2023 Bissell Centre West Renovations
You may have noticed some new construction around Bissell Centre. We’ll be undergoing renovations for most of this year. We will keep the Community Space open, and all programs and services will continue to run, but some may be moving to other areas of the building.
Learn more from our Renovation FAQs.
Watch the Video Tour!
A SPACE FOR…
Our Community Space is a safe and supportive environment that provides opportunities for reflection, healing, and reconciliation, which is critical to building hope for the future.
Our Community Space is designed to facilitate personal and community development. The layout allows for more high-quality programs and fewer barriers in order to nurture a strong culture.
Our Community Space was designed with all people in mind. No matter who they are, what they’ve been through, or where they are on their journey—we have space for everyone.
Thanks to the generous project funders for helping us achieve our vision for our Community Space!
Bissell Community Space
Bissell Centre has operated a drop-in centre for over a hundred years as a means of engaging with individuals who struggle with homelessness and poverty. But to help those we serve, and ultimately eliminate poverty in our community, we knew we needed to offer more than a gathering space.
Redefining The Way We Offer Support
Our Bissell buildings support people’s ability to access housing supports, employment opportunities, skills training, and other vital programs necessary to address the challenges of poverty.
Our Community Space features:
1. Access to Basic Needs
Everyone’s basic needs must first be met in a timely manner before longer-term changes can be contemplated. Keeping the showers, washrooms, and laundry facilities close together is more efficient and enables us to increase the number of amenities available. Separating these facilities from the open area where programs happen also provides a more dignifying experience for clients.
2. Community Development
A strong sense of community within the Community Space increases participation, fosters collaboration, and promotes learning. The multi-purpose rooms allow for more, quality programs with fewer barriers and distractions to nurture a strong culture. We integrated circular designs and other elements throughout that honour Indigenous culture and traditions and represent the diversity of our community.
3. Access to Support
Clients need to have access to accurate and updated service information, and staff need to have up-to-date knowledge to assist clients as they navigate the various systems of support. With effective staff training, appropriate information distribution systems, and a centralized intake and referral system, we can significantly reduce barriers and stress for our participants when it comes to getting the help and support they need.
4. Resiliency & Relationships
People experiencing poverty, in particular those who are homeless, have experienced trauma, conflict, victimization, loss of relationships and alienation. Our objective is to create a safe and inclusive environment that provides opportunities for reflection, healing, and reconciliation. Quiet spaces, a living wall, and a memorial wall are a few elements that increase people’s abilities to deal with challenges in a sustainable manner.
Interventions and supports available:
Mental health services
Arts & Rec programs