Learn more about programs, supports, and services that are working to address community violence and support youth vulnerable to the involvement in serious violence and crime.
Community PEERS is a community-based, peer initiative that provides a variety of youth services to address the growing youth service needs and impacts as a result of community violence and community violence exposure.
Community PEERS brings a peer approach to community violence prevention and engages communities, youth, frontline workers of youth serving agencies, and/or connects young people to long-term supports. Community PEERS was developed in response to youth violence prevention supports requested from community stakeholders and frontline workers across Toronto.
All Peer Support Workers in Community PEERS have received a certified, 12-week Peer Support Training through The Community Healing Project, have lived experiences of community violence exposure, and practical experiences of working with youth vulnerable to involvement in serious violence and crime.
As a response to emerging healing opportunities for communities, training requests for frontline workers, and mental health/safety needs of communities and young people vulnerable to involvement in violence and/or crime, Community PEERS engages Peer Support Workers to offer violence prevention services to communities.
Peer Support Workers continue to develop their skills and expertise through ongoing coaching, training, job placements, and community of practice sessions while engaged in Community PEERS.
To access services through Community PEERS, please contact Siman Ibrahim at Siman.Ibrahim@toronto.ca.
Project Prosper aims to provide young people who have been incarcerated for firearm possession related charges with the tools, relationships, opportunities and access to services to support them in having a successful transition back to the community. The ultimate goal is to reduce participants’ risk of involvement in future crime and violence.
Participants work with a Case Worker to identify the issues that they feel would help them create positive change in their lives, and to create a plan of support to address any needs including income, education, legal, employment, health, family, life skills, mentorship and resources for personal development. The Case Worker is intended to be a consistent, caring adult in participants’ lives.
The project was developed based on a research project conducted by Humber College in partnership with Amadeusz, The City of Toronto – Toronto Youth Equity Strategy and the Laidlaw Foundation. The research included interviews with local youth who have been incarcerated for firearm possession charges, as well as national and international evidence on the causes, and solutions for addressing gun violence. The evidence is clear that we must support young people to get the support that can help them make a successful transition back to the community.
Fernie Youth Services provides rehabilitative, community based service for young adults (ages 18-29) who have been referred through Probation & Parole – Toronto Anti-Gangs & Guns Unit. The TYES Support Services program provides case management support to 40-50 youth/young adults annually, through a youth-centred, trauma informed, strength based, holistic and tailored service to meet the individual goals, strengths, needs, circumstances and preferences of each participant.
The Case Managers will develop partnerships with City services and organizations that can support the needs of the client. The Case Managers seek to reduce recidivism and support individuals’ through a holistic approach that considers each person’s overall needs. Participants are supported through a Fernie Case Manager works with participants, and others from the participants support team to complete a Needs Assessment and Service Plan. The Service Plan sets out individualized goals that may include; living in a stable environment, improving relationships with family and positive friends, engaging in school and/or employment, participating in recreational activities, improving physical and mental health, addressing drug any drug or alcohol issues, learning new life skills and addressing their involvement in the criminal justice system.
Restorative Justice is a means to repair harm caused to people, relationships and communities through collective participation in resolutions. Through this program, youth participants will be able to identify issues that cause harm, be exposed to strategies to cope and manage conflicts, understand accountability and actively participate in resolutions
The Youth Violence Prevention team at the City of Toronto is currently working with community groups to implement Restorative Justice Programs in St. Jamestown, Danzig, Jane and Lawrence, and Sparroways.
While maintaining the core values and principles, Enhanced Restorative Justice Programs bring a holistic approach and focus on deeper resolution strategies such as accessible education, wraparound supports, community engagement, and enhancing youth spaces to mitigate violence that youth are facing in communities across Toronto.
The Youth Equity and Violence Prevention team at the City of Toronto is currently working with community groups to implement Enhanced Restorative Justice Programs in Jane and Finch (Westview High School), Jane and Finch (Driftwood), and Scarborough (Woburn).