Women, youth and families seeking shelter at Adsum House arrive with diverse experiences and a wide variety of challenges. For some, this might be their first experience with homelessness and they find themselves very temporarily at Adsum while get back on their feet. Others coming through our doors may have lived transiently for a long time and return to Adsum when they need a safe place to stay while figuring out what comes next. At times, women, youth, and families stay at Adsum House for months as they struggle with the many challenges that create barriers to obtaining safe and affordable housing.
Adsum House is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Client support workers are always available and oversee intakes, discharges, support and crisis intervention and any residential issues that arise. The shelter - like all other Adsum locations - is a trans-friendly inclusive space.
Program staff facilitate fun and practical activities such as cooking, budgeting, and arts and crafts in the evenings. Two social workers at Adsum House work more closely with women to help identify barriers to affordable housing, access community resources and finally, find and maintain safe housing. This can involve support counseling, advocacy, information and referrals to other services.
Residents of Adsum House often face a variety of obstacles: poverty, domestic violence, abuse, involvement in the sex trade, disabilities, a family breakdown, mental illness, job loss, and conflicts with the law. Every woman’s story is unique. That's why Adsum operates from a client-centered approach, meaning that we get to know an individual and support them in the way that is most suitable to their needs. For staff, this may involve lending an ear or providing complex case management that utilizes various community supports.
Every day at Adsum is different, challenging, exciting and inspiring. Success may mean finding an apartment, but it can also be admitting to an addiction, making a choice to seek supportive housing, going back to school, making contact with estranged family members, having the courage to ask for help, or standing up for oneself.
Many of the people we meet share a common trait of having low self-worth. One of our favourite successes is seeing self-worth grow as a result of making positive choices and feeling cared for and supported by those around them. When folks come back seeking support or to update us on their lives, this is a success. Some residents view Adsum staff as family – what could be a greater success?
At times, life at Adsum House can be intense, but we have a lot of fun, too. Sharing meals, stories and laughs, we get to know some amazing people who, in many cases, have been dismissed by many. We feel fortunate to have this privilege and we are reminded of that every day.
If your require emergency assistance, please call the Adsum House Crisis Line at 423-4443.