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Homeward Bound

Launched by WoodGreen in 2004 and unique in Canada, Homeward Bound is an award-winning comprehensive 4-year program that helps homeless or inadequately housed single mothers achieve lasting economic self-sufficiency.


Pauline Hockenstein
Director of Homeward Bound and Neighbourhood Programs

T | (416) 645-6000 x3006

Homeward Bound is an innovative four-year educational and employment program for single mothers.

Homeward Bound provides the following supports and services for its participants:

  • Free 2-Year College Education
  • Goal-Oriented Case Management
  • On-Site Childcare, If Available
  • After-School Programs for Children and Youth, Including Tutoring, Mentoring Programs and Extended Care Program
  • 14 Week Unpaid Internships
  • Access to Sustainable Employment opportunities through our Industry partners
  • Affordable Furnished Housing
  • Access to Psychotherapy, Parenting, and Family Counselling

Who do we help?

We help single mothers (19+) with multiple barriers such as unstable housing, a precarious financial situation, and limited or no access to education, child care, and sustainable employment.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • 19 Years or Older
  • Risk and/or History of Homelessness
  • Canadian Citizen, Landed Immigrant, or Convention Refugee
  • One Referral (from shelter, clergy, social program, etc.)
  • Child(ren) are under 17 years old and at least one child living with the mother
  • Maximum number of children is three
  • High school diploma preferred
  • Capable of reaching college level academic within 4-6 months
  • On or eligible to OW, ODSP, or EI
  • Able to participate in a full-time program
  • No current criminal proceedings or addictions (one year sobriety)

Program Participation:

The Homeward Bound program provides participants with access to transitional housing for up to four years based on active participation and achievement of personal goals such as earning a college diploma, starting a career, and achieving economic self-sufficiency.

The Program has 4 Phases, each of which must be completed before moving to the next phase.

Phase 1: Program Start

Includes life skills, MS Office, and financial literacy training, college planning, financial aid training and an academic upgrading program for college entrance.

Phase 2: Community College

The 2 year diploma options are 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
  • Retail Management

Phase 3: Transitions to Success:

Preparation for internship, employment and exit, including employability skills training, job search workshops delivered by industry partners, networking opportunities, and housing search support.

Phase 4: Internships, Employment, and Exit:

14-week professional internship with one of our Industry Partners to gain work experience. Homeward Bound connect women to opportunities for employment with our Industry Partners and supports them to transition into their new lives.”

Related Programs

After 4 Programming

This program enhances the lives of Homeward Bound participants’ children aged 6-12 through recreational programs.

Contact us for more information
Child Care

This service connects mothers of children under 4 in the Homeward Bound program to high quality child care.

Contact us for more information
Industry Council

The Industry Council supports the successful transition to work of Homeward Bound participants.

Contact us for more information
Work Initiative Network Program

The Work Initiative Network (WIN) is a part-time structured employment program to help adults with mental health issues find and maintain meaningful employment.

East Toronto (Leslieville)