New Circles Community Services is an innovative, community-based agency that provides free, quality clothing, employment training, and settlement support to residents of some of Toronto’s highest needs neighbourhoods (Thorncliffe Park, Flemingdon Park, Victoria Village, Taylor-Massey and Oakridge), as well as government-assisted refugees across the city. Established in 2002, New Circles now serves 15,000 individuals and diverts 300,000 lbs of gently-used clothing from landfill to those in need annually.
All of our clients have very limited income; most are new to Canada and many are refugees. They face complex social and economic challenges, including resettlement in Canada, health issues, abuse, trauma, and addiction. New Circles offers a safe space to receive free services, in a non-judgmental and welcoming environment that embraces the diversity of backgrounds and experiences of all those that walk through our door.
Our services help individuals and families meet basic needs, build skills, and access resources to help them to fulfill their life aspirations in Canada. These services include:
- GLOW (Gently Loved Outfits to Wear): A retail-style clothing bank that provides free, quality clothing in a dignified environment. A family of four can save up to $5,000 a year using GLOW, helping to save scarce funds for other essentials like housing and food.
- Employment Training: Industry-certified training in retail, customer services, and office administration, that combines classroom learning with hands-on experience in a work placement. 70% of graduates go on to employment or further training within six months of graduating.
- Settlement Support: Personalized referrals and information to help newcomer clients tackle issues like housing, childcare, healthcare, employment, accessing social assistance, and navigating the immigration process, plus workshops that promote community connections, wellness, and life skills.
- Holiday Angel: A one-on-one anonymous gift-giving program that matches community donors with families in need to provide new basic necessities like winter clothing, household items, and grocery gift cards.
- Volunteering: More than 150 individuals help to deliver our clothing services; many are clients seeking to strengthen skills, expand social networks and gain workplace experience
What People Are Saying
"With New Circles, we didn’t need to worry about clothes. We could use our limited money for food & housing. And we could stay focused on what we needed to do as newcomers: enrolling our kids in school, looking for a job, upgrading our credentials & improving our communication skills."
— Julio, former GLOW client