Adsum shelters and houses as many as 90 people each day and more than 300 persons in a year. Hundreds more use Adsum services and support without ever staying with us, often related to their basic needs for safe and affordable housing, food, clothing and connection.
Adsum has a long history of working with marginalized individuals and families who experience poverty and homelessness. At Adsum, we know first-hand how poverty, systemic discrimination, gender inequality, racism, disabilities, and trauma intersect and create layered barriers to securing stable housing. Adsum clients face diverse social and personal obstacles that include, but are not limited to; mental illnesses, lack of education, single-parenthood, addictions, and histories of trauma and violence. The folks we work with are managing complex life challenges, while negotiating systems that further contribute to their marginalization, such as criminal justice, community services, child protection, and immigration systems.
Adsum recognizes that the more marginalized an individual is, the more complex their experience of oppression will be, and the more likely they are to experience unstable housing and homelessness. We work from an anti-oppressive, feminist, trauma-informed framework.
Adsum works predominantly with women. Women are more likely to be poor than men, and are more vulnerable to homelessness and unstable housing. Women’s homelessness is directly related to women’s disproportionate experience of poverty, systemic discrimination, gender inequality, and violence.
We see women from racially marginalized communities, as well as newcomer women, who struggle with language and cultural barriers. Most recently, we have seen an increase in women whose first language is Arabic, and have reached out to translation services to have our policies and procedures translated. Adsum also works with many First Nations women, and strives to have cultural and spiritual needs met, such as inviting smudging in our spaces.
Adsum doesn’t only work with women-identified individuals. In 2008, Adsum instituted our trans-inclusion policy, recognizing that individuals who identify as transgender, non-binary, and gender-queer are especially vulnerable to discrimination in housing, and are vulnerable to violence in men’s shelters.
Adsum also works with families, most of whom are women-led by single mothers. Some families include male partners, to whom Adsum provides services.
Everyone has a safe and secure home.
To lead change in housing through advocacy, supports and services to end homelessness
Values and Guiding Principles:
We live these values to create hope, security, self-esteem and choice.
In order for people to feel respected, valued and have dignity, we meet people where they are, without judgement.
We value the uniqueness of each person in order to promote self-worth.
We build and maintain relationships that exemplify credibility and trust.
We believe that people have the right to be included on their own terms.
"When I arrived here I didn't know if I'd last a month....I'm now proud to say I'm nearing the 8 year mark. The longest I've been in one place in my adult life."
To be the best we can be as a centre of excellence in housing and homelessness.
To expand our ability to care for people along their housing and homelessness journey by offering a continuum of holistic supports in combination with case management.
To be truly client-directed by ensuring the people who use our services are engaged in identifying their needs.
To make Adsum a great place to work.