All posts in “Blog”

ODSP recipients needed for study

Pamela Lahey is  a PhD candidate in the Rehabilitation Science department at McMaster University. She is conducting a study entitled From Welfare to Work: The Experiences of Those on the Road? The purpose of the research is to examine the individual and system level characteristics that make it possible for ODSP recipients to leave the System for employment.

She is looking for study participants to take part in a one-time, one hour interview, either by phone or face-to-face. Specifically, she is looking for:

Former ODSP recipients who:

a.       self-identify as having a mental illness as their primary diagnosis;

b.      transitioned from ODSP to paid employment in the mainstream labour market within the last 10 years;

c.       spent at least six consecutive months off ODSP.

You will be asked about your employment supports experience on ODSP, the individual and system level supports that helped you transition; and whether you returned to ODSP after your initial exit.

If you are interested in participating, or have questions about the project, please contact the investigator, Pam Lahey, by email at, or by phone at 226 343-8916.

*A 20 dollar gift card of your choice will be provided to you upon completion of the interview.

Seniors Co-Pay Program

Starting August 1, 2016, more than 170,000 seniors will be newly eligible for the low-income Seniors Co-Payment program under the Ontario Drug Benefit (ODB) Program.

Eligible seniors can save an average of $130 per year in out-of-pocket drug costs and pay no annual deductible and a co-payment of up to $2 for each prescription.

To check eligibility please visit

If you have any questions or require further information about this promotion, please contact Shannon Magennis at or via phone at 416-326-1004

CLEO’s Steps to Justice

Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO) is excited to announce the launch of Steps to Justice, a new website that gives reliable, step-by-step information on common legal problems in family, housing, employment and other areas of law.

Steps to Justice:

  • equips people to work through their legal problems through easy-to-understand steps
  • includes practical tools, such as checklists, fillable forms, and self-help guides
  • gives referral information for legal and social services across Ontario
  • has live chat and email-based support for users with additional questions
  • allows community organizations to embed its content on their own websites for free so your clients can access legal information without leaving your website. You’ll be able to pick the content you want to share – anything from a single question and answer to a full area of law.

In partnership with the City of Toronto, additional CLEO resources are now available in Arabic:

–        Need welfare? How to apply to Ontario Works and

–        Disability benefits in Ontario: Who can get them and how to apply

CLEO will be offering training on Steps to Justice for community workers so please get in touch with Rebecca Stulberg at if you are interested in this opportunity.

For additional questions or information, please contact Michelle Cader, Community Outreach Manager via e-mail at or by calling 416-408-4420 ext.826

ODSP Peer Navigator Program Support Group!


Registration for our ODSP Peer Navigator Support Groups!

Contact us now to register for ODSP peer support groups. You can still register for spots in this series! Groups will take place once a month for 5 months and started in December 2016. Participants can register for one of the options listed below:

The 2nd Thursday of each month – Next session on January 12th, 2016


The 2nd Friday of each month – Next session on January 13th, 2016

Topics of discussion will include: making connections, peer support, wellness

practices, tips for navigating the ODSP system and employment. Light refreshments and TTC tokens will be provided.

For more information, or to register, please email or call (416) 487-4355.

Please let us know of any accommodations we can provide and we will do our very best to provide them.

All are welcome!

About the program

The ODSP Peer Navigation Program offers peer support groups and one-on-one support to aid in successfully navigating the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) system while we share resources, build social supports, and develop wellness tools. This program is for people applying to get on ODSP or already on ODSP and recognizes how overcoming challenges within the ODSP system develops valuable skills that can empower us in our future opportunities.


Upcoming Community of Practice at the SHRC

The Self-Help Resource Centre runs a monthly peer support group for peer support workers and volunteers on the first Thursday of the month. This Community of Practice meeting is an opportunity for peer support group and one-on- one facilitators to get support from other peer facilitators, share valuable resources and experiences, learn and develop professional skills, and brainstorm solutions to challenges in the field. January’s topic is Nonviolent Communication and Conflict Resolution.

