In this month’s segment of our Community Partners Series we spotlight Sistering.
Since 2015, Angus Systems has been a proud supporter of Sistering, a non-profit charitable organization that provides homeless women ages 16 to 80 years old in Toronto with 24/7 access to safe shelter. The institution was founded in 1980 by a team of women, who were concerned about how to meet the needs of homeless women in Toronto. Overtime, the outreach grew to include other women who would benefit greatly from the services provided including women with mental health issues; women without legal status; sex workers; those with criminal justice system interactions; women who have experienced trauma and violence; immigrant and refugee women; and women with disabilities. Last year, Sistering served nearly 3,000 women.1
Sistering provides a variety of programs and services to meet the needs of their patrons. This is all possible due to the operations funding they receive from the City of Toronto, the Local Health Integration Network, United Way, plus fundraising efforts and private donations.
Read on to learn more about what Sistering does:
Drop Ins provide a safe haven for women who aren’t able to find shelter or are experiencing a crisis. Sistering’s Peer Outreach Workers promote the organization’s resources to homeless women in the west-central area of Toronto. In 2016/2017 there was a total of 75,649 visits to their drop in centers and 155,083 meals were served.1
The organization’s Sisters Kitchen aims at providing a place for the women who use their services to build lasting friendships while eating nutritious meals prepared with carefully sourced food. Last year, 50 turkeys were cooked for Winter Holiday meals.1
Sistering’s Harm Reduction program provides health information and safety support for substance users and sex workers to help reduce the negative effects associated with high-risk behavior. In their previous fiscal year, 1,764 hours were spent on outreach. There were 208 outside workshops presented and 60 in-house workshops presented.1
“[I have] found a safe space where staff recognizes [my] right to make [my] own decisions.” – Gia (Sistering Patron)1
Their Social Enterprises programs (Inspirations Studio and Spun Studio) offer women the opportunity to supplement their income through artistic expression. In 2016/2017, they spent 204 days making pottery and 52 days knitting and weaving.1 This program helps marginalized women build self-esteem.
The Employment & Income Support program, On the Path to Employment, arranged by Sistering, offers women who live in poverty access to individualized employment counselling, job search support, and resources for resume writing and interviewing. 111 women received one-on-one employment and income support counselling last year.1
“We are all only one pay cheque away from homelessness.” – Karleen (Community Support Worker at Sistering)1
To learn more about Sistering please visit their website.
1 Source: Sistering – A Woman’s Place Annual Report 2016/2017