Hi, we’re Circles London.

Let’s talk about how WE all can work to end poverty in our community.

Why We Do It?

Poverty affects our entire community, and too many of our neighbors can’t participate in everything London has to offer.

More than 62,000 Londoners are living with barriers of poverty.  Too often poverty is seen as an issue of bad choices, but poverty is much more complex.

Who Are We?

We are a community led initiative made up of Circles staff, many organizations, faith groups and volunteers.  Circles supports Londoners who are currently on Ontario Works to obtain economic self-sufficiency.

How Do We Do It?

Circles London is a transformational approach to ending poverty one family at a time. This approach works collaboratively with community volunteers who are further along in their careers – to assist Leaders (Circles participants), with their identified goals and needs. 

Together, we work to remove complex systematic barriers that continue the cycle of poverty for many Londoners.  


London’s Circles initiative is currently the largest in Canada.  We have the very first youth and young adult focused Circle.

By June 2018 we had 72% of our participants meet their goals and move off Ontario Works

Financial Savings to Ontario Works from all sources are growing and are expected to reach over $430,000 per year in 2019!

Circle leaders have provide valuable input on City of London strategic initiatives and priorities including the Social Services Employment Services update, Shift Rapid Transit Plan, Transit Subsidy, Food Security and the Ontario Government’s investigation of young people not in Employment, Education, or Training (NEET).

There are two major components to the initiative:

Poverty Workshops

A dynamic and interactive community training presentation offered to the general public or tailored for specific groups and timeframes.  We our trained and offer both Bridges Out of Poverty Training as well as our own locally developed “Rethink Poverty” Training.

Contact our trainer Shane Clarke to book your presentation or visit here to sign-up for the next regularly scheduled general public training session.


London has four operating Circle groups who meet weekly (three weeks each month) for a meal, learning and mutual support. Circles meet in the evenings and child minding and dinner are included.  Each participant has access to a coach and volunteer allies who are further along in their career for support and networking.  Each participant has the goal of economic self-sufficiency, and we do our best to support each individual to get there.

How Can You Help?

Donate Resources
Take or Book a Training Session
with the Initiative

Our Team

We’re passionate about our community.


We are a partnership of City of London, Social Services and Goodwill Industries.  Our staff team is made up of both organizations intentionally to provide comprehensive supports and services.

Andrea Day
Circles Coach
Tina Lightfoot
Circles Coach
Melanie Martinez
Getting Ahead Facilitator
Jessica Justrabo
Initiative Coordinator
Shane Clarke
Circles Coach & Poverty Educator