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.
The HIPPY site for Young Mothers in Toronto has operated since 2013 at the Working Women Community Centre. Three Home Visitors serve young mothers under 29.
The HIPPY Program works because it provides mothers with the tools and confidence to teach their children. We are looking forward to our fourth year as we hire three moms from the program as new Home Visitors. Other young parent service agencies are impressed that we can engage and keep more than 30 young women in the program for 30 weeks. We can – because our Home Visitors and mothers believe in HIPPY and its benefits.
A mother joined the HIPPY for Young Mothers program and finished the age-five curriculum. Thanks to that curriculum, she learned the importance of parent engagement in her child’s school. She has since joined the parent council at her daughter’s school and raised her hand to suggest a tutoring program for parents and children. There is now a tutoring program on site because of this awesome HIPPY mother!
For more information, please visit: https://www.workingwomencc.org/