Media Release: Causeway Work Centre builds capacity thanks to grants from Ontario Trillium Foundation

May 18, 2023
Agency News

Ottawa, ON – On Thursday, Causeway Work Centre celebrated the $125,000 Resilient Communities Fund grant and the $26,300 Capital Fund grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) that was used to create a fully redesigned, person-centred onboarding program, and purchase new equipment and furniture for participant-facing areas of the Causeway building, respectively. They are a welcomed enhancement to the capacity of Causeway to provide services to people experiencing barriers to employment in Ottawa, and will give people in the community improved quality of services and a more welcoming atmosphere at Causeway for years to come. The onboarding project will be completed in May 2023 and the capital upgrades are on track to be completed this year.

“Causeway Work Centre’s hard work assisting neighbours living with mental illness, especially when it comes to providing employment support and capacity building, is an amazing resource for our community in Ottawa Centre. I am so excited to see how they have used their OTF grant to grow and improve the great work that they do for our community.”

Joel Harden, MPP for Ottawa Centre

Through the Resilient Communities Fund, Causeway developed foundational training for staff that focuses on the tenants of person-centeredness, inclusion, mental health and disability, and working with participants to identify their strengths, abilities, and interests to support their job search. Meanwhile, the Capital Fund is improving the functionality of three central hubs within Causeway’s building, for example, through the creation of 4 new participant workstations in Causeway’s Employment Resource Centre and purchasing of new computers that participants rely on for their job searches. The improved functionality of these common areas made possible by the grant will help eliminate barriers to people accessing support at Causeway.

“The support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation has really provided us with the opportunity to build both team and space capacity,” said Hailey Hechtman, Executive Director of Causeway Work Centre. “The Resilient Communities Grant allowed us to create onboarding content that not only prepares our newest staff members for their role with Causeway but builds their confidence in key areas including strength-based approaches, trauma-informed care and mental health. The Capital Grant has allowed us the chance to make the spaces that our community enjoys, like our Resource Centre, more accessible, inviting and digitally-connected as our participants pursue the next steps in their search for meaningful work.”  

Following the recognition celebration was a webinar presented by Causeway about creating inclusive workplaces for people with mental health-related barriers to employment, which utilized training content developed through the OTF Resilient Communities Fund grant. Employers, leaders, jobseekers, and service providers were in attendance.

Causeway supports hundreds of people each year who experience barriers to employment, including mental illness, disability, poverty, or other challenges to finding meaningful work. If you wish to learn more about Causeway’s avenues to employment, please visit the website at:

The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF), an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations celebrates 40 years of grant-making in Ontario and making a lasting impact in communities. Last year, OTF invested over $110M into 1,022 community projects and partnerships, which included funding for the Government of Ontario’s Community Building Fund. Visit to learn more.

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