Nisa Homes is a national, transitional shelter providing culturally cognisant and specialist services for women who identify as BIPOC (96%) and who are also at risk or are experiencing homelessness due to gender-based violence, poverty, refugee status and/or precarious immigration status in Canada. Nisa Homes currently has 7 locations across Canada, with one more on the way and a long-term goal to open a transitional home in every city in Canada.
According to our recent client experience survey (2021), approx. 77% of our clients identify themselves as Muslim with the remaining approximate 23% identifying from other faith groups. At Nisa Homes, we acknowledge the significant relationships within each community across Canada as equal contributors in the support journey that we offer our clients – we heal together.
At Nisa Homes, we engage the community in all we do, we need the communities support for each step that our clients take with us. We offer several programs to support women to achieve the goals that they have identified as major needs.
Our Client Service Specialists are assigned as primary case support for each client, both in our Shelter Program (at the shelter) and our Outreach Program (in the community); 94.38% of NH clients will receive our support for up to 12 months in total. Each client is supported to access community resources available to them depending on their need and their personal circumstances. Nisa Homes acknowledges the often-insurmountable barriers that women in our community face when trying to access services. Our Client Service Specialists also offer their clients comprehensive financial support through our Financial Assistance Program. This program provides clients, depending on individual need and personal circumstances, assistance with food, personal care items, clothing, gift-cards and transport.
Our Supportive Counsellors are registered counsellors and provide counselling and wellness support for all clients in the shelter. This includes both confidential 1:1 supportive sessions and group counselling sessions with life skills and wellness-based programming to support the clients to develop self-care techniques and prioritise their own healing journey. They learn about the importance of healthy eating, drinking and sleep patterns as well as spiritual health, meditation, and other essential self-care skills. The Supportive Counsellor will always refer to community mental health resources when asked, additionally they will always prioritise providing a safe and secure space for each client, away from the demands of day-to-day responsibilities, to find a way to begin their healing journey.
Nisa Littles has been developed in response to recognising that 50% of our clients in the shelter are children; who may have suffered trauma or may have been a witness trauma. Our Childcare Specialists are there for the children and their mother. Together with the Supportive Counsellor, the children are welcomed into fun group sessions with craft, cooking, games – all age appropriate. The Childcare Specialist will meet with the children’s mother regularly to check in and talk about her children.
All our specialists work together collaboratively, coordinated and led by the City Operations Manager in order to give each woman every chance possible to meet her goals and to find independence, healing and ultimately to thrive as a member of the community. Our teams are passionate about what they do, they are serving Allah every day and changing the lives of women and children. 97.76% of our past clients recommend NH to those who need help.
Nisa Homes is responding to the need for cultural appropriate services for vulnerable women in Canada. We have developed our services to prioritise this cultural and spiritual focus, and this is unique in Canada. Our focus is a Housing First, trauma informed approach in all aspects of our service. 8.5/10 of Nisa Homes clients are no longer homeless within 12 months and are housing stable in their own independent housing.
“Nisa Homes make people feel comfortable and are always seeing what we need. I did not feel like I was sharing the space. It felt like my own home. I felt like anything I needed; you made sure I had it.”
“I like that it is a home setting where I can accomplish things independently while also having support there when needed. It’s a good balance between regular living and still accessing support. I also like the welcoming environment, the kind staff, and the wide range of help that’s provided.”