Jane Finch Community Ministry
Jane Finch Community Ministry is situated in the North West part of the city of Toronto. Although the neighbourhood is considered a low-income community with a high ratio of public housing developments, it is rich with cultural diversity and a caring spirit. This community, with representation of over 110 nationalities and 70 different dialects spoken, was a recipient of the Trillium Caring Community Award for excellent “achievements in the face of limited resources and difficult circumstances”.
The Jane Finch Community Ministry provides community development and community organizing support, offers pastoral care and is engaged in advocacy through coalitions and networks.
Our office is situated in the social housing community of Firgrove called Connections. We work in collaboration with the Firgrove public housing community and larger Jane Finch area.
Through partnerships, the Ministry provides many meaningful programs and initiatives including: recreation programs for youth, arts and crafts, community and cultural festivals, educational and employment programs, a monthly food bank, community kitchens, and student nutrition programs. A microcredit program was developed to provide loans to local entrepreneurs who have great business ideas, but cannot access bank credit. To address problems of systemic racism and skyrocketing rates of unemployment for black male youths, the Ministry plays a central role in distributing scholarships and back packs filled with school supplies, in conjunction with the Firgrove Tenants’ Association, Firgrove Learning & Innovation Community Centre and the Painters Union. Since 2007 a total of 9,064 back packs have been given out. This year 5 scholarships were awarded and in 2015 Mayor John Tory joined the Back to School BBQ where 10 scholarships were handed out.
The community ministry, together with the Neighbourhood Action Youth Employment Committee (NAYEC) recognized the need to increase the employability of youth in Jane and Finch. Passport to Employment (PTE) was created with the support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation. PTE works with five high schools in the Jane-Finch/Black Creek area where youth learn skills in fun and interactive ways. PTE also serves youth between the ages of 15 – 29 who are out of school and out of work offering training and assistance to secure employment. The three year program was launched in January 2018.
The community ministry provides support to Jane Finch Unity, a grassroots organization that is committed to ending gun violence in the neighbourhood. Over the years the ministry has supported many coalitions and networks including: Basic Needs Action Network, Network of Community Based Organizations, Making Connections, Jane Finch Street Involved Youth Issues Coalitions, Neighbourhood Action Youth Employment Committee, Black Creek Financial Action Network, Black Creek Community Collaborative, Jane Finch Crisis Response Network, Beyond Carding Coalition, Jane Finch Toronto Strong Neighbourhood Strategy, Jane Finch Church Coalition, Black Creek Micro Credit program .
BLACK CREEK MICRO-BLENDING
This program aimed at assisting individuals who want to pursue professional development, start a new business or fund an existing business has been doing so since 2007.
Over 100 individuals have approached us over the years and continue to do at our drop-in centre located at the YorkU/TD Community Engagement Centre in the Yorkgate Mall. At least 10 individuals successfully access loans via our partner organization, Access Community Capital Fund.
Currently, we have 2 types of loans:
Mini Microloans – up to $1,000 for professional development, start or fund an existing business
Microloans – up to $5,000 to start or fund an existing business
We provide support, guidance and mentorship throughout the entire application process. As well as, we align our clients with support from other organizations and agencies within the city as they require.
Mailing Address: PO Box 21100 Rpo Jane-Finch Mall North York, ON M3N 3A3
Presbytery: South West Presbytery