2023 JLT Seed Grant recipients
The Junior League of Toronto proudly announces its 2023 Seed Grant Recipients: the 482 Collective and Blue Door Support Services. Each organization was awarded $4000 towards their initiatives, both of which address foundational issues contributing to food insecurity and human trafficking in the GTA.
The 482 Collective
The 482 Collective supports women, children and gender-diverse people who have fled gender-based violence, including: human trafficking, intimate partner violence, sexual assault, and physical/emotional abuse.
Their program, “Fully Equipped”, is a kitchen essentials program designed to address the needs of clients who, after fleeing domestic violence or human trafficking, have moved into government housing with completely empty kitchens. The program addresses barriers such as the rising cost of goods and the lack of access to transportation, which contribute to the cycles of poverty, isolation, and self-doubt that their clients experience. Seed Grant funding will support the purchase of kitchen tools for up to 60 families.
In 2021, the JLT Human Sex Trafficking committee hosted a Community Collection Drive for the 482 Collective, collecting various food and toiletry items and sorting them at the collective’s sorting center.
Blue Door Support Services
Blue Door Support Services is a charitable organization that provides emergency housing solutions to vulnerable populations in York Region.
In 2020, Blue Door launched Construct, an employment social enterprise as a solution to ending homelessness. Construct is an innovative 8-week rapid skills training program that provides vulnerable youth and adults who are at risk of or have recently experienced homelessness in the York, Durham, and Peel Region with in-class training, hands-on work experience and wraparound supports, to successfully begin their careers in the construction industry.
Blue Door requested the JLTs support in developing “Construct Women” to help vulnerable women launch a career in the skilled trades, which will help meet the ongoing demand for skilled workers in the GTA and create pathways for women to achieve long-term stable careers and futures in a traditionally male-dominated industry. The program will provide women with additional wraparound supports, such as childcare, gender sensitivity training, increased access to wellness workshops, and mentorship opportunities with previous Construct graduates. Seed Grant funding will support a new recruitment, outreach and informational strategy that will focus on vulnerable women who have faced disproportionate barriers to accessing and maintaining employment.
2022 SEED GRANT RECIPIENTS
Flemingdon Park Ministry
The JLT provided funding for their Healthy Soil to Healthy Bodies program, a Food Security project in the Flemingdon Park community providing education on healthy eating and access to organic produce grown at the Common Table Farm.
Seed Grant funding will assist with purchase of refrigeration equipment, hand-trucks to transport produce from the gardens, cooking class ingredients, printing of materials, and waterproofing the roof at the learning hub.
The Flemingdon Park neighbourhood is very culturally diverse with many families, seniors, newcomers and refugees, and the number of households living under the poverty line is higher than the average for Toronto.
Shadowpath Theatre is a professional theatre company and charitable organization that serves disadvantaged, homeless, and youth who identify as 2SLGBTQ+ and non-binary in York Region.
The JLT provided funding for their Stories of the Alphabet Community (SOTAC) initiative empowering 2SLGBTQ+ youth to share their stories/experiences through a variety of art forms. This culminated in a show featuring different rooms for each colour of the rainbow flag during Pride Month.
This program provided opportunities for youth to share their voice and invest creatively in their community. Youth also had a chance to complete training in community engagement and build a deeper sense of connectedness with their peers, developing new skills which could be applied to future employment.
2021 SEED GRANT RECIPIENTS
2020 SEED GRANT RECIPIENTS
Aura Freedom International
Aura Freedom International promotes the human rights of women and girls and prevents gender-based violence by advancing gender equality. The JLT provided funding for their Male Allyship Engagement Initiative to engage young men and boys in combatting human trafficking and gender-based violence. The presentations will include how and why men are forced to conform to society’s version of masculinity, take a stand against violence and exploitation.
Trails Youth Initiatives
Trails Youth Initiatives works to instill practical skills, relevant knowledge, and the self-confidence to use them. Ultimately Trails Youth Initiatives aims to increase the youth’s chances of success. With the JLT funding, students will participate in workshops/guest speakers to help them understand healthy risk-taking, provide outlets to promote physical health and answer questions about mental health/sexuality.