Quick facts

Service type: Homeward Bound
Eligibility: Single mothers (19+) facing multiple barriers, including unstable housing, precarious financial situation, and limited or no access to education and employment. Please find the full list of eligibility criteria below.
Delivery: In person and virtual
Fee: Free
Partners: Industry Council, Ontario Works, Toronto Children's Services, PTP Adult Learning and Employment Programs, Community Colleges: Centennial College, Seneca College, George Brown College, Humber College

Program description

Launched by WoodGreen in 2004, Homeward Bound is an innovative program that supports homeless or inadequately housed single mothers to earn college diplomas, start careers and achieve financial self-sufficiency. Unique in Canada, this four-year education and employment program provides intensive wrap-around services that eliminate the barriers that single mothers face in trying to move out of poverty.


Homeward Bound offers participants a comprehensive set of supports:


  • Academic upgrading program for college entrance
  • Fully funded two-year college education in a marketable field
  • Affordable furnished housing see details below
  • Goal-oriented case management
  • Child care and after-school programs, including tutoring and mentorship
  • Access to mental health, parenting and family counselling
  • 14-week unpaid internship to gain work experience
  • Job search support and networking opportunities


The program has four phases:


Phase 1: Program Start

Academic upgrading for college entrance; skill development, including life skills, financial literacy and computer skills


Phase 2: Community College

Two-year diploma options in the following areas:

  • Early Childhood Education: Early Childhood Educator (ECE)
  • Computers: Computer Programmer or Software Engineering Technician
  • Business: General Business, Finance, Insurance, Operations, HR, Office Administration, etc.
  • Law: Office Administration Legal, Law Clerk
  • Retail Management
  • Construction: Construction Technician


Phase 3: Transitions to Success

Employability skills training; job search workshops delivered by Industry Council partners; industry specific computer skills training; housing search support


Phase 4: Internship, Employment and Exit

14-week unpaid internship facilitated by Industry Council partners; networking opportunities; job search support to secure sustainable employment


Over four years, participants gain the skills, education and employment experience necessary to achieve financial stability and independence.

Eligibility requirements

  • Single mothers (age 19+), living separately from partner/spouse
  • Risk and/or history of homelessness
  • Limited or no access to education and employment
  • Canadian citizen, landed immigrant, or Convention Refugee
  • One referral (from shelter, clergy, social program, etc.)
  • Child(ren) are under 17 years and at least one child living with the mother
  • Maximum number of children is three
  • High school diploma preferred
  • Capable of reaching college readiness within 4 – 6 months
  • On or eligible for OW, ODSP or EI
  • Able to participate in a full-time program
  • No current criminal proceedings or addictions (one year sobriety)
  • Comply with college vaccination requirements

Homeward Bound Housing

Homeward Bound provides participants with safe and affordable Rent-Geared-to-Income housing throughout the four-year program, as well as access to a Housing Worker for tenancy supports and community programs. Two- and three-bedroom family units are available for program participants and their children (age 17 or younger).


Note: Housing locations are confidential.

Supporting resources

Learn more about Homeward Bound in this video here.


Read about the program’s impact here.


How you can help

Donations are graciously accepted through the WoodGreen Foundation.

Ready to participate?



Please apply online here.


To learn more, please contact:

Contact information

Yordanka Petrova

Sr. Manager of Homeward Bound and Neighborhood Programs

(416) 645-6000 ext. 3031

Elise Casimiri

Partnership and Outreach Coordinator

(416) 405-5184

Kimberly Fung

Program Assistant

(416) 466-1181

Related programs