Sistering is more than just a shelter © Pexels/Mart Production
For 43 years, Sistering has been providing essential services to women and trans people experiencing homelessness in Toronto. In the early days, Sistering was created in response to the lack of resources available to women and children who only had access to emergency shelters overnight. During the day, they had nowhere to go and were often left on the street. It was apparent that for displaced women to find housing, employment, emotional support and hope, there needed to be a daytime space that would provide them with resources, a meal, and, most importantly, support to find stability.
Today, the problem of women’s homelessness in Toronto has only worsened. The lack of affordable housing, a real estate market that prioritizes profits over people, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and cuts to social services have all contributed to a homeless population of women estimated to be close to 10,000.
Sistering understands that these women are not just numbers; they are mothers, sisters, daughters, and members of our community who deserve dignity, respect, and a chance to rebuild their lives. The organization offers a range of essential services to help women find stability, including counselling, healthcare, meal programs, housing help and support, case management, and drop-in services. All services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
One of Sistering’s most significant strengths is its commitment to treating each woman who comes through its doors with compassion, respect, and understanding, not judgement. The staff recognizes that the road to homelessness is often long and complicated and that each woman’s situation is unique. They work with women to identify their needs and help them create a plan to move forward.
Despite the vital services that Sistering provides, the need for resources for women experiencing homelessness in Toronto continues to grow. Sistering understands that they cannot reach every woman in need by themselves, which is why they are expanding their services through Mobile Outreach and the creation of satellite services around the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
The Mobile Outreach program brings Sistering’s services directly to women in need in their communities. The program offers a range of services, including harm reduction, case management, and health services, and is staffed by experienced professionals who are committed to helping women find stability.
In addition, creating satellite services around the GTA will allow Sistering to reach even more women who need their help. These satellite services will offer many of the same services available at the primary Sistering location and will allow women to access support and resources closer to where they live.
Sistering’s work in Toronto is a testament to the power of community-based organizations to create real change in the lives of those who are most vulnerable.
If you are interested in supporting Sistering’s vital work, there are many ways to get involved. Donations of money, time, and resources are always appreciated, and you can also help spread the word about the critical services they offer. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of homeless women in Toronto and create a place of hope for those who need it most.
Learn more and find out how you can help at sistering.org
Sistering is a multi-service agency for at-risk, socially isolated women and trans people in Toronto who are homeless or precariously housed