Stride supports youth (16+) and adults struggling with mental health or addictions as they seek meaningful employment.

Our team considers your unique situation, helping you prepare for employment, find a job, and encourage you as you begin your new job. Whether you choose to engage face-to-face with an employment specialist, attend regular workshops or receive support from a peer mentor, Stride helps you build the confidence and skills needed to find and keep your job.

Stride promises to treat everyone with dignity and respect.

CLIENT Bill of Rights

Our Vision

Stride envisions a world in which barriers to employment have been eliminated for people living with mental health and/or addictions challenges. 

Our Mission

Stride is committed to providing person centered support to empower people living with mental health and/or addiction challenges to gain and maintain meaningful employment. 

Our Values

Stride recognizes that employment and self-determination contribute significantly to a person’s sense of dignity, independence and quality of life.

Stride believes that people living with mental health and/or addiction challenges make significant contributions to society.

Stride respects the individual needs and strengths of each person. We work collaboratively with partners and individuals we serve to assist them in identifying and achieving their employment goals.

We Believe

  • In treating people with dignity and respect
  • In all individuals having the opportunity to achieve their employment goals
  • In providing service levels that exceed expectations for those we serve
  • In creative, innovative responses to the ever-changing political, economic and work environments

Our Philosophy


Stride believes that all individuals facing mental health and/or addiction challenges have the right to participate in those aspects of life that are most valued including involvement in a variety of work opportunities that form and integral component of overall well-being.


Stride believes that wellness is possible for every individual and focus is on working with the individual towards achieving personal wellness goals. Our agency recognizes that services should be provided according to individual needs and desires. We also respect the autonomy of the individual to make decisions affecting their present and future employment status.


We recognize our staff and volunteers as key to the organization’s success. Staff and volunteers of Stride are committed to providing high quality services that facilitate individuals’ attempts at gaining and maintaining work. We have a commitment to management practices that facilitate open communication and allow participation in problem solving and program development and implementation. We continually seek new ways and means of being responsive to the ever-changing needs in the community.


Stride works cooperatively with other community agencies and groups to provide comprehensive person-centred services. These services are provided in a manner which upholds the value, dignity and rights of each individual, without discrimination, based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, sexual preference, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability. We recognize our obligation to maintain confidentiality and protect the individual right of every person we serve.

We believe in accountability to all our stakeholders. We recognize the value of public participation in planning and implementation of service programs. We strive to improve the lives of individuals facing mental health and/or addiction challenges by offering the training and support necessary to improve employability and work preparedness. It is our privilege and responsibility to provide the best service possible to enhance each individual’s independence in the community and celebrate their success.

“This was my first time having a peer mentor and it was definitely a different experience than what I had before with mental health professionals. I enjoyed how it was more casual and how much my Employment Peer Mentor related to me; that aspect alone differs in comparison to more formal treatments I have accessed before.”

Our Partners and Funders

We work with a wide variety of municipal, provincial and federal agencies, as well as non-profit organizations to provide our services.


See the full list

Our Past, Present and Future!

Our team, board and partners work with purpose and integrity.

2023-2024 ANNUAL REPORTRead our Strategic Plan


A Brief History of Stride



The opening of Oasis Work Program in Oakville and the Work Project Program in Burlington with funding from the Federal Job Development Grant Assistance Program through Canada Employment and Immigration and Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)


Amalgamated to become Halton Co-ordinated Work Program, funded by the Ministry of Health


Renamed Halton Work Programme, which was incorporated as a Registered Charitable Organization


New site opens in Acton


Re-locate head office to Milton


Name Change! Stride is launched


Head offices moves to new site in Milton with CMHA-Halton 2008: South Halton Café established for work experience


Employment Connections introduced 2013: Accredited by the Canadian Centre for Accreditation. Become a member of Mindful Employer Canada Partnership agreement with Halton Hills Public Library relocate to 55 Ontario Street South, Milton


Sign charter for “No Wrong Door” introduce French services


Stride receives full accreditation with the Canadian Centre for Accreditation


Implemented Ontario Perception of Care to gather important feedback regarding client experiences.


Stride becomes a member of Connected Care Halton - Ontario Health Team, and Burlington Ontario Health Team.


Stride acquires a new site in South Halton at 247 North Service Road West, Suite 26, Oakville


 Stride receives full accreditation with the Canadian Centre for Accreditation


 Stride receives funding from Halton Region Community Investment fund for two Intake Specialists. 


 Stride celebrates 40th anniversary at the Annual General Meeting with a commemorative piece of artwork.  


Board of Directors.

Stride acknowledges the vital contribution in support and guidance received from the Board of Directors.





