Centre for Spanish Speaking People
Our Impact Why We Exist
Since 1973, we have been serving the needs of these groups by offering a variety of services designed to overcome barriers based on language, race, age, sex and sexual orientation among others. The Centre promotes equality and social justice through community development and participation in and representation of the whole community. Being situated strategically in between various high needs neighbourhoods, we are effectively able to serve many people from diverse backgrounds and with a multitude of needs.
Our Story What We Do
History of Organization
In the aftermath of the coup d'etat in Chile in 1973, hundreds of Chileans began applying for refugee status in various countries including Canada. Concerned community members including women of Spanish descent reponded to aid these incoming refugees by forming the Centre for Spanish Speaking People (CSSP). Since its incorporation in 1974, the CSSP has become a recognized institution among Latin Americans and other Spanish Speakers in Toronto. Throughout its 40 year history the Centre has experimented with various services and projects to compliment its core programs and has also shifted its operations from its first location at Bloor and Bathurst. The Centre now operates two Centres, one at 40 Wellesley that houses our HIV/AIDS Prevention Program and our main offices at 2141 Jane St.
Accolades and Accomplishments
The Centre, its programs and staff have received numerous recognitions from funders and various levels of government throughout our decades of work with the spanish speaking community.
The 'El Centro' project and the Hispanic Youth Alive program were specifically recognized with an Award for Excellence by Mayor David Miller and Argos Foundation President Mike Clemons for creativity and leadership in youth engagement.
Recently, programs like our Mano en Mano HIV Intervention projects were recognized for their innovative approach and have been implemented in similar programs in Chile and Colombia.
Our Programs How We Do It
The Centre for Spanish Speaking Peoples provides a number of free services to the community. Our Legal Clinic provides legal advice and representation in a number of areas including social assistance, tenancy issues, employment standards, human rights, immigration and other areas of law related to poverty.
The settlement program helps newcomers settle into their lives in the Greater Toronto Area and vicinity by providing a range of free services aimed at supporting them to live independently and develop a sense of belonging within our Canadian Community.
The Volunteer Program allows volunteers to assist our programs to meet their goals, gain work experience within Canada and engage and connect with the community. Most of our Volunteers are Newcomers to Canada and are seeking to gain Canadian work experience.
The Women’s Program’s offers counselors that provide individual counseling, facilitate support groups for abused women, conducting support-therapeutic groups, including art, stress management throughout relaxation and visualization as recovering tools. In addition we assist women in finding secure housing.
The CSSP also runs an HIV/ AIDS Prevention Program where we provide professional counseling and psychological services to the community, specifically for people who are infected and/or affected by HIV/AIDS. Additionally, we distribute condoms with informative educational material in places that are frequented by MSM’s.
What You Can Do