New Circles Community Services is an innovative agency, driven by volunteers, that offers free clothing services, community referrals and skills building programs in Toronto’s Thorncliffe Park, Flemingdon Park and Victoria Village neighbourhoods. Established just 10 years ago by Cindy Blakely, New Circles has grown rapidly. We now serve over 8,500 individuals annually and distribute an estimated 200,000 items of clothing.
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 to 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. In 2013, we served families from 163 countries around the globe.
Our services help individuals and families meet basic needs and develop skills, social networks and experience to help them to fulfill their life aspirations in Canada. They include:
- Clothing Services - clothing boutique open daily, teen shopping days, Annual Prom Boutique and monthly Seniors Mobile Malls in local retirement residences
- Community Gift-giving: Holiday Angel Programs and Helping For Eid Baskets
- Volunteer Program: 140 individuals help to deliver our clothing services; many are clients seeking to strengthen skills, expand social networks and gain workplace experience
- Community engagement: Friendship Circle, Peer Language Training and Community excursions
- Skills-building: certificate-based programs in business, retail and customer services skills offered in partnership with Centennial College and the Retail Council of Canada