Thank You to Our Supporters
This last year, the community provided incredible support, allowing us to open a newly re-imagined Community Space. Many years in the making, this space offers expanded basic needs services, and hosts over 20 community development programs each week.
Thanks to your support, we are seeing participants reconnect with their cultural heritage, expand their skills, and express their passions through a variety of artistic mediums. This wouldn’t be possible without you.
You’re walking alongside our participants every step of the way on their journey out of poverty. Thanks for your hard work and ongoing support!
Purposeful Programming in 2018
Made Possible Thanks to You!
Our Employment Services team helps people entering or reentering the workforce by helping people brush up on their skills, or connect with the right employment opportunities. We provide participants with assessments, referrals, life-management workshops, employment counselling, safety courses, resume writing, job search support, as well as placement opportunities.
We also provide people the opportunity to gain valuable work experience, as well as income through our Casual Labour Program. We have built several partnerships with businesses who look for casual labour in construction, moving services, food services, landscaping, warehousing, and more. Such experiences have helped highly motivated workers find long term or permanent employment.
Thanks for making this possible!
FASS New Justice Component
Did you know Bissell Centre has been providing support for people with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) for over 13 years? The Fetal Alcohol Spectrum of Services (FASS) program focuses on prevention and awareness to support individuals and families who are affected by FASD.
In 2018 we created a FASS justice advocate position to support individuals with FASD who are facing charges in the Justice System.
Our justice advocate works with a caseload of 15 individuals with the goal of educating judges, lawyers, jails, probation officers, police, and other justice officials on the presentations of FASD, so the community can become FASD informed.
New Community Kitchen
In Bissell Centre’s Community Kitchen, participants are diving into the culinary world. The Community Kitchen opened last October as part of the renovation of the Community Space. Since that time, we’ve seen numerous participants engage in the program.
Rocky, a participant in the program said, “There were things I wasn’t taught, so now I’m learning them and I can cook for people.”
Not only are participants learning how to cook nutritious and delicious meals, but also how to engage with one another in a positive and encouraging space, which helps to offset social isolation, so they can move out of poverty.
Thank You For Transforming Our City!
Thriving After Left For Dead
Mary Joe’s Story of Resilience
Mary Joe heralds from B.C., but she was born in Edmonton. A mother of 9, she traveled from B.C. to Edmonton in 2016, hoping to create a new life for herself. Shortly after she arrived in Edmonton, Mary Joe learned that pursuing sobriety couldn’t be accomplished simply by jumping provinces.
Succumbing to the ravages of alcoholism, she spent many months living on Edmonton’s streets. Through balmy summers and bitterly cold winters, she survived the most difficult times under the cover of a tarp, in a sea of blankets with a group of people also experiencing homelessness.
Then, one morning, everything took a disastrous turn. Mary Joe had started her day drinking. She had $200 and a bottle of alcohol in her pocket. That day, she was robbed by people she thought were her friends—they left her for dead in minus 40 degree weather.
If it wasn’t for this young kid and his friend who got me out of there, I would have frozen to death,” says Mary Joe. “That was my sober point. I didn’t come thousands of miles from B.C. to die here.”
After that experience, Mary Joe went into a detox program. It was hard, but today she’s celebrating over 1 year sober! That’s where Bissell Centre comes in. With help from our staff, Mary Joe got help finding a place to live. Today, you’re likely to run into Mary Joe at Bissell Centre because she gives back by volunteering!
‘If it wasn’t for Bissell Centre, I don’t know where I’d be. I’d probably be dead,” says Mary Joe. “But now, I’m sober; I have a lot of support, and I have my kids and family back!”
2018-2019 Year in Review
Bissell Centre is wholeheartedly committed to being transparent with our finances. That way, our supporters know we’re financially accountable to them. By sharing how our funds are allocated, you can see that every donation you make goes towards improving the lives of real people struggling with poverty here in Edmonton.
In order to adhere to the highest organizational standards, our Financial Team maintains rigorous detail in all our financial records, ensuring Bissell Centre is accountable for every dollar, and using funds both effectively and efficiently. We believe this is an essential part of our work to eliminate poverty in our city.
Thank you for trusting us and partnering with us to break the cycle of poverty and isolation in the Greater Edmonton area!
All Thanks to You
Bissell Centre exists to empower people to move from poverty to cultural, social and economic prosperity. Your generosity makes that possible. We are immensely grateful to you for touching so many lives here in Edmonton.
Each number in these impact stats represents unique people, both individuals and families, each with their own story, their own hopes, and their own dreams. I hope you’re touched, knowing that you’ve made a wonderful difference in the lives that are represented by these numbers.
Thank you for your amazing support throughout 2018—your gifts have a far-reaching impact for people in need.