Cornerstone Housing for Women’s Shelter Returns to Home
January 11, 2022
Statement: Downtown Protest’s Impact on Cornerstone’s Emergency Women’s Shelter
February 2, 2022
Cornerstone Housing for Women’s Shelter Returns to Home
January 11, 2022
Statement: Downtown Protest’s Impact on Cornerstone’s Emergency Women’s Shelter
February 2, 2022

2022 Winter Gratitude Report


A Message From Our Executive Director

With 2021 coming to an end, I reflect on my first year with Cornerstone Housing for Women and I am overwhelmed with gratitude. I am honoured to have the opportunity to work alongside the most dedicated team of staff I have come across in my career.

This year has been like no other, there were many firsts for Cornerstone Housing for Women in our 39 years – from moving the shelter three times, shifting our administration online, to welcoming new partnerships – I am thankful for everyone I had the honour to work with along the way.

What I am most thankful for from this year, was the ability to really get to know the Cornerstone Community.

I am truly honoured to be a part of an organization that has such dedicated supporters, advocates, and donors. Your dedication to CHW has allowed us to keep the doors open, programs running, and the ability to continue to provide vital services.

This pandemic has created many more barriers than opportunities; but our Cornerstone Community has not wavered, we have become stronger, more resilient, and more dedicated than ever – and for this, I would like to send my sincerest gratitude to each and everyone one of you. To the families and supports of our staff team, thank you for supporting your loved ones to come to work each and everyday; to our donors, thank you for your on-going reliable support to ensure our staff and service-users are safe, supported and have the resources they need; to our volunteers, thank you for your flexibility and dedication over this last year and being gracious with the ever changing protocols; to the City of Ottawa Team, Ottawa Inner City Health and our Community Partners thank you for always being willing and able to provide support, direction and resources to get through the ever evolving pandemic; and to the Ottawa community, thank you for welcoming our stories of hope, and our growing need of your support, into your homes.

Sarah Davis
Executive Director

Volunteer Spotlight

Happy New Year to all our wonderful volunteers and community partners, we hope you are healthy and well during these unprecedented times!

We’d like to shine a light on all our wonderful volunteers who were able to continue to support the women and staff of Cornerstone, especially through the busy holiday season. A special thank you goes out to Anne C, Susan M without whose help over the holiday season we just couldn’t have pulled of such a great Christmas for our residents.

To our awesome volunteer hairdressers Eugenia and Monique who kept our residents looking spiffy and feeling good. We were fortunate to partner with the wonderful folks at Capital Markets who helped server a wonderful holiday meal to some of our residents, to our young friends at the Ottawa Police – Youth In Policing Initiative who helped make our BBQ at the shelter a huge success last summer.

Our volunteer Board of Directors and Young Professionals continue to meet virtually and are always available to help out whenever asked, thank you ALL.

Here’s hoping 2022 allows many of us to be together again and get more volunteer lead programs and services up and running.

Volunteer Coordinator

Cornerstone YPAB

In 2021, the YPAB continued to adapt to the new reality presented by the pandemic. We participated in the Coldest Night of the Year to kick the year off, raising $3085 for Cornerstone. In the spring, we organized two successful events, including an online feminist trivia night, as well as a fabulous Flower Power Fundraiser, selling hanging baskets in partnership with Richmond Nursery. In addition, we increased our social media presence to raise awareness and advocate for critical issues throughout the year.

We also welcomed several new members in the fall of 2021, who have brought an extraordinary level of enthusiasm and commitment to the Board. Finally, we rounded off the year with another successful fundraiser, selling poinsettias just in time for the holiday season..

We are looking forward to building these successes to see what we can accomplish in 2022!

Community Spotlight

This past year has proved to be another challenging time in Cornerstone’s history. Not only were we all navigating this pandemic but we worked with the city to move our shelter and women in need of emergency services to 3 locations in 13 months.

We could not have done this without our community.

We had so many incredible donors this past year we could notname just one. They say it takes a village, and we certainly saw our community come together in ways like never before. From golf tournaments to local business fundraisers and donation collection boxes, to donated food and urgently needed items, benefit concerts, to sponsorships, social media campaigns, volunteering, and many more we could not have gotten through this past year without any of you.

