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Toronto Homeward Bound

Piloted by WoodGreen in 2004 and unique in Canada Homeward Bound is an innovative program to help inadequately housed or homeless mother-led families earn college diplomas and achieve self-sufficiency.

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, precarious financial situation, limited or no access to education, childcare and sustainable employment.

Eligibility criteria

  • 19 years or older
  • Risk and/or history of homelessness
  • One referral (from shelter, clergy, social program, etc.)
  • Canadian citizen, landed immigrant, or convention refugee
  • Child(ren) are under 17 years old and at least one child living with her
  • Maximum number of children -three
  • High school diploma preferred
  • Capable of reaching college-level academics within 4-6 months
  • On or eligible for OW, ODSP, or EI
  • No current criminal proceedings or addictions (one year sobriety)
  • Able to commit to participating in a full-time program

Program participation

The Homeward Bound 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:

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 four 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

Phase 3:

Transitions to Success: Program, which prepares women for Internship, employment and exit. It includes Employability Skills Training, Job search workshops delivered by industry partners, networking opportunities, and housing search support

Phase 4:

Internship, Employment, and Exit: 14-week professional internship  with one of our industry partners to gain work experience. Homeward Bound connects women to opportunities for employment with our industry partners and supports them to transition into their new lives.


  • Industry Council
  • Ontario Works
  • Toronto Children Services
  • PTP Adult Learning and Employment Programs
  • Community Colleges -Centennial College, Seneca College, George Brown College, Humber College

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)