supporting women and gender-diverse people.
This website gives general information about our organization and work. Everyone has different life experiences that have brought them to this page.
If you need a list of emergency site referrals, contact us directly or visit our Resources page. Referrals are not needed to apply to our programs. Contact Us to find out what program will work best for you.
As the situation with COVID-19 continues to evolve day to day, our primary focus remains the health and safety of communities and our community members. We continue to provide services and programs online and select in-person until further notice.
EMPOWERING CARE PROGRAM - RELIEF SERVICE
Our Empowering Care Program provides essential and restorative supports for women*, girls, and gender-diverse folks who have experienced the effects of gender-based violence and abuse, economic instability, social isolation, and other structural barriers hindering equity and justice. Our humanitarian-based relief service ensures ongoing community-centric advocacy, prevention strategies, and low-barrier access to everyday supports tailored to women while supporting conditions for meaningful pathways to restore healing, security, well-being, and agency.
This service aims to support community members who experience the impacts of discrimination and under-investment that often leads to them being left behind.
Empowering Care supports can include transportation, supplemental nutritious food boxes, gift cards, menstrual products, home care, clothing, family products, transportation necessities, wellness supplies, a note of positive affirmation, and additional resource referrals depending on the individual’s circumstance. We also provide emergency financial assistance on a case-by-case basis for rent, utilities, phone bills, connectivity, and education and employment training opportunities. Outreach services can also be delivered to partnering agencies with women, girls, and gender-diverse communities as part of their constituency.
We recognize the profound value and responsibility in supporting women, girls, and gender-diverse folks to access their rights: the right to safety, protection, food, shelter, healthcare, income, and enabling their development and capacity to exercise power and transformation for themselves. We aim to reduce barriers when accessing support and empower made-vulnerable and equity-deserving women and gender-diverse people to build safe and thriving livelihoods through trauma-informed, enhancing care while centring their voices, needs, and experiences within communities. We start with supporting their basic needs and fundamental human rights through advocacy, awareness creation, and mobilizing of resources, and view this is an investment as a small price to pay to help community members achieve stability.
This program is intended to provide recipients with immediate relief and the opportunity to invest in their well-being in a dignified and respectful manner. Empowering Care focuses on ensuring 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 that people are best placed to determine the type of care they receive that addresses their immediate needs, allowing them to retain their agency. There is also a body of evidence that shows unconditional relief transfers can make substantial positive impacts on wellbeing, development, and empowerment.
One-time financial support will be considered provided 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: experience of gender-based violence or abuse, unstable/precarious housing or homelessness, intersection with the criminal justice system, health conditions and disabilities, immigration, displacement, low socio-economic circumstances such as poverty, unemployment and underemployment, and/or facing barriers to healthcare and support/care systems.
To apply for supports or referrals, contact:
Jenny Hong, Program Manager
Please note that this support service has a waitlist. We are actively expanding our financial resources, so we may not be able to support every applicant. 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. As we grow, we may be able to support more community members on a monthly basis through this program. Financial assistance will NOT be provided for applicants with reasonable financial stability or who have access to full housing and income support.
PEER SUPPORT + OUTREACH PROGRAM
We offer strengths-based, anti-oppressive, and trauma-informed Outreach and Peer Engagement services that respond to the needs for advocacy, domestic violence centres, emergency shelters, housing assistance, crisis counselling, employment, childcare and child protection, legal, support networks, employment, mental health and primary healthcare medical services and options with specialized referrals, assistance, and peer-to-peer guidance.
Our trained and skilled Community Support Workers connect women and gender-diverse folks to meet their needs by referring them to community programs, external service providers, recreation opportunities, and social activities through peer-to-peer outreach while supporting their wellbeing, mental health, and healing journeys. Our Community Workers work from an intersectional, anti-racist and anti-oppressive viewpoint to provide assessments that are non-judgmental, confidential, and supportive.
The work of our Peer Support and Engagement is case-by-case, depending on the specific needs, situation, and motive to receive assistance on the part of the served individual. 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. Community members can access social and practical support and referrals to services through our Community Outreach and Peer Support team when accessing one to one support. They offer community members a range of coordinated specialized services tailored to fit the individuals needs, goals, and abilities. They can work together with other community leaders, individuals in their support systems or service agencies to support community members in a comprehensive way while advocating their individual healing choices and actions, ones that lead to positive results. This program also provides community members with an opportunity to connect and learn more about the organization in general, the services available, and to receive support in navigating some of the options available.
We support environments that empower women and gender-diverse folks to make their own informed decisions and choices about their lives by listening, sharing, and providing links and access to information, advocacy, and resources. Referrals to other agencies and/or services is undertaken with the utmost care to ensure that the individual is treated from a feminist perspective. Please note that our Peer Support Workers do not provide community members with medical and scientific advice or diagnosis—just support.
