Investing in Neighbourhoods: Financial Incentives for Community Agencies

Through the Investing in Neighbourhoods initiative, Employment and Social Services helps non-profit organizations connect with qualified candidates who receive Ontario Works benefits.

If your non-profit organization is looking to create a job opportunity that will strengthen and contribute to your community, you could qualify for incentives from Employment and Social Services.

The Investing in Neighbourhoods initiative has three key objectives:

  • enable people who are receiving Ontario Works to

    • increase their skill level
    • develop contacts with employers, and
    • obtain references with the goal of securing permanent employment
  • strengthen the capacity of communities, with a focus on those that are vulnerable, by supporting non-profit agencies providing services there, and
  • support organizations in improving the quality of life for people living in their communities.

How community agencies can get involved 

If your organization would like to create a job opportunity that will strengthen and contribute to your community, Employment and Social Services can help.

To be eligible for this help through the Investing in Neighbourhoods initiative, your organization must:

  • be a non-profit organization
  • be located in Toronto, and
  • create a supervised position that does not displace existing staff or reduce their work hours.

Employment and Social Services staff members help screen suitable candidates for the variety of positions that are available.

If you hire someone through the Investing in Neighbourhoods initiative, you can access financial incentives, including funding for wages, for up to 1 year.

To get more information, please contact the Manager, Community Labour Market, at any of our locations. If your organization does not meet the Investing in Neighbourhoods criteria, Employment and Social Services may still be able to help through other incentives available to employers.

"I'm so thrilled with the Investing in Neighbourhoods initiative. This is a project I can stand firmly behind. We are collectively reducing disparity….I have had great results with the qualified participants. I would love the opportunity to do this all over again. Well done Toronto!" - Partnering community agency.


  • Thank you for your interest in the Investing in Neighourhoods program.  At this time, Employment and Social Services is not accepting new applications due to a Program review.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through iinapplication@toronto.ca.

Financial incentives

The financial incentives that may be available for your non-profit organization include:

Funding for wages

  • Employment and Social Services will pay 100% of the employee's salary for up to 1 year.
  • Each position pays minimum of $12.00 per hour.

Workplace Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB)/Accident Insurance Coverage

Agencies with WSIB coverage do not have to pay WSIB premiums for the employee. If the employee has a work-related accident or injury, the costs are covered by the Province. The experience rating and premiums of the agency will not be affected.

  • Agencies without WSIB coverage may have the cost of any claims associated with a work-related accident or injury covered by the Province's Accident Insurance Plan.

Ongoing Human Resources supports

Human resource services are available to both the employer and the employee to support the candidate in making a successful transition to employment.

Eligibility for people receiving Ontario Works benefits

To apply for job opportunities through the Investing in Neighbourhoods program, interested candidates must be receiving Ontario Works Assistance. If you would like to find out about Investing in Neighbourhoods opportunities in your area, contact your caseworker.

"I felt a great deal of shame not being able to find a job. With 25 years of work experience, even getting a part-time job was frustrating….This job has enabled me to learn new programs and utilize my experience to positively contribute to the organization. I will be forever grateful to everyone who made it possible for me to regain my self esteem, resulting in a better home life for my children." - Investing in Neighbourhoods participant    



Back to: Employers