We very much appreciate you. We are grateful for your continued compassion to provide safe, supportive, and dignified housing to women in our city.

Resource Development Manager

Shelter Move

Cornerstone Housing for Women Emergency Shelter is so grateful for the assistance of so many in order to successfully undertake the moves that were necessary in order to respond to the emerging needs of the women experiencing homelessness in Ottawa, due in large part to the pandemic.

So many community members helped; from suggestions of locations to which we could move, to donations of needed items or monetary donations, to expressions of support to the residents affected. Partner agencies, such as Shelter Movers stepped up and assisted with the physical move in June from Friel to Heron. A new partnership with Coventry Connections solved our transportation problems for our food services. We are grateful for them all, but lastly, we have to thank the Human Needs Task Force from The City of Ottawa for the logistical assistance with each move.

Their unwavering energy and support were essential as they helped us problem solve each unique situation and provided the practical supports to ensure the needs of the residents were met.

Our volunteer Board of Directors and Young Professionals continue to meet virtually and are always available to help out whenever asked, thank you ALL.

Heading up this group was one particular individual, Rachel Ladouceur, to whom we can truly say – we could not have done this without you.

Director of Programs and Services

Food Services

Cornerstone Housing for Women would like to take this opportunity to thank the following for their generous donations in 2021: Lumentum, Restaurant E8teen, Ottawa Police Services, Brinks Canada, Mitel and numerous anonymous individual and corporate donors.

The past year was particularly challenging with the continuing restrictions due to Covid-19 and having to move our shelter location 3 times. These issues placed enormous challenges upon our food services team.

Your support helped us overcome those challenges and assisted us in providing over 172,000 meals to the residents of Cornerstone in 2021.

During Cornerstone’s time at the Heron Physical Distancing Centre, we became Ottawa’s largest catering company. There was no commercial kitchen at the Centre so our kitchen team had to be innovative and work with numerous partners in the city to ensure we could safely prepare, deliver, and serve 2700 meals every week. Our team prepared and packaged all of the food out of our Booth Street commercial kitchen and had it safely delivered to the Heron Centre twice a day. We could not have provided this many meals without our amazing kitchen staff and our wonderful community partners..

We are extremely grateful for your generosity. We could not have done it without your support. Thank you so much.

Chef Paul,
Food Services Manager

Resident Spotlight: Meet Natalie

I was born and raised in Ottawa. I have three brothers, I lived a pretty normal life growing up. I came from a good family. My mom sadly passed away when I was 18 years old. It was a very difficult time for myself and my entire family, and it’s still hard today, but I’m glad to have a supportive family with who I talk to regularly.

I got married when I was pretty young and was with him for nearly two decades. However, it did not end well. He kicked me out of our place and that’s how I ended up living at a couple of women’s shelters downtown Ottawa for nearly a year – and ended up at Cornerstone’s emergency shelter.

That first night at the shelter was terrifying. I didn’t know what my day would be like from one day to the next. It definitely made me realize that all of those material things I used to have didn’t matter, it’s the people and communities that matter most. Cornerstone has been a part of my community for nearly four years now.

When I first heard that I could move into one of Cornerstone’s residences, I was excited about the thought of having my own place to call home. I had never lived alone before. I was excited about not having be on the streets anymore.

I have lived here for nearly 4 years. I love it here. I have a community. I’m never alone.

I like being with the other women who live here, I’ve made some good friends. I like the staff as well. They’ve been a great support for me when I’m struggling with my mental health, I know I can always ask for help.

Now that I have a home of my own, and a great community of supports I have decided to go back to school to work as a PSW. I used to work at the Ottawa Hospital for more than a decade. I’m looking forward to this next chapter in my journey.

Supportive Housing Resident

Upcoming Events

We hope you'll join us again for another COVID-friendly Coldest Night of the Year charity walk for Cornerstone!

Sign Up Today

Please join us to learn the basics of leaving a charitable gift in your will

Sign Up Today

Cornerstone Wishlist for Spring and Winter

Please note: With to the rise of Omicron in our city we have made the decision to pause our in-kind donation program. We will be updating our website and social media until we are able to resume this program, we kindly ask that you hold onto your donations until this time.

Due to limited storage space, we are unable to accept ANY donations of clothing, large appliances or furniture, including beds. We also do not accept items for children.

Skip to content