Our church is host to a number of important neighbourhood partners.
Early On (formerly the Gerrard Resource Centre)
The Gerrard Resource Centre has a free drop-in daycare centre in the church basement Monday through Friday, 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM.
The Gerrard Resource Centre (GRC) is an outreach program of the School of Early Childhood Studies at Ryerson University. The GRC has a special focus on the inclusion of children with disabilities and family supports. The only Canadian university-based family support program centre operated according to The Guiding Principles of Family Support, the GRC provides leadership in the provision of direct service to families and children and resources for parents and caregivers, professionals, researchers and policymakers, and students.
St. Simon’s Shelter
St Simon’s Shelter began in 1989 as a one night a week program operated and funded by the Church of St Simon-the-Apostle and staffed by church volunteers from St Simon’s and other churches and synagogues.
In 1990 the program began operating, again one night a week, as the first Out of the Cold shelter. In 2000 the City of Toronto negotiated with the Church to make the operation a seven days a week, 16 hours a day program under the auspices of Out of the Cold, and renovations began in 2001 to accommodate this program.
In August 2003 the City approached the Church to assume financial and operation responsibility for the program. As such, the Shelter commenced operation on September 1st 2003 as its own agency within the Church of St Simon-the-Apostle.
St Simon’s Shelter provides emergency accommodation, food, residential support services, personal needs allowance, in-kind services and other community services as needed.
The Church of St Simon-the-Apostle supports St Simon’s Shelter in a number of ways including hosting the residents Christmas dinner and contributing to Christmas resident backpacks. A number of parishioners of SPSS still sit on the shelter board of directors.
The Opportunities Committee
The Opportunities Committee connects the church with the wider community.
It focuses on the neighbourhoods of the parish (St James Town, Cabbagetown, the Village, and Rosedale) as well as our neighbours across the GTA and beyond. With a particular focus on social justice and community outreach, the Opportunities Committee allows any member of the parish to bring ideas for short to long-term projects and events so that the Committee may welcome, discern, and action new initiatives.
In 2020 our parish focused on addressing poverty in our neighbourhoods with a letter writing campaign during Lent and a clothing “free store” in May.
See the Opportunities Committee’s package on the Diocesan Social Justice Vestry Motion and how SPSS plans to respond to climate change in 2020 here.