1 Open Door

1 Open Door

2013 Community-Building Award - York Region

Circle of Care, Jewish Aid Immigrant Services of Toronto, Jewish Family and Child Services, Jewish Vocational Services

Nominator Comments:

With the intensification of the community around the newly opened Lebovic campus there is an increase in individuals and families needing to access support. When it is identified they need help, they need it when, where and how they can best use it. This means a one stop, easily accessible service in a language they are comfortable with and in a setting that respects them. 1 Open Door responds to this important community need by providing client centric services from multiple organizations/agencies and through referrals to other services. Anyone entering the doors of 1 Open Door will be greeted by the same person and will be welcomed the same way.

Open Door was conceived as a result of a very successful experience several of the agencies had with the Jewish Poverty Action Group (JPAG). Each agency in the collective of 1 Open Door has its own mission, board of directors, policies, goals and culture. In establishing 1 Open Door we have agreed to focus on developing practices that while respecting each agency’s ethics and practice, develops into a Open Door service; not an agency specific service.

There is a commitment at 1 Open Door to be open and inclusive. Services will be offered in multiple languages and will be culturally sensitive. Emphasis will be on diversity in culture, LGBTQ, religion and socio economic backgrounds.

Our shared vision is to develop an integrated service delivery model that represents best practice and is a client centered, seamless approach that crosses along and across agency lines to offer effective support to a young, growing and vulnerable community.

The partner agencies are committed to a systemic change that is larger than the individual social service agencies and provides for a reorganization of current systems with a common goal. We have developed a shared ideological framework for a best practice collaborative model that is client centered and expressed through measurable action oriented outcomes.

Four social service agencies; JVS Toronto, JIAS Toronto, Circle of Care and Jewish Family and Child Service are co-locating at an office on the Lebovic campus. Occupancy of the 1 Open Door offices is beginning in March, 2013 and will be complete by April 25, 2013. Clients entering 1 Open Door are welcomed by one receptionist greeting all visitors and assisting with reception and other information needs. A computer will be available for visitor use and there is a play area for children. Collaborations and other initiatives are being planned to meet needs of the community. There will be joint programs such as homework club, seamless referral system and sharing of information and resources.

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