Building Hope, Home and Community

for men, women, and families throughout Durham Region

Building Life Skills

Community Kitchen Program

The Cornerstone Community Kitchen program teaches living skills related to food such as shopping, budgeting, cooking and menu planning. In this program small groups of participants meet weekly and practice the skills required to plan and prepare meals. Topics covered include the Canada Food Guide, budget friendly meals, menu planning, using items from the food bank, and safe handling and storage of food. The hands-on approach and ability to practice skills each week allows individuals in the kitchen program time to build confidence in their own abilities and understanding of food, which in turn leads to more knowledge and skills being used outside of the program. Another important component of the Community Kitchen program is socialization. All too often individuals who have recently experienced homelessness move into single dwellings where they may be isolated or lack suitable space or facilities to share meals with others. Coming together to prepare and enjoy a meal with a group of people gives a shared sense of accomplishment and builds a sense of community. The skills taught in this program can also help people find work in the food industry. 

  • Job training and education upgrades: While working in the community kitchen, individuals develop employable skills in cooking and food handling. Individuals are able to obtain employment in food services as a result of the skills developed in the Community Kitchen Program.
  • Hygiene: In the community kitchen, individuals begin to learn about hygiene, safe food handling and overall cleanliness and sanitation.
  • Budgeting and shopping: The community kitchen program assists individuals with learning how to shop on a very limited budget and still eat well, how to make the most of bargains, meal planning and other helpful tips. Through this individuals also learn about basic budgeting skills.
Employment Consultation

Individuals can receive assistance and guidance with job searching, interview skills, resume writing and employment maintenance from our community support staff.

Housing search and landlord negotiation

Our staff can assist with conducting a housing search along with landlord negotiations and eviction prevention. Staff can accompany an individual meeting with a landlord and help to make those meetings more successful.

Eviction Protection

Cornerstone can assist with not only finding housing but keeping housing. Eviction prevention is a valuable service that has assisted many of our clients on the verge of homelessness to maintain their housing.

Identification Replacement

Cornerstone can assist with replacing lost or stolen identification like birth certificates, social insurance cards, OHIP and other types of identification.

If we do not provide a service ourselves we will find out who does. Cornerstone can make referrals to other services in the community to assist with mental health issues, addictions, education, financial concerns, employment, legal issues, medical needs, food banks, etc.

“Every tenant works with their support staff to develop a personalized support agreement which is a reflection of their needs and dreams and the steps required to reach these goals.”

Housing Manager

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