In response to the public health crisis, our free, One-to-One personalized Peer Support is offered virtually (phone or video call) at select times until further notice.
For more information on this service, contact:
Lindsay, Peer Engagement + Social Work Specialist
MONTHLY PEER SUPPORT GROUP
Our monthly drop-in Peer Support Group is a peer community for engaging, supportive, and empathetic spaces to build healing and recovery and share experiences that impact mental health. This service is available free of charge. New members are welcome and no referrals are needed. Due to limited group space, participants are required to register for each session in advance.
The monthly support groups are facilitated and guided by relatable 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. Topics include: Recovering From Trauma, Work-Life Balance, Interpersonal Relationships, Unlearning Co-Dependance, Developing and Maintaining Healthy Relationships, Care-Giver Support and Self-Care. During these discussions, the group will explore resources, activities, or skills that nurture mental well-being and connection.
The 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 of women who face multiple barriers to feel less alone, anxious, or isolated, and more empowered and connected. Before joining a monthly peer group, our Peer and Community Workers are here to help peer participants explore how we can all make connecting in an online group comfortable, safe, and welcoming using group guidelines and safety standards. We will always make every effort to meet accommodation requests and (virtual) accessibility.
To view the program flyer, visit: Peer Support Group – GOOD TO BE GOOD 2022
For more information about the monthly peer support group, contact:
Mecca Ongy, Community Outreach + Peer Support Worker
CHANGE MAKE-HER - ENTREPRENEURSHIP SUPPORT GROUP PROGRAM
Development workshops to build women’s entrepreneurial inner skills.
Change Make-Her is an interactive program for women*, non-binary, and gender-diverse people from gender equity-deserving groups who are pursuing entrepreneurship and leadership-building skills through low-barrier mentorship, training, community-building, resource-sharing, and other development opportunities. This FREE community-led, capacity-building initiative strives to bridge the gap for made-vulnerable and marginalized women and gender-diverse folks with entrepreneurial spirits who face systemic barriers by leading them through comprehensive, inclusive economic-readiness workshops. We believe that entrepreneurism can be a meaningful pathway for women and gender-diverse people to generate income, build confidence and community, and self-determine aspects of economic circumstances.
The Change Make-Her program aims to empower women and gender-diverse people* with the fundamentals of growing a new 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)
Participants can establish connections, interact with mentors and industry professionals for built-in mentor support, engage in comprehensive discussions around “Entrepreneurship 101,” share startup strategies, develop basic business skills, learn wellness practices, financial management and literacy, and explore ideas and challenges in a non-judgemental and inclusive space. Upon completion of the program, participants receive a micro grant to “kick start” their business needs and have the option to apply for 1:1 mentorship.
To enable equal participation, participants are provided with access to customized wrap-around supports such as peer support, community resource, accommodations for disability, referrals, and data/internet assistance. An assessment of technology needs will be included in this process. Childcare, transportation and technology supports are available based on need.
Change Make-Her is built around the power of connection, knowledge-sharing, community, and empowerment! At this time, our program’s modules are delivered online and in the English language.
The program’s curriculum is informed by culturally responsive and developmentally-appropriate educational business theories and lived experiences. We are committed to working within trauma-informed, anti-oppression, anti-racist, feminist, and intersectional frameworks. All sessions are aligned with the standards and principles of GOOD TO BE GOOD and guided by our mission and values.
Learn about our Change Make-Her Mentor: MARSHA.
To learn more, contact:
Su Aranda, Program Lead
We are accepting applications for the next cohort launching this Spring 2023. Cohort 3 is now full.
*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 part of our equity-driven mission, 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 of gender-based violence, refugee, permanent resident, migrant, LGBTQ2IAA+, low-income, unemployed or underemployed, living with mental health concerns and disabilities, and facing multiple and intersecting systemic barriers.
*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 priority communities. We recognize and believe that gender is not defined by biology.
We help increase accessibility for team members and community members since most of our programs are delivered virtually. Closed captioning is available for all programs, meetings and external and internal webinars. We aim to bring in translators for specific events, when applicable and improve accessibility to our services through ongoing and new initiatives, partnerships and approaches. Technical assistance is also available to address specific state 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). We ask all community members accessing our programs and services to tell us how we can make experiences better during registration.
For community members accessing our programs and services for the first time, we collect self-identification data in a confidential manner on the diversity (i.e., gender, mental health, invisible disabilities, race, Indigeneity) of the intake forms using ethical practices such as limiting the number of team members who can view this information, ensuring privacy and confidentiality, and openly communicate the purpose of the data collection and how the information is used for equitable services and potential formal or perceived barriers and obstacles to access and delivery. We strive to minimize the number of times community members are requested to complete intake forms and applications.
If you have ideas or suggestions for our programs and services, or feedback on your experience with any components of the organization, please email us at [email protected] We welcome your comments, feedback, and suggestions.