“Go in peace to love and serve the Lord, through loving and serving each other.”
The list of organizations helping those in our city is long. Below is a list of a of a few of those of which I am aware with a presence in Toronto who are always in looking for support to carry out their work of helping those in our community and around the world (full listing of Catholic Charities in Toronto):
- The Angel Foundation for Learning, The Angel Foundation for Learning is the charitable organization devoted to assisting vulnerable students of the TCDSB. For 20 years, the Foundation has assisted students in need by providing equitable access to educational, social and nutritional opportunities.
- L’Arche Toronto, L’Arche is a unique vision of care giving and community building that fosters inclusion, understanding and belonging. There are four homes that make up the L’Arche Toronto community – caregivers and volunteers from diverse cultures and backgrounds share deeply committed relationships with people with developmental disabilities. Every year L’Arche has a transformative impact on the lives of hundreds of young people who assist in L’Arche settings.
- Caritas Foundation. The Caritas program began in 1980 with a distraught mother who was searching for help for her drug addicted son. Her desperation and determination led her to call her local priest, Fr Gianni Carprelli, whom in turn made it his mission to find proper assistance for that mother and the many others that he later met. Caritas offers a multidimensional holistic approach to human problems including addiction.
- Covenant House, The idea to open a Covenant House location in Toronto originated with the late Cardinal Carter who rallied community support after he found young people sleeping outside his downtown office. Opened in 1982, Covenant House Toronto was the second international site established. Covenant House Toronto is Canada’s largest shelter for homeless youth.
- Daily Bread Food Bank. The driving force behind the Food Bank’s creation in 1983 was Sr Marie Tremblay of the Sisters of St Joseph, who was the organization’s first Executive Director. The Food Bank was created in response to the escalation of poverty and hunger in the city. In addition to providing much needed food, the Food Bank has support programs – including job training – to support people struggling with poverty.
Daily Bread Food Bank is a non-profit, charitable organization that is fighting to end hunger in our communities. Every year thousands of people across Toronto rely on food banks. Daily Bread serves these people through neighbourhood food banks and meal programs in over 170 member agencies. – See more at: http://www.dailybread.ca/#sthash.RUhwOHxs.dpufA leader in the fight against hunger, Daily Bread Food Bank distributes food through over 200 food banks and meal programs across Toronto. Daily Bread provides food for an average of 63,000 visits a month to food banks and prepares more than 3000 nutritious meals in its kitchen that are sent out every week to shelters, hostels and neighbourhood meal programs. We are the largest provider of food relief in the GTA. – See more at: http://www.dailybread.ca/about/#sthash.DOD2AxdS.dpufThe driving force behind the creation of the Food Bank in 1983 was Sr Marie Tremblay, a Sister of St Joseph, who became its first Executive Director. It was created to respond to the escalating levels of poverty and hunger in Toronto and was meant to be a temporary organization to fill the need before public policy closed the need for good.Daily Bread Food Bank is a non-profit, charitable organization that is fighting to end hunger in our communities. Every year thousands of people across Toronto rely on food banks. Daily Bread serves these people through neighbourhood food banks and meal programs in over 170 member agencies. – See more at: http://www.dailybread.ca/#sthash.RUhwOHxs.dpufDaily Bread Food Bank is a non-profit, charitable organization that is fighting to end hunger in our communities. Every year thousands of people across Toronto rely on food banks. Daily Bread serves these people through neighbourhood food banks and meal programs in over 170 member agencies. – See more at: http://www.dailybread.ca/#sthash.RUhwOHxs.dpuf
- Development and Peace. The official international development organization of the Catholic Church in Canada and the Canadian member of Caritas Internationalis. For over 40 years, Development and Peace has supported 15,200 local initiatives in fields such as agriculture, education, community action as well as the consolidation of peace and advocacy for human rights in 70 countries. D&P supports partners in the Global South who promote alternatives to unfair social, political and economic structures. It educates the Canadian population about the causes of poverty and mobilizes Canadians towards actions for change.
- Furniture Bank. Furniture Bank was founded in 1998 by Sister Anne Schenck, CSJ. Their mission is to transfer gently used furniture and household goods donated to us by individuals or corporations to people who have recently transitioned out of homelessness. In 2010, they helped 2,527 families or nearly 5,000 people including 1,600 children. Furniture Bank works with 64 shelters and agencies serving women and children leaving abusive situations, refugee families seeking safety and youth at risk as well as Toronto’s Streets to Homes program.
- Good Shepherd Ministries. In 1951 Br. Mathias Barrett founded The Little Brothers of the Good Shepherd in New Mexico. In 1963, Archbishop Pocock invited the Little Brothers to open a refuge to serve the homeless and destitute poor.
- Mustard Seed. Located in South Riverdale it’s a ministry of Fontbonne Ministries, Sisters of St. Joseph, offering a welcoming environment and sacred space for participants and volunteers to develop life skills, creativity, care for the environment and spiritual growth. It serves and collaborates with the local community and non-profit agencies.
- Out of the Cold program. The program was started in 1987 by students of St. Michael’s College School with the support and guidance of Sister Susan Moran of the order of Our Lady of Perpetual Sorrow. There are now Out of the Cold programs across Toronto.
- Providence Healthcare. The first ‘House of Providence’ was founded through the sponsorship of Toronto Bishop de Charbonnel, who sought permission from Pope Pius IX to build a house of charity to alleviate the poverty throughout the diocese. In 1857, the Sisters of St. Joseph opened the doors to the House of Providence on Power Streets – at what is now the DVP exit to Adelaide and Richmond Streets. At its peak, it provided accommodation for 700 elderly residents and orphans, people who were among the most vulnerable in society. The House of Providence continued to care for orphans, widows, immigrants and the homeless until it moved to its present site in 1962 – a former farm owned by the Sisters of St. Joseph at the corner of Warden Avenue and St. Clair Avenue East. At this time, the focus of care changed to residential care for the elderly and sick.
- Silent Voice. Silent Voice was founded by a Catholic priest, and a group of community-minded individuals, in the early 1970s. The group recognized that disadvantaged Deaf adults and Deaf children had a number of significant needs that were not being met within the social service community at that time. Silent Voice is the only organization in Toronto offering community and family-based support to deaf children and adults in American Sign Language(ASL).
- Society of Sharing. In 1981, the Society was created by the parishes of downtown Toronto (zone 1), the Society of St Vincent de Paul and other Catholic social agencies. The Society helps seniors and disabled persons in downtown Toronto live independent living in the community through home visits, outreach, emotional support and friendship.
- Society of St Vincent de Paul. In 1833, Frederic Ozanam, and a group of students from the Sorbonne University were challenged to prove their faith in Christ through action, not just words. The Society was formed when they took up this challenge and began to work with the desperately poor in Paris. Developing a simple system, they went in teams to help the poor in their homes, in the streets, in the hospitals and the asylums. Adopting as their patron St. Vincent de Paul, a 16th century cleric renowned for his work with the poor, the Society arose from humble beginnings to become an international organization found in 130 countries with one million members. In 1850, George Manly Muir founded the first Ontario Conference at St. Michael’s Cathedral in Toronto. Members of the Society visit 1,100 homes in Toronto and service 22 programs for those in need across our city.
- The Sisters of Life. A contemplative/active religious community of women founded in 1991 by John Cardinal O’Connor for the protection and enhancement of the sacredness of every human life. The Sisters take vows of poverty, chastity and obedience and a fourth vow to protect and enhance the sacredness of human life. They assist pregnant women in need of practical assistance – 1099 Danforth Ave., 416.463.2722.