Initiatives for Just Communities walks with people with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and intellectual disabilities, and those currently or previously incarcerated, to help them to achieve a better quality of life for themselves and their communities.

In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, IJC's vision remains the same, that “everyone belongs and flourishes in community. No one walks alone.” Covid-19 has created challenges, and IJC has modified services in order to continue supporting participants, while adhering to physical distancing guidelines.


Gail Schellenberg Training Centre

In gratitude for Gail Schellenberg’s lifelong commitment to education, Initiatives for Just Communities (IJC) is naming the renovated training space at the El’dad offices the Gail Schellenberg Training Centre. Gail served as the executive director for Initiatives for Just Communities from 2014 to 2020, when health issues intervened. She passed away on December 4, 2020.

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Who We Are

Initiatives for Just Communities is a non-profit, charitable organization that is committed to restorative justice practices. IJC works to create communities where each person, particularly the stigmatized and the vulnerable, has a place to belong.

Four programs run through IJC:

  • Circles of Support and Accountability (CoSA) – supports the healthy reintegration of people with high-risk offence cycles as they are released from prison and settle back into the community.
  • El’dad – provides residential support, vocational training and assistance, and support for people with intellectual disabilities.
  • Open Circle – encourages volunteers to visit individuals in prison and offer caring non-judgemental support.
  • Touchstone – provides case management and direct individualized support to adults and older youth with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.

What We Value

— All People

As part of creation, we see each person as having infinite value and necessary for a healthy community. Thus, we respect each person, and believe in their goodness.

— Community

We seek to build community with our participants and in so doing, strengthen the broader community.

— Compassion

We offer welcome and accompaniment, without judgement, to all on the journey.

— Restorative Justice

To promote healing of the individual and the community, we seek to repair harm and restore the individual and the community to honest, transparent and trusting relationships.

— Advocacy

We value hearing those who are often unheard, and honour their story. We work to ensure their voices are heard both within and outside our organization.

— Transparency

We promote and model honesty and integrity in all our work, because these are critical for true community to flourish.
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