Carving the Path to Inclusion

Pathways to Employment wants to spread our message of hope and compassion. We believe that a single action can make a difference in the community, and that collective action can greatly impact the world. Through advocacy and outreach activities, our team works tirelessly each day to contribute their part to the greater good.



We help those living with mental illness break barriers.

Pathways to Employment is a not-for-profit social enterprise that helps individuals living with mental illness find meaningful, supported employment through our social businesses. We also provide a variety of education and training programs to help participants prepare for employment.



Pathways to Employment is achieving more with our initiatives than ever before. We work on many exciting projects to help improve the lives of others, and are very proud of the progress we continue to make. Learn more about what we do, who we help, and how we work every day to promote positive change.

Brainstorm to Success
Row of Houses


Empowering individuals living with mental health and substance use challenges to enhance their quality of life through community inclusion.


Pathways to Employment endeavours to provide an integrated and co-ordinated range of services and supports to address the recovery of individuals with mental illness, substance use and social challenges.

The purpose is to create opportunities for independence, education, housing, employment and social engagement in Cape Breton through the incorporation of two major programs in the community; SHIMI (Supported Housing for Individuals with Mental Illness) and Pathways to Employment under Pathways Cape Breton.

Pathways Cape Breton is now supported by the Nova Scotia Health Authority, the Nova Scotia Department of Community Services and the Cape Breton Regional Hospital Foundation.



Calculate Savings


Financial Literacy is an eight-week program that focuses on day-to-day essential financial information that applies to all individuals from many different backgrounds.

Literacy skills, such as reading, writing and math are not required to participate in the program.

Class sizes are small to ensure maximum interaction and participation for all individuals.


Topics Include:

  • How to Set & Achieve Goals

  • Needs versus Wants

  • Savings and Banking

  • Consumer Awareness

  • Medication Coverage

  • Making Money

  • Meal Planning

  • Budgeting

  • Financial Planning

  • Income Tax Preparation


“I have taken the FLP through Pathways.  I believe that this program was the best thing in my life.  I learned a lot of interesting things and it helped me budget my money.  The instructor Alison made the class very interesting and fun to be in.”

“The most important thing I learned from FLP is the difference between a ‘want’ and a ‘need’.  I learned how to prioritize and budget my money much more efficiently and managed to cut my debt drastically in six months.”

“I was very excited to learn new things about how to save money & how to stretch a dollar. I enjoyed making budgets and shopping wisely. The program was excellent! I learned many new things and will enjoy putting them to use in the future. Thank you.”

Open Notebook


Provides individuals living with mental health and substance use problems the opportunity to enhance their employment skill, work toward personal employment goals and increase the potential to gain permanent, sustainable employment in the community.

The program is free of charge to successful candidates. It runs for 21 weeks, seven weeks of workshop training and 14 weeks of community employment. There are opportunities to earn a training stipend during workshops and minimum wage for community employment.

Upon completion of the program, there will be continued support available. Our doors are always open!



196 Prince Street
Sydney, NS B1P 5K5







Our woodshop has been a staple in the CBRM for many years. We offer a variety of quality products such as kindling, Adirondack chairs, benches, bathouses, bbq scrapers, garbage/recycling bins, washer toss games, custom builds and more. These items are built at our 196 Prince Street location by our participants using 100% recycled wood.
If you have a project in mind, please contact us

Washer & Dryer


Our laundry service is an in-house operation. Serving clients in the hair salon and restaurant businesses, our team provides washing, drying, folding and bagging of towels, washcloths, dry cloths, table linens, aprons and more. We also source product and materials. Our team can provide delivery to and from your business or establishment.

Make your contribution to Pathways to Employment today.

Pile of Trading Cards


Pathways now offers printing, photocopying, binding, laminating, typing, faxing and design services. Specializing in personalized greeting cards and calendars, the print shop can take care of most of your printing needs.
If you need business cards, brochures, agendas, leaflets, invitations, address labels, admission and raffle tickets, Pathways Printing can produce. Competitive rates, fast, friendly service.


Our property maintenance crew prides itself on hard work. With over 40 properties in the CBRM, we have proven ourselves with safety and quality. We are fully equipped with the tools necessary to complete a wide range of property maintenance services including mowing, trimming, weeding, edging, mulching, raking/leaf removal, yard cleanups, dump runs, spreading of topsoil/gravel, gardening/planting, aerating, seeding and more.


If you would like more information about the products, programs
or services we provide, phone 902-539-6480.



Supported Housing for Individuals with Mental Illness

Supported Housing for Individuals with Mental Illness

SHIMI is an innovative solution to a pressing community need for individuals who are living with mental illness and in need of supportive housing options. The project provides high quality, secure and independent housing together with a range of responsive supports to adults living with, and recovering from, a mental illness.


There is now a considerable body of research to support the advantages of, and the need for, community-based support for individuals living with mental illness. 

Full partnership, respectful communication, autonomy, choice and stable, decent and flexible housing are the cornerstones of this approach.

The voices and experiences of people who live with mental illness have been, and will continue to be, the driving force of the SHIMI project.

Housing supports within the local community are far more effective and efficient than institutionalization or congregate-style housing for most. Community support options provide persons living with mental illness the possibility of choice and the ability to exercise these choices thereby creating as independent a lifestyle as practical, building self-confidence, empowerment and ontological security. This, in turn, reduces the negative impacts of mental illness on the individual, family, friends and the community as a whole. The first building block for community-based support is secure housing.

The SHIMI model follows the practice of integrating small numbers of apartments seamlessly and unobtrusively into the community. The housing is secure both in the physical sense and in the financial sense:

Physical Security: The apartments and buildings are finished to a mid-market standard and professional property management ensures that the rent is collected, the bills paid and quality standards are maintained.
Financial Security: All shelter costs (rent, heat, power, water) are included for a rent of $535 per month. This is the maximum shelter allowance available to single individuals through the Province of Nova Scotia’s Income Assistance Program. Fixing the rent at the maximum shelter component ensures that the balance of an individual’s income can be used for food, clothing, transportation, etc.
Furnishings: Through the generosity of the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia and the Cape Breton Mental Health Foundation, each new apartment is furnished with a full suite of furniture and appliances, including a washer and dryer.


In 2013, a team of researchers (Catherine Leviten-Reid, Cape Breton University, Pamela Johnson, Cape Breton University, and Michael Miller, Crossroads Clubhouse) undertook a formal assessment of the SHIMI program. Their report presents a summative and formative evaluation of the Supported Housing for Individuals with Mental Illness (SHIMI) initiative. In this evaluation, the housing experiences of tenants, as well as the effects of these housing experiences, are explored. To learn more about their findings, their report can be accessed below. 

Supported Housing for Individuals with Mental Illness: An Evaluation

All of these units would not have been acquired, renovated and furnished without the program funding and capital contributions of the HRSDC Homeless Partnership Strategy, the Affordable Housing Initiative of the Province of Nova Scotia, the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia, and the Cape Breton Mental Health Foundation.

Through our Support Services, we have the potential to make a real and positive change in the community. This is one of our key areas of focus here at Pathways to Employment, and a source of much success for our Non-Profit Organization. Get in touch with us today and see how you can lend a helping hand with this program.

Most of our efforts pertaining to this program involve studying new approaches and developing innovative ways to implement them. We evaluate our success in this field by gathering qualitative and quantitative data, and using that information to measure shifts and changes from our baseline measurements.



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