The Centre for Social Justice and Good Works (the 'Centre'), for more than three years, has run programming based on the concept of 'creating positive change together.
The Centre has carried out programs with partners for those interested in leadership and community mobilization. From these programs, recreation programs were developed in four areas of the city for children unable, for one reason or another, to participate in organized sports. In addition, programs assisting those on Ontario Works' subsidies to start their own businesses or obtain meaningful employment. The training included mentoring, one-on-one guidance, business plan development and moral support.
Based on its successes and what was learned through its training programs, the Centre is embarking on a unique eight-month training program called 'Project Entrepreneurship', in which the Centre and its partners will train a minimum of 150 participants over 5 years to assist the participants in finding meaningful employment, start their own business or gain a path to higher education. To assist in this training, the Centre is creating a chocolate manufacturing company, as a social enterprise, called 'Sweet Change, a chocolate company'. This will provide participants with hands on training and some financial compensation in its ongoing chocolate operation in manufacturing, wholesaling and retailing. As an equally important benefit, the chocolate manufacturing company will assist the Centre in becoming self-sustaining by the end of the five-year program to continue 'creating positive change together'.
Since July 2015, when its doors were opened, the Centre, with the work of staff, numerous volunteers, businesses, organizations and funding agencies, has created positive change in our community. The Sweet Change chocolate manufacturing facility is located at 3 Queen St. E. in the City of Sault Ste. Marie. The facility will provide manufactured, packaged and wholesaled chocolate to retailers in the community. In addition, specialized chocolate products will be sold for community and personal events. Customized chocolate products will also be available.