Story 1 – Profile of Malvern Women’s Place / Family Resource Center CO108T

The Malvern Family Resource Center is located behind Malvern Town Center on Neilson Rd. and has been in operation since 1983 (29 years), While Women’s Place has been operating for fifteen years since 1997.

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Taken Nov. 27, 2012 by Andre Ward: Women’s Place Schedule display board

“Do you happen to know when this place was started ?

“Well, Malvern Family Resource Center has been in operation for 29 years and women’s place department has been in operation for 15 years next year. The agency itself is 29 years old and women’s place is 15.”

How many women per year, on average?

“Registered women we have currently about 985 women registered, so our goal is to have about 1000 women registered for the year, if not more”.

“Actual tenants? I believe last year we had about 14000, off the top of my head.”

What do women usually come in here for ?

“We have women coming in for a variety of reasons. We have women coming in looking for, you know, they may be crisis, so they may be looking for shelters, food banks, community counseling and a variety of reasons. We have women coming in looking just for resources and information we have women who want to come in and develop certain skills, so they may want to use a computer, learn how to use a computer for example and they may want to participate in the conversation in the English classes that we have. Like I said, we have a variety of self help programs, so that might be doing a variety of programs this year from things like public speaking, financial literacy, starting your own business, so really, we’d develop a calendar every month, so they can pick and choose what programs or services they’re interested in attending and so they register for those.”

“We also do special events, so we usually celebrate International Women’s Day. The passed two years we’ve had an annual symposium for women that’s been very successful”

We usually celebrate, or we recognize, wounds prevention month, so usually special events in the women’s calendar well highlight and we’ll do some sort of special event.”

How many women attend those programs?

“And really again depends. International Women’s day had about 80 and 100, and Symposium we had nearly 200 women. So really it depends on the space because that will let us know how many numbers we can have. So usually, I would say 75 to 200 at our events because it depends on the location.

Where do you usually hold these events?

“We’ve had our events at our youth center which is across the road at 1321 Neilson Rd. We’ve had events at the recreation center, Taibu, Community Health Center. So wherever we can get space we’ll access.”

“We’ve had some of the local schools, and used some of their space as well, so it depends”.

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Taken Nov. 27, 2012 by Andre Ward – “Sexual health brochure display board”

Are you funded by the government?

We are a United Way Member agency, so we’re funded by the United Way of Greater Toronto and we’re also funded by the city and we have project funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation and Canadian mental health association. We also have CMHA.(Canadian Mental Health Association)

We have a policy, everyone is welcome. We have women of all ages, nationalities, cultures and Ethnicity. We have men coming into the center asking for information as well, so we don’t turn men away either, we do provide information. Obviously this is a women’s space, so we find that men are very respectful of that and we usually they come and ask for information here. Obviously, we don’t have Men’s programs on site, but we usually are able to refer or provide information. And we serve women of all ages from youth, to seventy, eighty years old. There is not age that doesn’t come into the center.

So, do you guys also help with finding employment?

“We have some services on site, so we have an employment counselor that comes once a week so women can make individual appointments to meet with the employment counselor. We also have a financial counselor that comes out from Credit Canada, so we can talk about financial literacy. We are really trying to develop the space where we have a lot more professionals come in and meet with women, so they don’t have leave the community, or the space that they’re comfortable, so we’re trying to develop the center into a hub. So that’s just a process we’re going through right now.”

The space here will be used so women can have individual one on one counseling, but we’ll also do different seminars and programs that won’t stop. We’re trying to add an additional layer to what we already provide.

“We’re always looking for ways to improve what we do. There are no boundaries for women. Women from any area can come into the center. We have boundaries through the ridings, but we accept women from Oshawa, Downtown, and the west end. A lot of women will come to the medical center for appointments and then they’ll come into the center and we don’t turn anyone away, so there are no boundaries.”
They serve men and women from across the GTA including Downtown all the way to Oshawa.

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Taken Nov. 27, 2012 by Andre Ward – A shirt on display at the center. “Courage to fight back”.

It offers services to both women and men alike and are currently serving around 4000 women across the GTA.

Visit the Malvern Family Resource Centres’ website here: http://www.mfrc.org/

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