Congratulations to our 2020 Toronto’s Vital Signs Grants grantees! The Toronto’s Vital Signs Grants aim to surface and support high-impact organizations and their visionary leaders working to tackle the ten issue areas highlighted in the Toronto’s Vital Signs Report. The grant includes a one-time $10,000 unrestricted donation along with additional opportunities for profile and reach, so we’ll be telling more stories about their inspiring work throughout this year.
Thank you to the 2020 Toronto’s Vital Signs Grants selection committee: Phylicia Davis-Wesseling, Grassroots Leader; Melody Li, Executive Director, Homeless Connect Toronto; Deborah Lewis, Executive Director, Canadian Foundation for Physically Disabled Persons; Sara Wolfe, Director, Indigenous Innovation Initiative – Grand Challenges Canada; Rick Goldsmith, Toronto Foundation Board Member; Ceta Ramkhalawansingh, Toronto Foundation Board Member; Greg Wilkinson, Toronto Foundation Board Member; Jarel Cockburn, Toronto Foundation Board Member; Salima Rawji, Toronto Foundation Board Member.
Learn about the 25 grantees below.
2020 Toronto’s Vital Signs grant recipients
Alexandra Park Community Centre offers a range of social, recreational, and educational services to the Atkinson Housing Co-op and Alexandra Park community, whose residents are primarily racialized, low-income families and individuals.
Breakaway Addictions Services offers comprehensive addictions treatment and harm reduction services through community-based facilities with a focus on street and community outreach.
Charlie’s Freewheels uses bicycles to support the development of empowered young leaders, by increasing youth access to bicycles, facilitating bicycle-related skill development, and inspiring youth to ride with confidence.
Community Family Services of Ontario (formerly known as Chinese Family Services of Ontario) offers linguistically and culturally relevant counselling, family services, and settlement services to individuals and families in need, with a focus on low-income and marginalized Chinese families.
The Christie Refugee Welcome Centre provides emergency shelter and initial settlement services for refugee claimants and families from all ethnic, racial, and religious backgrounds.
FEAT for Children of Incarcerated Parents provides support to children and youth with a parent or other family member who has been in conflict with the law, including family visitation, after school programs, and peer mentorship.
Friends of Ruby (formerly Egale Youth Services) is a mental health counselling centre and transitional housing shelter for LGBTQI2S+ youth who are at risk of or experiencing homelessness.
Future Possibilities for Kids offers unique programming in community leadership, mentorship, and life-skills to help cultivate youth leadership in diverse and underserved communities.
Jane Finch Housing Coalition
(Trustee: Jane/Finch Community and Family Centre)
The Jane-Finch Housing Coalition (JFHC) is a coalition of residents, service providers, and community organizers working towards housing justice and housing equity in the Jane-Finch area of Toronto.
L’Arche Toronto Homes provides community-centered support and programs for daily living, employment, community participation, and creative and performance arts for individuals living with intellectual disabilities.
Massey Centre is a client-centered infant and early childhood mental health organization supporting pregnant and parenting girls and young women, as well as their children, families and caregivers.
Native Child and Family Services is a child-centred, family-focused, and community-driven multi-service urban Indigenous agency providing holistic, culture-based programs and services for Indigenous children and families.
Nightwood Theatre is Canada’s oldest professional women’s theatre company. It provides an essential home for the creation and production of extraordinary feminist theatre by women and non-binary artists, with a priority on women of colour, Indigenous women, and diversely abled women.
(Trustee: Flemingdon Health Centre)
The Parenting Group is a volunteer-based grassroots community group with members from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and religions working to connect and support each other through sharing resources and parenting experiences.
To learn more, read about the group’s founder Charles Zhu here.
The Parkdale Activity-Recreation Centre (PARC) is a multi-service agency supporting individuals and delivering programs around poverty, mental health, addictions, housing, and food security in Parkdale.
(Trustee: VIBE Arts)
R.I.S.E (Reaching Intelligent Souls Everywhere) Edutainment provides opportunities and safe and inclusive spaces in Scarborough for youth to develop artistically, professionally, personally, socially, and spiritually, through performance arts, spoken-word poetry, and storytelling.
The Regent Park Film Festival is Toronto’s longest-running free community film festival. It showcases local and international independent works relevant to people from all walks of life, with a focus on providing programming for people from low-income and public housing communities.
Second Harvest is a food rescue organization that recovers food before it becomes waste and redistributes it through a network of social service organizations. A global leader in food recovery, Second Harvest also provide training programs, certifications, and workshops to the community.
SKETCH is a community arts organization engaging diverse youth who are navigating poverty, or living homeless or on the margins, through the arts. Participants build leadership and economic self-sufficiency, and cultivate environmental and social change through the arts.
Stella’s Place is a leading organization providing comprehensive mental health services, peer supports, and recovery programs for young adults. They partner young adults and professionals to provide a collaborative, innovative model of mental health services.
Read our profile of Stella’s Place.
Street Health improves the health and well-being of people who are homeless, under-housed and street-involved through low barrier, accessible, and equitable services, community-based advocacy, and education.
The Centre for Spanish Speaking Peoples provides culturally appropriate support and services to Toronto’s growing Spanish-speaking community to advance their social and economic integration into broader society.
The Period Purse strives to achieve menstrual equity by providing marginalized menstruators with access to free menstrual products. They also work to reduce the stigma surrounding periods through public education and advocacy.
The Weston King Neighbourhood Centre provides essential services, support, and programs in Weston and Mount Dennis for local individuals facing economic and social barriers, with a focus on harm reduction, food security, and housing.
The Woman Abuse Council of Toronto (WomanACT) is a policy development and planning body that coordinates an effective approach to providing services for women experiencing violence and their families. They work collaboratively to eradicate violence against women through community mobilization, coordination, research, policy, and education.