Fatima Ul-Haq

Fatima joined the Stride Board of Directors in February 2016. With over 10 years in project management in the Healthcare and Public sector, she offers valuable insights into our program. With strengths in strategic planning, organizational design, process/quality improvement, change management and project management, Fatima’s contribution to the overall leadership of Stride is critical. She is currently the Client Service Manager at Toronto Central Community Care Access Centre. Fluent in Urdu, she has a Hons. bachelor of Science, Masters of public Policy, Administration and Law, Certified Project Management professional, Lean Six Sigma Black Belt. Fatima is a resident of Milton.


Sarah Lawson
Vice Chair

Sarah joined the Stride Board of Directors in June 2020. She has over 13 years of experience as a lawyer, with a practice focused on mental health, addiction and the criminal justice system. She has defended clients charged with all types of criminal offences from mischief to murder, worked as a staff lawyer for Legal Aid Ontario and as a federal prosecutor for the Public Prosecution Service of Canada. Sarah is in the process of making a career transition to become a career and educational planning specialist at Career Solutions, helping people to define and achieve career goals consistent with their interests, strengths, and values. Sarah holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from McMaster University a Juris Doctor from Queen's University, and is in the process of completing a Graduate Certificate in Career Development Practitioner. She is certified in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and the Strong Interest Inventory. She is a resident of Burlington.



Todd Valentine

Todd joined the Stride Board of Directors in June 2022 and is Chair of the Finance Committee. He has 20-years of finance experience across companies of all sizes in various industries, focusing on leading the Finance function in high growth businesses with under 100 employees over the last 10-years. He is currently a Fractional CFO at BrightIron. Todd holds an Honours Bachelor of Business Administration with a Psychology Minor from Wilfrid Laurier University and is a Chartered Professional Accountant. He is a resident of Oakville.



Zoe Vulic

Zoe joined the Stride Board of Directors in September 2019. She is a Certified Disability Management Professional (CDMP) with 10 years of Human Resource Management in the Public Sector and 20 years of work experience in the Disability Management industry. She is currently the Manager of Employee Health, Safety and Wellness for the Regional Municipality of Halton. Zoe has a Bachelor Degree in Kinesiology from Southeastern Louisiana University. She is a resident of Burlington. 




Zoe Mitchell

Zoe has been a member of the Stride Board of Directors since June 2020. She has 20 years of experience in corporate retail finance leadership and is currently employed as an employee Engagement consultant using Diversity, equity and Inclusion and Process Improvement to drive engagement. Her degrees and certifications include: Bachelorette of Business administration and Psychology from York University; Lean Six Sigma; Diversity & Inclusion; LGBT+Workplace Inclusion, Unconscious Bias; Leading Change; Managing Diversity; Psychological Safety training and assessment. She is a Student Mentor at York University and is a resident of Milton. 


Joydip Banerjee

Joydip joined the Stride Board of Directors in June 2022. He is currently working as a Manager for Home and Community Care Support Services. Joydip has nearly 20 years of healthcare experience working initially as a Physiotherapist in private practice and hospital. He guided patients in their recovery from complex injuries and return to work plans. Joydip has a Masters in Health Administration and has also worked as a Manager in rehab and mental health settings collaborating with teams on best practice, pain management and pandemic-related initiatives. Joydip is interested in improving access and navigation in healthcare to empower individuals. He currently resides in Burlington.


Georges Abdulahad

Georges has been a member of the Stride Board of Directors since June 2020. He is an accomplished account executive with over 25 years of Global IT Consulting services experience in various industry verticals and has a broad range of experience in Business Development, large enterprise accounts management, Strategic Planning, as well as Contract, Financial and Partnership Management.  He has worked as a country manager for multi-million dollar organizations with accountability for P&L and revenue growth. He has a Computer Engineering degree from the University of Waterloo and is a resident of Oakville.



Amanda Burkholder

 Amanda joined the Stride Board of Directors in June 2023. Currently the Vice President of Supportive Living and Community Supports at Central West Specialized Developmental Services, she brings strengths in non-profit leadership, communication, strategic planning, and fundraising. Amanda holds degrees in Honours Biology-Psychology, Bachelors of Education, and Masters of Business Administration in Sustainable Commerce. Having lived in three continents, Amanda now calls Milton home and loves supporting work that helps people realize their full potential and contribute to their community in the ways that are most meaningful to them.



Allyson McElwain

 Allyson joined the Stride Board of Directors in June 2023 and is a member of the Finance Committee. She is an established learning professional, with over 15 years dedicated to driving progressive cultures to meet company, customer and employee goals for strategic growth. She is currently the Director of Development and Learning, Diversity and Inclusion at TELUS, and holds a PhD in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of Guelph. Allyson brings strengths in non-profit leadership, Human Resources, communication, and strategic planning. She is a resident of Georgetown.