Program snapshot

Age group: Adolescence (12-17); Young adult (18-24)

Gender: Mixed (male and female)

Population served: Gang-involved (and/or at risk); Neighbourhoods/communities; Visible minority/ethnic group; Youth in contact with law enforcement (and/or at risk)

Topic: Academic issues; Social development; Social/economic disadvantage

Setting: Urban area; Community-based setting

Location: Ontario

Number of completed Canadian outcome evaluation studies: 0

Continuum of intervention: Secondary crime prevention

Brief Description

Halftime is a youth-centred, strength-based program to promote the resiliency of racialized and Black youth from the Eastmall/Westmall/Capri area and Rexdale/ Kingsway neighborhoods in Toronto (i.e., Etobicoke), Ontario. The program aims to address risk factors that make youth vulnerable to violence including: previous exposure to violence, academic failure, lack of social and economic opportunities, weak family ties, and lack of mentorship and role models amongst others. The project is guided by the priority outcomes identified in Stepping Up: A Strategic Framework to Help Ontario’s Youth Succeed and aligns with recommendations from the Roots of Youth Violence Report, and Ontario's Guns, Gangs and Violence Reduction Strategy (GVRS).


The main goals of the HalfTime program are to:

  • Increase engagement of at-risk youth in activities that promote leadership, healthy lifestyles and well-being, work-readiness and school attendance;
  • Increase self-confidence as well as conflict resolution skills and the ability to resist peer pressure; and
  • Enhance community engagement capacity


HalfTime is a youth-centric strength-based project that prioritizes racialized adolescent Black youth of ages 15-24 years old residing in the Eastmall/Westmall/Capri and Rexdale/ Kingsway neighbourhoods in Central Etobicoke.

Core Components

HalfTime includes multiple components that reinforce each other across a youths’ everyday social as well as family context and delivered through a trauma-informed lens. The components include:

  • One-on-one wraparound supports/referrals;
  • Life skills and employment readiness training;
  • Education, recreational and leadership building;
  • Mentorship and networking opportunities; and
  • Family engagement

Additionally, individual care plans will identify a youths’ strengths, challenges, and opportunities within family, school, community, and with peers, providing a continuum of supports. Educational, recreational and cultural activities will promote youth self-awareness and self-esteem, and create a safe and supportive environment for youth to develop life skills and healthy relationships. (Self)-referrals can be made based on risk of involvement with violence.

Implementation Information

Some of the critical elements for the implementation of this program or initiative include the following:

  • Organizational requirements: The organization should ensure that the program aligns with one or more of the following principles:
    • Best practices recognized as effective for supporting youth at risk of violence and victimization;
    • Culturally appropriate to youth and communities served;
    • Client-centered and youth engaged (i.e., youth are at the center of all aspects of the program and uses strategies to involve and empower youth to address, plan and make decisions about issues that effect them);
    • Strengths-based and trauma-informed (i.e., recognizes, supports and builds on the strengths, skills and protective factors of youth, reflects an understanding of trauma and the impact of traumatic experiences); and
    • Family and community based (i.e., includes and integrates family and/or community support in addressing the needs of the youth and fostering strengths, facilitates and/or leverages community partnerships and/or service coordination to provide effective services to youth).
  • Partnerships: The success of the HalfTime program depends on its partnerships with the Eastmall Steering Committee and Hooyo; an initiative lead by Somali mothers.
  • Training and technical assistance: Limited information on this topic.
  • Risk assessment tools: Limited information on this topic.
  • Materials & resources: Limited information on this topic.

International Endorsements

The most recognized classification systems of evidence-based crime prevention programs have classified this program or initiative as follows:

  • Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development: Not applicable.
  • Crime Solutions/OJJDP Model Program Guide: Not applicable.
  • SAMHSA's National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices: Not applicable.
  • Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy: Not applicable.

Gathering Canadian Knowledge

Canadian Implementation Sites

The HalfTime program delivered by the Arab Community Centre of Toronto is a pilot project funded by the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services. The program was implemented in 2021-22 and funding expires on March 31, 2024.

Main Findings from Canadian Outcome Evaluation Studies

No information available.

Cost Information

No information available.


There is no Canadian reference available at this time.

For more information on this program, contact:

Arab Community Centre of Toronto

295 The West Mall, Suite 200

Toronto, ON M9C 4Z4

Telephone: (416) 231-7746

E-mail: info@acctonline.ca

Website: https://acctonline.ca/

Record Entry Date - 2023-11-30
Record Updated On - 2023-12-11
Date modified: