Switchback is a retail and service-focused, community-oriented local bike shop. We are also a non-profit Employment Social Enterprise with the mandate of creating meaningful and fulfilling employment opportunities for vulnerable people in Toronto. Our employees all have significant barriers to employment, including: chronic poverty, long-term unemployment, a history of homelessness, mental and physical health problems, and addictions.
Switchback Cyclery is an offshoot of Sanctuary, a community for people who are homeless and living in poverty in downtown Toronto. At Sanctuary, we realized that many of our friends who wanted to improve their lives by finding work were unable to find safe, dignified jobs due to a lack of opportunities, a lack of skills and experience, as well as multiple barriers to employment, including addiction challenges, long periods of unemployment, and mental and physical illness.
Switchback provides dignified, well-paying jobs to people from the Sanctuary community who are seeking the security and fulfillment that comes from meaningful employment. We offer work opportunities for customer service representatives and bike mechanics. We also provide the support required for our employees to succeed, including one-on-one mentorship, regular professional development and certification training, and healthcare benefits that enable them to pursue holistic wellness.
We are confident that working at Switchback is or will become a vital cornerstone of a healthy life for our employees. In addition to the dignity of fulfilling work, Switchback also provides employees with economic stability, which will impact their mental health and the economic and psychological health of their families. The success of Switchback employees also ripples into the larger Sanctuary community, offering examples for our community of the value of aiming higher, and dreaming bigger.