HOW WE CAN HELP
If you are pregnant or have a child and are 19 years old or younger, we are here to help.
All our services and programs are free of charge.
You can always feel comfortable talking with our staff and volunteers. We will honour the choices you make about your own sexual health and your pregnancy options and we will respect your confidentiality.
Getting started is easy. Once you call to make an appointment, we will arrange for you to meet with a trained counsellor. She will talk to you about our services and give you a tour of our centre. You can also visit our Swap Shop where you can find free clothing and equipment for your baby.
The intake appointment is a chance for you to ask questions and for us to find out about your unique needs and discuss your thoughts and feelings around your pregnancy and becoming a parent.
You will be assigned a counsellor who can help connect you with services and programs offered at Jessie’s as well as other outside resources to assist you with:
Counselling & Case Management
Every young woman accessing Jessie’s services is assigned a counsellor who is available to her for personal counselling, information, advocacy, and referrals to other services.
The counsellor will provide comprehensive, unbiased information and support to make informed choices around abortion, adoption, and parenting.
Counsellors will assist in setting future goals and working through relationship issues and other personal matters.
“Jessie’s Center has given me a lot of help and support in ways of school, daycare, clothing and food. The school and daycare have been a huge part of my life at Jessie’s. Their daycare program, the Parent-Child Centre, gave me the chance to finish my education, while having the peace of mind knowing that my daughter is just a few steps away and is being taken care of. Allowing me to focus on my school work and finishing my credits.” – Participant
Our Health services are designed to meet the needs of pregnant young women, young parents and their children.
Pregnant teens have access to free pregnancy tests, specialized prenatal classes, individual health counselling, and nutrition groups held onsite at Jessie’s Centre.
Many of our health services are provided onsite but we also give referrals in the community. This may include finding a health care provider if a young woman is without a doctor or midwife.
Trained and experienced Labour Support Volunteers help pregnant young women prepare for a more positive birthing experience. They can accompany young women to prenatal classes, doctors’ and midwives’ appointments. The can also offer emotional and physical comfort throughout labour as well as help initiating breastfeeding after birth.
Quote, “ I am more confident with my baby, than I was before class started”- Participant
Finding suitable housing for pregnant young women and young parents is an important priority at Jessie’s.
We start by helping young women search rental listings for appropriate units, contact landlords to arrange site viewings and interviews, and accompany them to view units if requested.
When a rental unit turns up, Jessie’s can help fill out applications for subsidized and specialized priority housing in Toronto and other regions in Ontario.
In addition, we provide information on tenant rights and responsibilities, provide conflict resolution with landlords, offer help getting repairs and maintenance done, and advocate on behalf of young women in the event of discrimination or court proceedings.
“ Jessie’s gave my son a place to live and grow up-somewhere to call home-without Jessie’s I wouldn’t know where to go” – Participant
There are many ways Jessie’s can help with the practical life details that can be challenging for young pregnant women and young moms.
Our Swap Shop offers free donated items such as baby clothes and equipment, maternity clothes, toys, and small household items.
We offer free lunches and free transportation on public transit to and from Jessie’s Centre.
We provide friendly support during appointments. Our capable and willing staff will attend appointments such as abortion, social assistance, legal, court, immigration, housing search, childcare subsidy.
We can also help filling out applications and forms such as Statement of Live Birth, Birth Certificate, Child Tax Benefit, Income Tax, Day Care Application, and Custody and Support documents.
Our Parent-Child Centre is a wonderful place to come and discuss infant and child development, develop parenting skills and receive family support from credible service providers. It is also a forum for sharing experiences with other young moms.
We organize fun activities such as music circle, mom and child playtime, crafts and sensory activities, gross motor play and special events.
“I give my whole heart out to PCC because without them I would have never been able to finish my education. God bless every single person who has worked or volunteered in there; thank you so much for taking care of my daughter so that I could obtain my education.” – Participant
*Families do not have to be current or past Jessie’s Centre participants in order to access this service.
Jessie’s Respite Care Program is a program that lets parents, under the age of 25, take a temporary, overnight break (usually over a weekend), knowing that their child(ren) is/are being looked after in a safe environment by a qualified caregiver.
It can be used to access emergency medical care, to look for housing or move to a new home, study for exams, catch up on sleep, prepare for the birth of a new baby, celebrate a birthday, do laundry, or just to take a break!
“I was able to get a much-needed break through this program, and now look forward to it every few months. It makes me feel secure and happy to know that my son is staying with someone who he feels safe with. I pick him up knowing he has always been in good hands.” – Participant
Every year, 12 young prenatal women and young moms can earn compulsory and elective high school credits from grade 9-12 in a full-day semester program.
Individualized programs of study allow the students to work independently in different courses and at various course levels to meet their needs and future goals.
Our school program prepares students for re-integration into community schools, alternative schools and post-secondary education.
“Being in Jessie’s school meant opportunity to me. Jessie’s school gave me the chance to continue my education in a surrounding of girls who were just like me. Having a teacher like Lynn, helped me so much because she was so understanding of my situation and helped me the best she could. Being in Jessie’s school meant freedom for me to be a student and be a young mom without being judged. Without Jessie’s school program I would not be graduating this June. “ – Participant
Each year, Jessie’s trains 8 young parents to make presentations to high schools to dispel myths about being a teenage parent, to provide education about healthy sexuality and informed decision-making about personal choices surrounding pregnancy options.
Speakers feel empowered accepting opportunities for leadership among their peers, and students receive practical advice from the lived experiences of the young parents who deliver the presentations.