Jessie’s has been part of my life for 4 years. When I first got pregnant I had no support. Only the people at Jessie’s, the people in the programs, the other moms and kids. As soon as you come in the door you have a warming feeling. Everything is OK. Everyone smiles and says hello. I tell every young mother to come and sign up at the centre. It is the only place I recommend to young mothers in Toronto.
At the crossing of Parliament and Shuter Street’s lies a humble building that houses Jessie’s – The June Callwood Centre for Young Women. With a mission that is not so humble, Jessie’s strives to provide a multi-resource centre that plays particular attention to the health and educational needs of young mothers. With services like prenatal classes, labour support, respite daycare for young children, housing placement services and on-site high school equivalent programs, young mothers are given the opportunity to reach their potential and contribute to the growth of their families in a profound way.
Jessie’s provides free services to its clients through Government grants and the generosity of annual donors. This year, Jessie’s is celebrating their 30th Anniversary and hopes to expand their programming to serve even more high risk young women and their families. Here are a few more reason’s why Jessie’s has been such a remarkable program:
Jessie’s is special to me because they have helped to support me when I was really low and didn’t know what I would do. They taught me a lot of things like how to take care of my son properly. The support still continues. Lots of resources and programs benefit me and my son. I have a good connection and feel comfortable with the staff, so does my son. I feel the love. When I don’t come for a while everyone embraces me with open arms. I can see positive outcomes for my son
Jessie’s centre helps to empower our young teenage moms. To let them become better leaders and have more knowledge of all the resources and support available to them.
-Nickesha (staff member 1 year)
Cause Jessie’s does the job that other services don’t provide in a way that is welcoming and not clinical. The focus here is on what people have done, what they can do,and how they can do it better
-Beth (staff member 10 years)
When I started as a student in the Parent/Child centre 6 years ago I was blown away. I had never worked with young parents before, they impressed me in every way. Their dedication to their children, their drive to succeed. Sadly our society is not very supportive of young families. Once I came to understand how important and crucial the services are at Jessie’s are for the families, I never wanted to leave. The staff are an incredible group of very strong women who are greatly dedicated and believe in the families. The advocacy and support that each woman receives is outstanding. There are hundreds of families that have been positively affected by Jessie’s Centre and the staff and programs provided. Where else can you leave your desk and go snuggle a 3 weeks old baby…..
-Bonnie (staff member 5 years)
“They have to mature from teenager to adult in nine short months and make a 180 degree turn in their young lives. The amazing thing is they do it, and they give most of the credit to Jessie’s. Our programs and our faith in them are essential supports; but in the end these young moms show the world just what a young person can accomplish when they get the support and love they need, and deserve. Anyone would be proud and lucky to have one of our ‘grads’ as their mom,”
-Maritza Sanchez, Executive Director of Jessie’s
We hope that you too will be inspired to give back to this worthy initiative!
To learn more about their programs or how you can get involved with Jessie’s – The June Callwood Centre for Young Women, check out their website at www.jessiescentre.org
You too can support Jessie’s cause and donate via our Canada Helps Giving page.