Please register at or 416-487- 4355 ext 21

When: January 5, from 4 to 6pm

Where: George Brown College located at 341 King St. East, room 413

What to Bring: Questions and challenges experienced in peer support.

Coffee, tea and light snack will be provided!


Each year, we have to raise half of our annual budget to keep our services alive. It’s pretty hard work, but we care about what we do so we don’t mind asking for help. And we like to make it fun.

This winter, we want to bring the holiday cheer, so we’re offering a variety of perks for any donations we receive, starting NOW!  The members at SHRC will be working hard to offer an array of personalized gifts to those who donate to our wonderful organization!

Our Exchange for Change campaign  will give anyone who donates $10 or more the chance to receive something in return for their generosity.

Come check it out!

Here are some of the fun things we’re willing to give for a donation:

$10 – A personal ‘Thank You’ e-mail from one of our team members

$25 –  An inspirational picture and quote from our Program Manager, Melissa Corcoran’s, personal collection.

$50 – a spectacular 3-card Tarot reading done by our ODSP Peer Navigator Program Coordinator Sam Warford!**

**For Entertainment purposes only

$100 – a personalized, original Haiku poem, composed by our Executive Director, Chrystal Dean

$200 – A 30-second instrumental jam created by program assistant/musically-inclined Michael Friedman

$350 – a really cool original artwork holiday card, made by our in-house artist/program assistant Deandre Bonnelle

$500 –  A combination of every single prize that has been mentioned before this one (all personalized).

$1000 – A video of the SHRC members going out into the street and creating a video collection of compliments about you specifically!

$10,000+ – A song about you, written by all members of the SHRC team, and performed by Michael (maybe a special guest as well!). Also includes every other prize mentioned so far.

$1,000,000 – We will bestow our secret, one-of-a-kind fountain of youth unto you, so that you may live forever (or perhaps even longer). **

** We don’t really have access to the fountain of youth, but you do look super great today!

Thank you to everyone who donates and helps us spread the word!

You’re Invited!! Toronto’s Untold Stories: An Interactive Photo Exhibit (FREE)

“Toronto’s Untold Stories” will be a story exhibit that displays the photos of individuals whose needs and concerns are often marginalized and under-represented in mainstream Canadian media and news. Each photo will be accompanied by a 1-3 minute voice recording from the individual pictured that tells their personal story of vulnerability and resilience in the face of injustice.
My story of homelessness will be one of the featured stories in this event. It would be an honor to see you there!

When: Wednesday December 28, from 1:00 -5:00 pm

Where: Art Square Gallery & Cafe, 334 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON M5M 1G5 (Across the street from the AGO)

Extreme Cold Weather Alerts

Out of the Cold programs provide an additional 100 beds a night on average from mid-November to mid-April. They are funded by the City and operated by faith groups. For an emergency shelter 24/7, call 311 or Central Intake 1-877-338- 3398 (free call).

If you see someone on the street in need of assistance in a non-emergency situation call 311. If it is an emergency call: 911.

Sister Writes

Sister Writes is a creative writing and literacy program dedicated to honouring the wisdom and experiences of women in downtown Toronto. Founded by writer Lauren Kirshner in 2010, with the support of Sistering, a drop-in center empowering ordinary women in extraordinary situations, Sister Writes provides women with the opportunity to work with professional women writers, develop creative potential, hone literary and leadership skills, receive mentorship, and build self-esteem.
The Writing Workshop program runs for 12 weeks and the next winter session begins in January, 2017.

To Register, send an email to (with the subject line: Register for Winter Session) introducing yourself and answering, in however much detail you like, the following questions:
♦ Why do you want to join Sister Writes?
♦ What do you hope to gain as a writer from Sister Writes?
♦ Are you comfortable listening to stories by other women and working collaboratively in a workshop group?
♦ Are you able to commit to attending 12 consecutive weeks of workshop during the session you are registering for?

Space and dates yet to be determined. Please contact or visit for information as it becomes available.

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