About Us

Voices from the streets (VOICES)

Voices from the Street was originally developed through a partnership between the Ontario Council of Alternative Businesses, (OCAB) now Working for Change (Becky McFarlane), the Gerstein Centre (Nicki Casseres), and Pat Capponi.

It was a leadership training program developed in 2005, in order to provide economically, politically and socially marginalized individuals from diverse backgrounds an opportunity to bring their voices and perspectives to decision-making bodies that shape public policy. Pat Capponi, a well-known author, activist and psychiatric survivor is the lead facilitator in a consultant capacity. She shares what makes a good story and the importance of building allies.

Graduates from the program have become part of a Speakers Bureau that creates opportunities for members to advocate for societal change and reduce stigma and discrimination. Members of the Speakers Bureau are available to speak on various topics related to poverty, mental health / health issues, addictions, homelessness, domestic violence and newcomer issues.


  • Provides knowledge about public policy and systemic barriers and creates a platform to make change nationally and internationally
  • Participants see strengths in themselves, hope is restored and are able to advocate for others and give back to the community
  • Connects individuals to employment  and educational opportunities

Contact Dawnmarie Harriott: dawnmarie@workingforchange.ca