About Us

Welcome to Youville Centre!

Whether you are a student looking to attend our program, a volunteer hoping to help out, an alumnae looking to get in touch, or a donor wishing to give; we hope that our website will shine a light on the innovative programming and important work that takes place with two generations at Youville Centre.

Our Official Service Description:

Located in Ottawa, Youville Centre is a non-profit, registered charity that serves adolescent mothers and their children. Youville’s trauma-informed, holistic programs and services include: a fully accredited secondary school, crisis intervention, intensive mental health therapy and treatment, addiction counselling, collaborative problem solving, a licensed child development program with a focus on infant mental health and attachment-based parenting programs with intervention and treatment. For more than a quarter century, Youville Centre has been an innovative centre that motivates, educates and nurtures young mothers and their children to become self-sufficient, contributing members of society.

Our Mission and Philosophy

Youville Centre is an innovative centre that motivates, educates and nurtures young mothers and their children to become self-sufficient, contributing members of society.

At Youville Centre, we believe that every child and youth has the ability to learn and grow, and that every young mother deserves to have a dream that anything is possible. Our myriad of programs and services help our young moms to work towards personal, academic and parenting goals in order to create a brighter future for themselves and their children.

A Message from our Executive Director

Youville Centre's Executive Director, Cindy Simpson, is smiling at the camera

When I am asked why I love working at Youville Centre, it is often difficult for me to find only one reason. Through my work here, not only am I able to be of service to our young mothers and their children, I am also fortunate to play a part in their personal, educational, and parenting journeys. A little known fact might be that I also love working here because of the gifts I receive daily! I receive the gift of hugs from children as they play and learn in our child development centre, the gift of a baby’s smile when I “chat” with them, and the gift of joy when I witness one of our young mothers interact with her child during a parenting class. I receive the gift of accomplishment when our students complete their Ontario Secondary School credits toward graduation, the gift of hope when a student realizes that by accepting our help she can build a brighter future for herself and her child, and I receive the ultimate gift of having been able to make a difference in the life of another when I see a young mom leave our centre with a smile on her face, a bounce in her step and a happy, well-loved child holding her hand. My memory book this year will include many unforgettable moments. I would have to mention as a highlight our visit from our Premier, Kathleen Wynne whose heartfelt message to our young moms inspired and motivated them to hold on to their dreams as they move forward in accomplishing their goals one step at a time. Our moms, who struggle daily with mental health issues and the challenges of everyday living, were amazed and touched that the Premier of Ontario would take the time from her busy schedule to compliment them on their work at Youville Centre, and demonstrate her empathy and understanding of the challenges of being a young mom.

The wonderful partnership between Youville Centre and St. Mary’s Home was celebrated at our joint AGM last September when our Centres, together, received an Ontario Trillium Grant to support both agencies as we strive to complete our accreditation as Child and Youth Mental Health Agencies. Our collaboration was further acknowledged when Executive Director Nancy MacNider and I were honoured by United Way Ottawa with Community Builder of the Year Awards in the Growing Up Great category. Both Nancy and I were thrilled that we could celebrate our many years of agency collaboration with our esteemed colleagues and community partners at the United Way Community Builder Awards Gala.

I continue to be deeply moved by the compassion and generosity of the donors, partners and volunteers that we work with in the Ottawa community, whose contributions enable the talented staff of Youville Centre to motivate, educate and nurture our adolescent mothers as they strive to overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges and barriers to build a brighter future for their children and themselves.As Youville Centre moves into another year, we continue to evaluate and reflect on our myriad of programs and services in an effort to continually improve and evolve to ensure we are meeting the needs of both our young moms and their children.

My sincere gratitude is extended to our Volunteer Board of Directors, particularly Megan Wallace, our President and Chair, who constantly give us the gift of their time and continually support our staff in the important work we do. Finally, my deep admiration goes to the young mothers of Youville Centre who remind me daily that “courage is the capacity to confront what can be imagined”(Leo Rosten).

Cindy Simpson, B.A., M. Ed.