Fresh Start strives to create an equitable and supportive environment for its staff through employment opportunities, increased health benefits from gainful employment, as well as offers a strong sense of community for staff to belong to. While expertise, professionalism, and client satisfaction are key standards of the company; a strong social component offers staff the chance to combine business with pleasure.
Fresh Start’s consumer/survivor employees are proud Canadians coming from a wide variety of backgrounds with unique perspectives and histories eager to earn some money to help pay bills, increase purchasing power, develop friendships, and to do something meaningful for themselves and their community. Fresh Start’s workplace flexibility accommodates scheduled appointments and sick days without the fear of dismissal or reprimands. Fresh Start strives to carry out all the work it performs in a professional manner to the ultimate satisfaction of the customer.
Client or member centered Consumer/Survivor Initiatives (CSI’s) such as Fresh Start facilitates and empowers a smooth transition back into the community for people suffering or who have suffered from a debilitating psychiatric illness.
Fresh Start serves the greater Metropolitan Toronto area. These services include office, commercial, apartment building, and residential janitorial cleaning as well as lawn care and snow removal.
Fresh Start’s funding partners include Ontario Health, formerly the Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network (TCLHIN) providing support in the form of an annual grant which covers most of the office’s administrative and operating related costs. The City of Toronto directly funds Fresh Start’s Extreme Cleaning Program; a service offering residents of Metropolitan Toronto “West of Yonge Street” cleaning, bedbug spraying preparation and de-hoarding services for those who face imminent eviction from their household based on the lack of cleanliness or fire risk present in their homes due to inaction. As a direct positive consequence of successfully providing the City of Toronto extreme cleaning services for twenty years, Fresh Start has expanded its general services to include de-hoarding and bedbug spraying preparation throughout the greater Metropolitan Toronto area.
Although grants are much appreciated in supporting administrative endeavors the commercial revenue Fresh Start generates directly from clients and customers covers all expenses related to the actual field work. Salaries and benefits, substantial costs for supplies, equipment, transportation, insurance, storage, as well as many other business expenses some of which are office related are covered. The direct result of Fresh Start’s rapid expansion caused commercial operating costs to exceed the capacity of its generous government supports. The costs of doing business were more pronounced and services had to represent these additional expenditures in a new price structure.
Signs of Fresh Start’s expansion were the addition of new office positions including a Payroll Clerk, Human Resources and Customer Relations Coordinators to deal with a three to four times increase in actual workloads of existing staff. The increased hiring of field and contract supervisors which followed were paid through revenue generation rather than government funding. In late 2014 after intensive renovations Fresh Start opened its doors at 3345 Dundas Street West; a prime setting near the community it serves complete with office and recreational space capable of embracing the company’s business and social components. Fresh Start’s decision to purchase this property is proving to be a positive investment in its future and a real legacy to hand to future members of the Corporation.