RCN — 10788 4074 RR0001
Every woman who comes to Fresh Start has two or three things in common: they need a fresh start, they are pregnant, or they are parenting. Residents came from all walks of life, any age, and at any time during their pregnancy. Typically our residents are facing challenges related to parenting and life skills, addictions, mild mental health issues, abuse, and homelessness. Anyone can apply regardless of circumstance, race, religion, or financial need. Sometimes a client is referred to Fresh Start by an agency or because of an emergency situation.
Every resident is assigned an individual case worker - Client Support Worker - who meets with them regularly to discuss strengths, struggles, decisions, and goals. Your Client Support Worker will help you make decisions about your future and your child's future. They will also help you develop both long and short term goals, and keep you accountable to those goals to aim for success.
Fresh Start Maternity Supports is governed by a voluntary Board of Directors and is lead by the Executive Director, Sherry Ball. We operate 24 hours each day with Client Support and Night Support Workers available for support.
Your length of stay depends on many factors - how far along you are in your pregnancy, how old your child is, what kind of support you're looking for, or if your stay is court-mandated, etc. However, the average stay is approximately one year. If you have a child, you may stay until the child is mobile. Minimum stay is 6 months.
No one is turned away because of inability to pay. If you are eligible, you may apply for government assistance to cover the room and board costs. Our room and board rates are set in accordance with Ontario Works rates. Special rates apply to Crown Wards. The funds provided through room and board cover approximately 20% of the cost to run the organization. The remaining 80% of funds comes through individual donations from community members and other organizations such as churches and service clubs.
Our entire facility holds up to 8 women and 10 children at any given time. Some of these women are group home and some live semi-independently in our 3 apartments.
Because of the limited space in our apartments, each resident may bring two large suitcases of clothing upon admission. All furnishings are supplied including bedding, towels and toilettries. All you need to bring is clothing and any personal care items you have a preference for. You may bring your own treats/junk food but it must be stored in our locked pantry in your designated tote as NO food or drink is allowed in bedrooms.
Support Housing offers:
To access support housing, you must first complete a residency period with the group home.
Support Housing apartments are only available to residents of the group home as they progress through the program. At any time during your stay in the Group Home, you can apply for a support housing apartment. Suitability will be determined based on compliance with program expectations, progress and feedback from service providers.
At Support Housing, you can stay for a term of approximately one year, based on your individual needs and apartment availability.
For security reasons, NO MEN ARE ALLOWED in the residence area at any time. Men may visit in the program area if pre-arranged with a staff member. These visits will only take place during daytime business hours.
Because of the limited space in our apartments, each resident may bring two large suitcases of clothing upon admission.
No one is turned away because of inability to pay. If you are eligible, you may apply for government assistance to cover the rent costs. Immediately following admission, staff will assist in the Ontario Works application process. Rent is due upon receipt of the first social assistance cheque. Rent rates are determined based on individual circumstances. Upon admission, a $100.00 security deposit is required. This deposit may be returned following discharge in part or in full taking into consideration; cost of key replacement, costs of cleaning, and damages done to the apartment.
The funds provided through rent cover approximately 20% of the cost to run the organization. The remaining 80% of funds comes through individual donations from community members and other organizations such as churches and service clubs.
Fresh Start Maternity Supports offers ongoing support to women who transition from our services into the local community. Whether you need someone to continue a certain level of support, offer support and guidance regarding the legal system, or just need someone to touch base with every now and again. You can choose to remain connected with Fresh Start after you leave.