Central Neighbourhood House

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Central Neighbourhood House (CNH), was founded in 1911 by social reformers J.J. Kelso and Elizabeth Neufeld. It is Toronto's second oldest settlement house.[1] It is currently located in the Regent Park area of Toronto at 349 Ontario Street.

CNH was originally established at 84 Gerrard Street West as a settlement house for new immigrants to "The Ward", a slum area between College Street, Queen Street, Yonge Street, and University Avenue which was, until the early decades of the twentieth century, a reception area for newly arrived immigrants. Unlike other charities that offered assistance to immigrants at the time, it was not affiliated with any church and did not seek to convert its clients to Christianity (or to a particular denomination). It offered a wide range of programs, primarily aimed at immigrant women and children, randing from boxing to sewing.[2]

As The Ward was gradually demolished and redeveloped, CNH moved east, relocating in 1929 to Sherbourne Street where it remained until 1970 when it moved to its current location of 349 Ontario Street.

Today, it provides a broad range of vital services to young people, seniors, new Canadians and all members of the downtown east community. The CNH Mission is to "Engage the skills and talents of the people of our community to foster social justice, and to build a vibrant neighborhood where everyone lives with dignity and respect". To that end, CNH provides spaces, services and opportunities that engage all community members in enhancing their quality of life and in building healthy, inclusive neighbourhoods.

Central Neighbourhood House now serves a catchment area which includes the neighbourhoods of Regent Park, Moss Park and St. Jamestown. These neighbourhoods are among the lowest income but also most culturally diverse in Toronto, Canada and North America, and are the first place of residence for thousands of new Canadians each year.

Programs and Services[edit]

CNH provides a range of services grouped under Childcare,[3] Children and Youth Services,[4] Women's Program,[5] Family Support,[6] Street Survivors,[7] Supportive Housing,[8] and the Vulnerable Seniors program.[9] CNH is supported by the United Way, City of Toronto, Ministry of Health, and numerous foundations and individual donors.

CNH is a member of Toronto Neighbourhood Centres, an association of over thirty multi-service, non-profit neighbourhood centres in Toronto.

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