Working Women Community Centre of Toronto (Thorncliffe/Flemingdon Park)

Working Women Centre of Toronto Hosts the Oldest and Largest Site in Canada

The Working Women Centre of Toronto has the distinguished honour of hosting the oldest and largest site in Canada. In 2003, HIPPY Toronto opened its first site in the Jane and Finch community, a Toronto neighbourhood known for youth violence and troubled schools. After the news got out about the success of that first HIPPY site, it did not take long for Working Women’s entrepreneurial executive director, Marcie Ponte, to secure funding for an additional three sites.

Working Women has continued to sustain its program and innovate others, such as the Young Moms HIPPY program and the Refugee program. They now serve more than 300 families at six sites. Working Women is the home of five HIPPY programs and the AFIP project (Accelerated Family Integration Project) dedicated to refugees in the Toronto regional district.

Site: Thorncliffe/Flemingdon Park, Victoria Communities

The Thorncliffe / Flemingdon site started providing services in 2005 and now serves more than 100 families. It employs nine HIPPY Home Visitors.

Charmaine’s insight into the HIPPY Program:

I’ve been part of the HIPPY community for the past 12 years and it certainly has changed from when I started – and it is ever-changing. ‘Changing’ may be the wrong word…’Refining’ would be more appropriate. Home Visitors are trained to gather data on all participant efforts every year, and we draw clearer perspectives on how HIPPY positively affects its community.

How do we measure the wonderful bond that is created when families get together for group meetings and field trips, where they feel comfortable to laugh and share their ups and downs, and discovery of new spaces and places? Where they discover a city that was foreign and intimidating is now is a source of belonging? It’s great to be part of the settlement process where success is simply measured by a family opening their door to a HIPPY Home Visitor.

Success story:

I cannot say enough how much the HIPPY program has changed me and my child. Eva is becoming a book fan in the whole year with HIPPY. At nights, without me reading a story book to her, she will not get to sleep. It strengthens my relationship with my child as a single mom. I was fortunate to enroll into this HIPPY program. It gave me and my child a structured learning guidance and being together time. I can see that my child is so happy with me while following the HIPPY homework. The HIPPY Home Visitor is very nice and always encourages me and helps me when I have any questions. This Program is so great, I am so happy and lucky to find you, your program, and your team. I definitely will want more people to benefit from this.

For more information, please visit: https://www.workingwomencc.org/

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