Our mandate is to provide after-school programs that promote changes to the community and enrich the lives of children and young people in the GTA. This will be accomplished by providing a safe, supportive and structured environment to improve the overall health and well-being of participants in our programs. FFAF offers quality educational, recreational and cultural programs that promote the social, intellectual, and emotional development of children, youth and young adults from diverse backgrounds and communities.
The achievement of our mission is dependent on the active participation of the community. To this end, we strongly encourage the involvement of volunteers throughout the organization and in the development and execution of appropriate programs and activities. Our volunteer program empowers volunteers, ensures their effectiveness and provides appropriate recognition in exchange for their time, talents and skills. All volunteers are required to complete a Criminal Record Check with the Vulnerable Sector screening through the Peel Region Police.
The youth program originated from an enrollment of five youth from the Jane and Finch area that needed academic assistance. Through the years, the program has expanded to include a diverse network of agencies offering programs that support not only academics but also address some of the social and emotional needs of its participants. The program has been in existence for over seventeen years. In the initial stages, it was called “Help Me to Read”. The program was originally designed for the purposes of improving the reading and writing skills of youth having difficulties in those areas. Youth in the program were from varying backgrounds and needed assistance not only to read and write but to navigate their way through the education system. The program later expanded to include families encountering social and legal issues.
In 2000, the Free for All Outreach Ministry was formed. The goal at the time was to bring the church into the community and create a safe place to live and worship. This was no little task, as the church was situated in a challenging part of the city at that period in time, Chalk farm, Toronto. The community’s needs were great but so was church members’ desire to help create positive changes. Youth in that community needed encouragement, feasible alternatives, and skills development – this led to the formation of the Free for All Outreach Youth Ministry.
The foundations early vision was to develop and offer programs that provide help in the following areas: bible studies, counseling, homework, mentorship, job placement / apprenticeships and general encouragement. The goal was to have the youth contribute positively to society. The program experienced early success as evidenced by many youths receiving help in the areas they needed it most. The ministry also worked with families from all backgrounds on various social and economic issues.
To accomplish the lofty goals, the ministry petitioned other agencies to get involved. The City of Toronto, The City of Brampton, Regional Police Departments, Social Services and various community groups contributed to the programs.
The ministry developed and flourished to the point where links were created to reach a wider demographic of youth. Links are currently in place with:
Youth and adults who have received assistance from FFAF have indicated that the support was life changing and often received at a time when other options were not available.
We are very proud of the strides that have been made by FFAF. We have clear goals for our future development as outlined in our foundation’s strategic plan. These include clearly outlined vision, mission, and values; enhanced programs, clear tracking of services and clientele, specific processes for volunteer recruitment and methods for maintaining and delivering other programs to increase the number of youth serviced by our programs.
To achieve these goals we have a comprehensive plan to acquire property to facilitate the church and the programs needed to serve the youth and others. The aim being to reach at-risk youth and help them develop strong values, complete high school, and secure a post-secondary education or purposeful work.
We are strongly committed to achieving these goals and in doing so we hope to see a brighter future for all youth.
A Big Thank you!
Thank you to the donors who continue to make FFAF a successful organization. Our programs grow and improve, because of the investment you make in this organization. I am proud to say that there is an enormous return on your investment, in the form of friendships, happiness, and skills that are provided to youth who face financial barriers. Thank you once again.
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