Windsor Women Working with Immigrant Women (W5) is a newcomer settlement agency serving the Windsor-Essex community since 1982. Through our 31 years of service, we have grown immensely in both knowledge and programs. We have gone from offering services through one program facilitated in a basement by a few dedicated individuals, to running 5 programs and a few non-funded programs, with the support of over 50 staff and a large pool of volunteers. Our mission statement is to assist immigrant and refugee women and their families to become full and participating members of Canadian society. This goal is ingrained in the essence of W5, and our staff achieve it at various different levels in multiple capacities.
Our Employment Service Centre (ESC) at W5 is a comprehensive program designed to assist unemployed and underemployed individuals in our community find and retain work. Both women and men who are either Permanent Residents or Canadian citizens can access this program. We look at a multitude of barriers our clients face that could be hindering their ability to retain meaningful employment, and work towards breaking those barriers. We provide one-on-one employment counseling to distinguish what our clients want, we review, edit and gear resumes to ensure maximum exposure, we do mock interviews with clients to better equip them for effective responses, we provide incentives to employers to hire our ‘at-risk’ clients, and much more. We have the Youth Employment Fund (YEF) to assist our youth clients gain meaningful experience through placements, and we also assist candidates to access; Second Career, Apprenticeships, and Ontario Job Creation Partnership (OJCP).
Our Information and Orientation (IO-Settlement) program is a full settlement needs program geared towards making your transition into Canadian society as fluid as possible, while still maintaining what makes you so uniquely you. Eligibility for this program is Permanent Residents and Convention Refugees. This program is accessible to all clients within W5, and all clients in the community who meet the eligibility criteria. Our Settlement Counselors are always available to help you with any inquiries, irrespective of the magnitude, ranging from cable bills to hiring a good lawyer. The IO program also hosts many workshops based on clients’ needs, and provides support services such as childminding and transportation for clients who show a need.
Our Language Training and Skills Development program provides literacy and LINC classes for newcomers in the community. Our classes start at the Literacy 1 and go up to LINC 3. We provide options to our clients with different timings for our classes so that the maximum amount of participation can be met. We have mornings, afternoons, and evening classes to suit the schedules of all. The Care for Newcomer Children’s (CNC) service provides child-minding for our clients who are eligible, to ensure that some barriers to education are broken. Transportation support is also available for clients who qualify under the Affordable Bus Pass program.
The Care for Newcomer Children’s program, is a support service for the Language Training and Skills Development program, as well as the Information and Orientation program. It is a tremendous program, as it has an educational curriculum for your children while they play. In addition to the learning programs, the children have fun games tailored around teaching colours, numbers, shapes, and much more during their crucial years of learning. Our staff are all
Early Childhood Education (ECE) certified, and genuinely love teaching and aiding the children to interact with each other. Eligibility for the CNC program is ages 6 months to 6 years.
The Community Connections program houses the Newcomer Arts Project (NAP) project that services both young women and young men, where art is used as a means for integration. Various artistic expressions are explored such as; dance, visual arts, music and drama. There are also girls projects that take place with aims toward the empowerment and education of young women. These projects explore issues that young women are interested in. These include building healthy relationships between young women and their peers, intimate partners, and family members; assertive communication; body image and self-esteem. Homework and academic support is provided between 3:00 and 7:30 pm.
The Mental Health/Crisis Counseling is another service available through the Community Connections program. It is accessible to all clients from all programs, provided they are women and men with Permanent Resident or Convention Refugee status. If you are feeling overwhelmed, unsure, dissatisfied, this is the program to access.
The Investing in Women’s Futures (IWF) program at W5 is an amazing opportunity for women of any status (PR, Convention Refugees, Canadian Citizens, etc). It is a comprehensive program that aims to prevent violence against women and promote women’s economic independence by helping women develop skills and abilities that will reduce their vulnerability to poverty and abuse. The IWF program facilitates many workshops within and also from community partners and agencies that help to educate women on; financial literacy, violence against women, shelters, employability training, WHMIS, and much more. The program also facilitates basic and intermediate computer classes to further capacitate independence in an age filled with technological advancements.
For further information and inquiries about all our programs and services, please call:
In addition to these funded programs, W5 also provides the following non-funded programs:
Women’s Circle - A support group activity to reach out to isolated immigrants and visible minority women. Activities include craft, knitting and information sharing.
Conversation English Classes - A group activity for clients who wish to enhance their oral communication skills.
Computer classes for seniors - A support group activity to reach out to isolated seniors, both male and female, who want to learn how to ‘surf the net’ and to get connected with their families.
Income Tax - Since 2003, W5 participates annually in the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program(VITP) provided by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Clients who are unable to complete their income tax returns by themselves, and are unable to pay for assistance access this service.
Community Cup Windsor- An annual football (soccer) tournament is hosted by W5 to engage newcomer youth with their society through means of participation in a friendly competition. The teams are designed based on age, gender, skill level, and profession (if affiliated with a community partner ie. W5, Windsor Police, etc.)