Message From the Board Chair: Lee-Ann Leitch
The season of spring brings us a time of renewal and hope. It’s a reminder that new beginnings are possible and that everything blooms again even after the harshest conditions.
I want to take this opportunity to extend my deepest gratitude to you for supporting Bissell Centre. You are the reason Edmontonians who are experiencing homelessness and poverty have a safe, welcoming and non-judgmental place to turn to.
Because of you, hundreds of adults and families in need can access essential services, including food, housing, financial support, employment training programs and more. And because of you, they have a reason to hope again and start anew.
Thank you — we couldn’t do what we do without you!
Board Chair, Bissell Centre
Every Change Starts with a Small Step
How your support is giving people in Edmonton like Noah a chance to start over.
It took a lot for Noah to open up and ask for help.
For Noah, doing the simplest tasks, like grocery shopping, going to the bank or a stroll in the park, induces enormous anxiety. “Being around people makes me nervous,” shares Noah. “I feel like I’m always being watched and judged. It’s a paralyzing feeling.”
A childhood coloured by extreme poverty, alcoholism, and violence in the home caused Noah to develop depression and severe social anxiety. For years, Noah struggled with homelessness and addiction. Holding down a job was difficult. Without a home or family to turn to for help, Noah would often end up sleeping on a friend’s couch.
When he reached out to Bissell Centre and connected with one of our mental health support workers, Noah was in a dire situation. For one, he could not access essential services like social support, banking, and medical care because he had no identification. Because of his severe anxiety, Noah found it too overwhelming to go through the process of applying for any ID.
Being cut off from society only increased Noah’s mental anguish. “I felt like I hit rock bottom,” shares Noah. “I didn’t know how to turn my life around. Thankfully, the staff at Bissell were familiar with my situation and worked fast to help me.”
By building a rapport and providing a safe place for Noah to work through his past trauma, he was empowered to make small but necessary steps to rebuild his life.
Thank you for caring about your neighbours like Noah and ensuring Bissell can continue to provide services that are helping your fellow Edmontonians overcome the challenges of poverty, homelessness and mental illness.
New Beginnings Start With A Meal
Thank You For Sharing the Gift Of A Warm Meal This Easter!
A warm meal has the power to change lives. We’ve seen it time and time again at Bissell Centre – a hungry neighbour comes in for a plate of food and walks out with a sense of dignity and hope. With the support of our caring community, hundreds of Edmontonians enjoyed a warm, delicious meal over the Easter holidays. Thank you for your kindness!
This Year’s CNOY Walkathon Was a Huge Success!
A BIG thank you to everyone who participated in Bissell’s largest annual fundraiser, Coldest Night of the Year walkathon (CNOY) on February 25, 2023! More than $195,000 was raised for Edmontonians experiencing hurt, hunger and homelessness.
We couldn’t have done it without you! The funds raised are helping to provide essential programs and services, including meals, clothing, and shelter, as well as life-changing programs and support to thousands of individuals and families in our city.
- 561 walkers
- 99 volunteers
- $195,703 raised
YOU are helping to change lives!
Healing And Moving Forward
Thank you for helping to care for your neighbours in their time of greatest need!
Charlotte had a difficult past. As a domestic violence victim, it was hard for Charlotte to maintain relationships and trust others. Trauma from Charlotte’s past left her struggling with upsetting emotions and anxiety that wouldn’t go away.
“I thought I had become so broken that I was unable to become fixed,” shares Charlotte. “I had battled with a number of issues for years from depression to addiction. It felt like I was on a rollercoaster of emotions.”
With support from a mental health care worker at Bissell Centre, Charlotte is taking steps to overcome her anxiety. Recently, she applied for Bissell’s Workforce Development Program. Little by little, she is building her confidence and gaining valuable skills to prepare her to re-enter the workforce.
“It’s a tough journey,” says Charlotte, “but I can see the progress. The staff at Bissell have been a great source of encouragement and support.”
Thank you for showing your neighbours experiencing a crisis that they are not alone.
Donate today to help a neighbour in need.
Become a Community Hero!
Why give monthly?
Convenient. Your gift is automatically drawn each month, so you know you’re making a difference for your neighbours every day of the year.
Stable. You help ensure a steady source of funding for Bissell Centre so we can plan our work into the future and help more Edmontonians in need.
Powerful. Your gifts add up to make an incredible impact each year for people in your community and we’ll keep you informed with regular updates.
Caring For the Youngest in Our Community
Playing. Learning. Thriving.
Bissell Centre’s Early Childhood Development Program provides child care services to low-income families throughout Edmonton. Thanks to our community’s generosity, many families in our city benefit from affordable child care every year. Your support enables parents to attend school, employment training, search for housing and take care of other obligations while having peace of mind their little ones are in good hands.
Thank you for helping families in Edmonton access affordable child care.
Drop Your Gonch Campaign is Happening Again July 6-18, 2023!
Help provide new undergarments to people experiencing homelessness in Edmonton.
For our neighbours who are homeless, the list of needs can be very long. Underwear continues to be one of the most requested items, but one of the least donated.
Will you take part in this year’s Drop Your Gonch underwear drive to help provide this essential item to Edmontonians in need?
$15 buys 5 new pairs of underwear
30,000 pairs of undergarments will meet the demand for five months.
Neighbours Helping Neighbours
You Can Make a Difference. Become a Bissell Centre Volunteer.
There are many ways to volunteer. Visit our volunteer page to learn more!
Prepare meals for folks accessing our Childcare, Community Space, Employment Program and more.
Donate your time to ensure our National Indigenous Peoples’ Day celebratory “block party” runs smoothly.
Help during our 9th annual underwear drive by delivering supplies to drop-off locations and counting items as they arrive.
June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples’ Day
Celebrate. Learn. Share. Support.
Mark your calendar and join hundreds of Edmontonians in celebrating National Indigenous People’s Day (NIPD) on June 21, 2023.
On the longest day of the year, the summer solstice, our community will come together to reflect on and celebrate the unique heritage, traditions, and knowledge of our Indigenous brothers and sisters – First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples.
We’ll be turning the streets in front of Bissell Centre into one colourful and memorable block party that you don’t want to miss! Join your neighbours for a day filled with dancing, music, storytelling, traditional performances and a delicious meal of stew and Bannock.
Did you know?
- About 3.8% of the total population of Canada is indigenous people.
- With over 27,000 members, Six Nations is the largest reserve in Canada.
- There are over 50 different indigenous languages in the country.