July 9, 2014 3:49 pm

Non-profit gives clothes to low-income Torontonians to help them secure work

Stephanie Gagnon

TORONTO-  New Circles is a not-for-profit agency created  in 2005  that provides low income Torontonians with free clothing and services to help them secure a job.

New Circles Community Services is run by volunteers, that offers clothing services, community referrals and skills building programs to roughly 13,000 people each year.

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“75 per cent of our clients are people who have lived in Canada for less than five years,” Nina Saini, the program manager at New Circles, said. “The vast majority have come to Canada as refugees.”

The clothing program at New Circles distributes 200,000 items of free, gently used clothes each year to qualifying families.

Alphonse Kayitayire received clothing from New Circles when he first moved to Canada from Rwanda.

“This is the first suit that I used for my first interview here in Canada and I’m going to begin that job July 14th,” Kayitayire said.

New Circles is introducing certificate-based training programs such as the business office skills program which provides business, administration and computer training to participants.

“The business office skills program is a 16 week pilot project where we’ll be delivering to women,” Saini said. “To develop skills in the areas of administration and reception and customer service to help women get entry level work in these areas.”

Mellissa Motlhabane is also a recipient at New Circles who hopes to pursue a career in fashion.

“I will always remember this outfit. I hope one day I make the exact same outfit for someone that will need their first interview outfit,” Motlhabane  said.

The Moores Suit Drive is on now until July 31.  Canadians can donate men’s suits, shirts, jackets, pants, ties, belts and shoes as well as women’s professional clothing at any of the more than 100 Moores’ stores across Canada. As a thank you for donating, customers will receive 50 per cent off their next purchase from Moores.  For more information, visit http://www.canadiansuitdrive.com

© Shaw Media, 2014

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