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COSTI Immigrant Services: Meeting Community Needs For Over 50 Years Featured

Written by Winnie Czulinski | Published Wednesday, 27 January 2010 03:57 |
COSTI Immigrant Services COSTI Immigrant Services

COSTI, established in 1952, is “one of Canada's most culturally diverse agencies”, with help in over 60 languages. According to their website, “84% of the clients who come to COSTI, come from elsewhere in the world.”
As the organization says, "the thousands of individuals that come through COSTI each year are extremely diverse, yet they have one thing in common - they share a dream to make new and prosperous lives for themselves in Canada."

"After many ups and downs, I had reached the lowest point in my life, and attempted suicide. The COSTI Family Counseling Program saved my life."

This is a testimonial from someone who found help at COSTI, a community-based multicultural agency that provides social, employment, educational and settlement services to immigrant communities and individuals.


Operating from 14 locations in Toronto, York Region and Peel, COSTI has helped:

- 42,000 people with various work, settlement, language and personal issues.
- 12,893 clients have received services from COSTI's Housing Help program.
- Has connected 9,524 unemployed individuals with over 1,800 employers.

COSTI employment services include:
• A Centre for foreign trained professionals and tradespeople
• Kickstart, youth life skills and pre-employment project
• Mentoring Partnership for skilled immigrants, through an alliance of community agencies
• Sector-specific information, terminology and counseling

They also offer specialized programs, including
• Academic assessing and testing
• Orientation, information, counseling and cultural interpretation for recently arrived immigrants
• Rehabilitation services to help with mental and physical challenges
• Senior Services
• And more

COSTI, also a pioneer in its multicultural help for addictions like problem gambling, partners with over 93 other organizations across Ontario and Canada, to provide extended social, government and other services.

"COSTI's Family and Mental Health Services has been my lifesaver. I don't want to be dramatic about it. It's just a fact.”

"I would like to thank Marisa and COSTI for not giving up on my son, for making him happy once again, and for helping us both believe that there are very good people in this world that are willing to overlook outward appearances, and to give people with a disorder or disability a chance in life."

COSTI also provides a critical Art Therapy program for Refugee children, where traumatized children of war-torn countries can express their feelings, and work through their suffering – with art as the medium.

Here is what COSTI Childcare teachers have to say:

"Seeing Rita today as the confident and happy little girl that she has grown into is the greatest reward that we could ever hope to have.”

"… I saw a truly remarkable improvement and change…They learned to play as children again -- their innocence re-emerged. They became so helpful and affectionate, even protective of the other children.”

For more information on COSTI and upcoming events such as - Refugee and Human Rights Child and Youth Poetry Contest Winners – visit

"Our community needs programs like this.  COSTI was there for me when I felt that there was no one else."

“There is indeed a light at the end of the tunnel.”






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