Peterborough program for homeless single moms receives $20,000 boost from Community Foundation

The Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough announced a $20,000 grant to the Homeward Bound program yesterday (June 18) at the foundation’s annual general meeting.

Homeward Bound is a program that helps inadequately housed or homeless mother-led families achieve self-sufficiency. The four-year program eliminates barriers and allows these mothers to take control of their lives by providing housing, child care, tuition for a two-year college diploma, and a 14-week internship leading to full-time employment in a living-wage job.

“Households led by single mothers have some of the highest rates of poverty and food insecurity in our area,” says Diane Richard, Board Chair of the Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough. “It’s a complex issue, and that’s why we’re so pleased to be supporting Homeward Bound, because it’s a proven solution that will provide every support a woman needs to change her life and will help build up the vitality of our community overall.”

“Households led by single mothers have some of the highest rates of poverty and food insecurity in our area.”

Peterborough’s Homeward Bound program is a replication of a successful program designed by WoodGreen Community Services in Toronto, which has helped 189 women and 299 children since it was first piloted in 2004. Based on the success of the program, WoodGreen received funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to replicate the program with partnering communities in Ontario.

The Peterborough program is led by Peterborough Housing Corporation in partnership with local organizations, including YWCA Peterborough Haliburton, Fleming College Sutherland Campus, Compass Daycare, City of Peterborough, and United Way Peterborough & District.

“This program has been ten years in the making here in Peterborough,” says Homeward Bound manager Maisie Watson.

“We’re fortunate to have been mentored and licensed by WoodGreen, and we’re grateful to all of our community partners and supporters who are making this possible. Our first cohort of four women and 11 children have already entered the program, so 15 lives are in the process of changing positively and forever, which is amazing.”

The grant is the result of a donation from an anonymous donor, and will support aspects of the program.