In 2020/2021, TNO celebrated 36 years of services in our neighbourhoods. We have transformed from one program with two staff to over 30 programs and more than 170 staff, providing services to new Canadians, Youth, Families, Seniors, Middle Years, Early Learning for young people, Building Engaged Communities and much more.
TNO has accomplished its five-year Vision 2020 Strategic Plan (2015- 2020) and developed a new three-year plan 2021-2023 focusing on Youth, Poverty Reduction and Expanding Newcomer Services. TNO has also received its Health Service Provider designation and funding to deliver Mental Health, Addiction, and Elder Care related services.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic-related challenges and barriers, TNO’s work changed drastically. TNO remained agile, resilient, and committed to support our communities. This brought opportunities and growth.
In March 2020, to sustain the supports and programs TNO provides, we moved most of our services to a remote service delivery model. Where essential and possible, we continued in-person support services, and also pivoted to create new programs and ways of working.
A Call Centre was established at 1 Leaside Park Drive to receive community calls and assess needs. Through the Call Centre, we learned of the immediate pandemic-related needs as well as support services required to rebuild post-pandemic.
Amongst many needs and accomplishments, one of the things we learned is that community members who lost their jobs needed access to food and assistance applying for government benefits. In response, we dedicated a team of staff to help community members apply for benefits and we also established a food bank. Over 4000 individuals, including seniors and families, have accessed the food bank thus far.
TNO’s longstanding collaborative approach continued to improve the quality of life in the communities it serves. One such partnership is our membership in the East Toronto Health Partners (ETHP). During the pandemic, we strengthened our relationship, collectively delivering relief measures quickly and efficiently.
The Hub collaborated with the ETHP and others to implement COVID-19 testing and vaccinations, mask distribution, emergency food bank, Com munity Ambassador support model, Community Engagement and more. The work with our partners and stakeholders continues as we plan, develop and build for the future. One such initiative includes TNO’s partnership with Michael Garron Hospital, Flemingdon Health Centre and other stakeholders to establish The Thorncliffe Park Community Hub. The development of this multi-service integrated hub will improve client and community outcomes while making most efficient use of health care, social services, and community resources.
As our thoughts turn to the future we are thankful, amid very difficult circumstances, that TNO is where it is in 2020/2021.
Community Members, Volunteers, Staff, Partners, Government Officials and the Board of Directors – thank you for your generosity of time and resources, thank you for having worked tirelessly through months of crisis, braving these difficult times with courage and determination and contributing to a great year at TNO. We look forward to your continued support!
Shelina Shivji, Chair, TNO Board of Directors and
Ahmed Hussein, TNO Chief Executive Officer