2012 Homeless Count

On October 16th, 2012, 2,174 homeless Edmontonians were counted. Compared to 2010, 247 fewer homeless individuals were counted in 2012. Click on the image below to read the full report from Homeward Trust.
Click to Read Full Report

A Client Story: Finally… An Apartment After Four Homeless Years

This story was written by one of Bissell Centre’s Homeless to Homes participants.  *Name has been changed to protect the participant’s privacy.
My name is Jennifer*. I became homeless about four years ago. Prior to becoming homeless, I was in an abusive relationship with a common law partner for approximately 10 years. The moment that I made the decision to leave this relationship was the moment I became homeless. I knew that’s what I was choosing, but the experience that I had in this relationship was so bad that I felt like I had no alternatives.

Being homeless is pretty rough. There were many moments when I was homeless that I felt scared and angry. I found that the amount of alcohol I drank increased when I was homeless, and I spent time picking bottles to make enough money to purchase more liquor. I spent most nights at inner city shelters, and at times, when I had no other options I even stayed outside. Read More…

All Sides of the Coin – Part 2 “Participant”

Bissell Centre employee Sissy Thiessen shares her story of assuming the various positions of volunteer, program participant and employee within Bissell. This is a three-part series that will be published separately.
By: Sissy Thiessen

PART 2: Me as a Participant of Bissell Centre

The next phase I entered in my journey at Bissell was on the other side of the table- as a program participant. While I was still a volunteer, the manager of Food Services offered me an opportunity to participate in a First Aid Course as part of a women’s program that was running at the time. It was a full day course, offering a certificate in Standard First Aid, as well as infant-level CPR c. Realizing an opportunity for professional development when I see one, I jumped at the offer. There were about 10 of us, all appearing to be of First Nations descent. Some were with child, others said they had to make stressful arrangements to coordinate child care for the day.  Read More…

All Sides of the Coin – My 3 roles at Bissell Centre

Bissell Centre employee Sissy Thiessen shares her story of assuming the various positions of volunteer, program participant and employee within Bissell. This is a three-part series that will be published separately.
By: Sissy ThiessenSissy headshot

PART ONE:  Volunteering at Bissell Centre

I was sitting in Social Studies class in high school when I first heard about Bissell Centre. An employee from the centre came to talk about what the organization does for Edmontonians in need, and what it means to truly give back to your community. For the life of me, I cannot remember who the person was or what they did at Bissell, but the message of hope in their words is one that has stayed with me since I first heard them in 2005. I remember feeling so impacted by the warm heartedness and compassion I was hearing about. I was so amazed at how an organization could do so much for so many- how much help was really out there. And how much need for these services there really was.

It wasn’t until 2009 that I finally got around to volunteering for Bissell Centre. I had recently watched a movie called “Yes Man,” starring Jim Carrey, a movie about staring fear and apprehensions right in the face and saying “Yes” to any opportunity that comes your way. Giving what you have and going along for the ride. In the movie, Jim’s character volunteered serving soup to the homeless. And just like my mother will tell you, if I see something I want to do being done, I will find a way to do it. So, my mind was made up. I was going to serve soup to the homeless. Read More…

Seeking New Volunteer Board Members

Bissell Centre’s Board of Governors is seeking new volunteer Board members. Governors must be or become members of Bissell Centre.Responsibilities of a Board Member: 

  • Attend monthly Board meetings
  • Have a commitment to and understand Bissell Centre’s vision and mission.
  • Alignment with Bissell Centre’s Strategic Touchstone and the work we do.
  • Be aware of/attend Bissell Centre events and represent Bissell Centre in the community.
  • Work cooperatively within a group.

Becoming a Board Member:
Bissell Centre welcomes everyone, but is especially looking for those with skills/experience/contacts in the following areas:

  • Social Enterprise
  • Mental Health/Addictions
  • Finance/Accounting
  • Links to Aboriginal Community

The Board currently has two committees: Audit & Finance Committee, and Human Resources, Governance & Nominating Committee.
If you are interested in becoming a candidate for our Board of Governors or for more information, please click here to see the entire Board of Governors Recruitment Notice