Our History

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Celebrating our past and looking forward to our future.

ESS Support Services was established in 1983 after identifying a need for services to support seniors in Etobicoke.  The first Board of Directors was formed, following with the opening of our first Day Centre in the Spring of 1984.

We appreciate that we have much to celebrate as we look back on where we began and reflect on the progress we have made since we first opened.

During our first year of operation, programs were delivered with a budget of $7,000.  Today our budget of over $5 million enables our client-centred staff and dedicated volunteers, to deliver an ever-increasing range of support services to more than 2,500 individuals.

Over the course of our evolving history, we have celebrated many successes and accomplishments from introducing new programs to meet community needs, to developing beneficial partnerships and searching out new sources of funding, such as:

  • Becoming a recognized United Way Member Agency, thereby assuring the ongoing financial backing required for not only maintaining but also increasing and expanding services;
  • Developing a Transportation Program which now includes a fleet of 6 vehicles, a Dialysis hotline established and led by ESS and a partnership in the Home At Last Program helping seniors return home sooner from hospital;
  • Introducing friendly visiting, respite care and 3 Supportive Housing locations across Etobicoke
  • Opening a Caring Centre, an innovative and award-winning 24-hour overnight stay program and, in 2012, establishing a second Centre with the financial support of the Central Local Health Integration Network;
  • Building on the success of our first Adult Day Service Program in 1984, we expanded our services to include 3 additional program locations, one which now operates 7 days a week and offers extended service hours;
  • Establishing Health and Wellness Community Programming in 2010 as a result of a 3-year grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation that allowed us to expand our range of programs to include nutrition workshops, exercise classes, social recreation and Chronic Disease Self Management programs;
  • Achieving Accredited Agency status by Accreditation Canada in 2010 and Accredited Exemplary status in 2013 and once again in 2018.
The history and growth of our community agency reflects the dedication of many hundreds of individuals and is a tribute to those first few who met in a Church hall with a vision that was inspired and continues to be inspired by the needs of our community.
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