Inner City Outreach (ICO) is a Canadian non-profit that is dedicated to transforming under-served areas of major urban centres, starting with Jane and Finch in Toronto, Canada. ICO is located at Jane and Shoreham and reaches out to communities throughout the Jane and Finch corridor.
ICO was officially recognized as a Canadian non-profit organization in 2003, but its programs have been in existence since the early 1990s under the community arm of Christian Centre Church (CCC). CCC has been a constant support of many residents of the Jane and Shoreham neighbourhood, not exclusive to church members only. This work has included food bank drives, community garage sales, homework and basketball programs and youth day trips. In 2010, ICO was re-launched with a renewed emphasis on improving community outreach to youth and families in the Jane Finch community. ICO expanded from its original Shoreham program site, to three sites at Toronto District School Board Priority Neighbourhood schools (Oakdale and Africentric) from 2010 – 2020. Christian Centre Church still remains a sister organization to Inner City Outreach by providing office and building space for administration and activities.
In 2016, Jennifer Jegede became Executive Director and continued guiding programs for several years. Under her leadership, she engaged the team at numerous workshops, galas and awareness events. She provided extraordinary guidance and consistency during the pandemic years of 2020 and 2021. She maintaned community relations and spearheaded many programming efforts and single-handedly delivered countless food boxes.
In 2022, Executive Director Melissa Walks and her team has launched a series of innovative initiatives including a Leadership program, Youth Employment opportunities, Empowering Young Voices, Podcast Initiative, Entrepreneurship and Mental Health workshops, Winter Sports trips, Book runs and Free Store days.