Debbie Avoids Homelessness: Success Story from our Community Bridge Program

In October 2014, Debbie was involved in a car-jacking incident, which left her traumatized and made it difficult for her to continue working. She tried working a few more months but required stress leave when diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder due to the incident. Debbie eventually returned to work, but quickly started to experience deep symptoms of anxiety and depression, which resulted in her leave being extended.

With her income greatly compromised, Debbie utilized Employment Insurance and Income Support to financially help her and her family as she pursued opportunities to get back to work. She had limited support from her parents and one of her daughters also helped her to make rent.

When Employment Insurance ran out and her daughter moved to Vancouver, Debbie’s struggles increased as she tried to find ways to pay rent and utility bills leaving her and her family on the verge of homelessness.

“I would probably be on the streets if it wasn’t for the Community Bridge helping me”

— Debbie, former Community Bridge Participant

That’s when Debbie turned to Bissell Centre’s Community Bridge Program for financial help thinking that she and her children could soon lose their home. The program paid her next month’s rent and program staff were able to keep their utilities going to ensure that they would not be evicted.

Community Bridge staff continue to stay in contact with Debbie every month to see if she and the children need assistance and to provide any support they may need to remain housed. Debbie feels she has stable support from Bissell Centre and is currently enrolled in programs to help with her transition back into the workforce.

Please visit Bissell Centre’s Housing Services to learn more about the Community Bridge Program and our efforts to provide stable housing and financial support for people living in poverty.


Thanks to our funding partners United Way, City of Edmonton, Stollery Charitable Foundation, ENMAX, and Edmonton Charitable Foundation.

Happy National Volunteer Week!

This week, we honour our volunteers who assist people who are struggling with poverty in Edmonton. In conjunction with National Volunteer Week, we have planned activities at Bissell Centre to recognize their valuable contribution to the inner-city community.

Each year, our 1,100 dedicated volunteers give more than 11,000 hours serving meals for the hungry, leading activities for children from low-income families, sorting numerous donations, and providing administrative support. We are continually inspired by their compassion and commitment!

Stay tuned to our Facebook and Twitter pages for stories and photos about our dedicated volunteers.

“Thank you to all of our amazing volunteers who give their time and talent graciously!”

— Bissell Centre Staff and Leadership

Interested in Volunteering?

To help make a difference for people in our community, please visit our Volunteer Services page and sign up through our online application program to tailor your volunteer experience with us!