As the Executive Director of Elizabeth Fry Toronto, Michelle Coombs works to support women who are, have been, or are at risk of coming into conflict with the law.
Michelle has led the organization through a period of significant change and is currently focusing on developing more integrated relationships with other service providers and supporters.
In addition, Michelle developed the Homelessness and Outreach Department to further meet the needs of criminalized women by providing housing and employment support.
Before joining Elizabeth Fry Toronto, Michelle established the first housing/case management program for homeless women at Sistering – a women’s support organization; conducted a demographic survey/report at Mainstay Housing to document and then measure the successful housing of adults living with mental health issues; and established service partnerships with over 20 mental health agencies to ensure the success of tenants in supportive housing.
Michelle will use her Vital People grant to pursue the “Bridges Out of Poverty” Trainer Certification. The certification will assist her in developing the capacity to address poverty at individual, institutional and community/policy levels, and to determine practical and sustainable solutions to poverty which will include all stakeholders in the discussion.
Michelle's Vital People grant is funded through the Vital Toronto Fund at the Toronto Community Foundation.