Working for Change provides employment and education opportunities for people disadvantaged by systemic barriers

Formerly the Ontario Council of Alternative Businesses, Working for Change was established in 1994 to respond to the need for employment opportunities for people with mental health. Since then we have expanded our mandate to include other marginalized communities.

Our Mission

To provide training and employment opportunities to people who have been marginalized by mental health/addictions challenges, poverty, homelessness, violence and refugee/new comer issues; to speak out against marginalization; to work to change policies that adversely affect our communities.

Our Vision


A home, a job, a friend and social change

We envision a society where everyone has access to meaningful employment, adequate housing, a society that no longer stigmatizes people with mental health/addictions issues, a society where no one is hungry, and where social enterprises are a thriving and vibrant sector of the Canadian economy.

Our Values

Working for Change is an organization that values:

  • The lived experience and knowledge of people disadvantaged by mental health/addictions challenges, poverty, homelessness, violence and refugee/newcomer issues

  • Diversity and respect for difference

  • Efforts to combat stigma related to mental health challenges and addictions

  • Peer Support

  • Social enterprise as a means to promote economic and social well-being

  • Employment as a critical component of recovery and social and economic well being

  • Personal growth and increased self-esteem through education and training

  • The leadership of people with lived experience

Help us to build independent lives

If desired, you can specify which program or business you would like to support.

Covid-19 update as of August 5th, 2020

We hope you are keeping safe during this pandemic. Working for Change office staff are working remotely and our social enterprises are operating, although at somewhat reduced capacity.
For information about our social enterprises, please contact them directly:

Parkdale Green Thumb Enterprises:
Out of This World Café, Grill, College Café:
Raging Spoon:
Grassroots Research:

For general inquiries, you can reach:

Joyce Brown, Executive Director:
Mike Creek, Director of Strategic Initiatives:

We will post any future training opportunities as they become available.