Jessie’s - The June Callwood Centre for Young Women

Jessie's - The June Callwood Centre for Young Women is a comprehensive, multi-service resource centre designed to meet the needs of pregnant and parenting teens and their children. All of our programs and services are designed utilizing the social determinants of health in order to address the multi-faceted, complex needs of each individual.

Our Impact Why We Exist

Our mission is to nurture the healthy development of pregnant teenagers, young parents and their children. We are a pro-choice organization that supports a woman's right to make choices about her sexual health and prenancy.

According to the Toronto Vital Signs:

“Extensive evidence has shown a clear link between income and health. Socio-economic circumstances account for 50% of a person’s health.”

“Low-income groups had worse health on a majority of indicators when compared with high-income groups. Meanwhile, a comprehensive snapshot of the wellbeing of the city’s youth has shown troubling inequities based on gender, ethno-cultural identity, socio-economic access, and sexual orientation.”

At Jessie's Centre we strive to ensure the health of all young families, thus, we have adopted the social determinants of health as the framework for our programming. It is with the understanding of these Vital Signs that we are currently engaged in the process of creating our economic development programming and will be introducing Canada's first social enterprise designed specifically to meet the needs of young mothers.

Our Story What We Do

June Callwood, a professional author/freelance writer for the Globe & Mail and Maclean's, chaired a Task Force evaluating services in Toronto for pregnant teenagers. The major conclusions of their work were that programs and resources for young parents, 18 and under, were minimal. Inspired by the findings, she gathered colleagues from Toronto agencies and in 1982, Jessie's Centre for Teenagers was born. With a staff of 4 and a few volunteers, we began to provide basic and essential services to pregnant teenagers.

In 1992, Jessie's moved into our current location, a 6-storey building on Parliament Street where we operate our programs and provide supportive housing to 16 young families (the majority single mother-led).

Today, we have 20 staff members and 80 volunteers. We serve over 200 pregnant teenagers and 1,100 young parents and children every year.

Our Programs How We Do It

Jessie’s Centre is a multi-service resource centre providing support services to pregnant teens, young mothers and their children. All services are provided from a woman-centred, non-judgemental, anti-oppressive framework.

Counselling: At intake, all women are matched with a counsellor to case manage their services with the centre. Counsellors provide individualized case management, personal counselling, service navigation and assistance with all areas of daily life.

Housing: Practical supports in securing safe, stable residency and moving families from homelessness and precariously housed to permanent homes.

Parent-Child Counselling: Services provided to improve infant mental health and ensure a secure attachment between mother and child. This counselling focusses on assessment, prevention and skill building for the parent-child dyad.

Health: Health care services from a registered nurse, registered dietician and physician. Services include, but are not limited to, pro-choice counselling, prenatal education and nutrition, lactation supports, sexual health counselling and infant growth and development.

Childcare: Childcare services are provided to participants enrolled in our education program. Additionally, participants are provided with childcare, when needed, while working on goals or participating in groups. Childcare services are provided by early childhood education professionals and principles.

Education: Jessie’s Centre operates a Toronto District School Board classroom, offering high school levels courses to participants.

Community Education Program: CEP is a training and educating program where participants are trained in public speaking and provide education on teen pregnancy and parenting and healthy sexuality to the community. CEP speaks are conducted at Toronto schools, community centres, post secondary institutions, corporate engagements and youth-focused organizations.

Respite Services: 24 hour-a-day care for children of young parents, in homes supervised by the Respite Program Coordinator and by care providers who are thoroughly screened and trained to offer quality childcare in their homes.

Food Services: Youth are provided with well balanced, nutritious meals which include all of the food groups and focus on Canada’s Healthy Food Guide.

Practical Supports: Young families are provided with practical supports, including, transportation, emergency supplies, food vouchers and access to clothing and househild items, in order to assist them in meeting the basic needs for themselves and their children.

What You Can Do

92% of young mothers are living below the poverty line, earning less than $20,000 annually and unable to meet the basic needs for their children and themselves. Your support to Jessie's centre will directly improve their lives. There are many ways in which you can help.


For as little as $10 a month you can change a family's life. Your ongoing contribution ensures continuity to families in need. 


Here's how your monthly donation is used:

  • $10 a month provides a healthy meal for a mother and her child
  • $25 a month provides formula for one baby
  • $50 a month provides prenatal vitamins for 5 young women
  • $100 a month provides diapers to 10 new young moms


Individual donations help us to provide critical programs and services to young women and their babies. Many vital services and programs are underfunded and we really on our generous donors to provide them to our families.


  • $70 donation secures pregnancy tests for 20 young women. Early detection of pregnancy is crucial to ensuring proper prenatal care is established during the critical, early days of a fetus' development. 
  • $240 donation provides emergency food vouchers to 24 young families
  • $340 provides TTC tokens to 20 young mothers to attend our 12 week parenting education classes
  • $500 donation will provide a holiday celebration for 10 families; including, festivities, meals and gifts
  • $1000 donation provides scholarship opportunties for 2 young women to pursue their post secondary and career goals


As a multi-service organization your donation can support an array of programs and services. We are pleased to offer sponsorship and funding opportunities for all of our programs. Become a part of a greater change where we offer services that help young families move from poverty to prosperity. Your support offers a bright future to two generations, a young mother and her young child.


Programs and services include:

  • Health Services - Pre and postnatal care, infant care, lactation supports and more
  • Education - Support a young woman to complete her OSSD Diploma and pursue post-secondary degrees and diplomas
  • Childcare - Childcare is provided to young children in order to enable young mother to attend school, career training and personal development
  • Economic Development- Employment and skills training programs are offered through Community Economic Development Program. Career training and opportunities are offered to young mothers through employment in our social enterprise, 'All About Kindness'


Charitable Number: 118973734RR0001

Finance & Governance

Annual Operating Budget: 
$ 1,386,744


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