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December 21, 2020 5 min read

DECEMBER 21, 2020

The Gift of a Blanket for Cornerstone Housing:
A Women’s-Only Shelter in Ottawa

From December 16th-31st, 2020, we proudly highlighted the work of Cornerstone Housing for Women: the only Ottawa-based charity that helps women experiencing homelessness in the nation’s capital, by providing safe shelter and affordable long-term housing. Find out the impact you helped make, below!


Cornerstone: Ottawa’s Women Shelter & Safe-Haven

The month of December is often filled with snowstorms and freezing temperatures.

Generosity-abound, it’s also the time of year we’re reminded most of family and friends, the togetherness that community can bring, and the importance of giving back.

Cornerstone Housing is a brilliant local non-profit and shelter that shares in all of the socially-conscious ideals we do, while delivering on the promise of hope and dignity year-round!



Cornerstone: A Women’s-Only Shelter in Ottawa


Cornerstone is a charitable organization based out of Ottawa, Ontario that provides emergency shelter and long-term housing for women experiencing homelessness.

  •    With 5 functioning residences, each suited to a particular level of need, Cornerstone’s mission is to provide women with a safe space to transition out of crisis.
  •    But their ultimate goal is to end homelessness. A feat they hope to achieve by providing access to resources such as:

o  addiction and trauma counselling

o  financial planning, and

o  community-outreach



1000 Canadian women become homeless every year!


 

But as much as those numbers continue to increase, so too have Cornerstone’s efforts to serve as many as possible.

 

So far, the charity has been able to help up to 500 women annually. But the support they hope to provide goes far beyond any dollar amount.

 

Finding Community at Cornerstone Housing


With the help of marvellous volunteers and donors, Cornerstone runs 4 housing communities for women, in addition to their shelter.

 

And there’s truly an emphasis on “community” here.

“What I like most about Cornerstone is their focus on dignity. They don’t just give people shelter and food, but also a community and the support they are missing . . . every residential community they operate meets a specific need.”


Every day, women of every race, age, and creed are welcomed into the Cornerstone family.

 

Here, everyone belongs, everyone matters,and everyone deserves a second chance.

 

“Women at Cornerstone are encouraged to set goals and make plans to achieve them. They’re laying the foundations for stable, independent living, either in our affordable housing communities or elsewhere. And they know that our staff, donors, and volunteers are ready to help bring those dreams to life.”


What Cornerstone Offers Women:

200 women walk through Cornerstone’s doors every day, looking for help. And 61 end up staying the night, in need of a bed.

 

This is what the downtown-Ottawa women’s shelter provides on a daily basis.

 

And the resources they offer allow women to experience what ‘home’ truly means- often for the first time in their lives.


“We help them build a meaningful life that fits their individual needs,” they explain. “We strive to increase safe housing… [where] our five residences cater to women at every stage of their [healing] journey.”

With more than 65 full and part-time staff and nearly 300 volunteers, Cornerstone provides on-site support and refers women to local resources respective of their situations.

 

So, whether you’re escaping an abusive home life, unable to afford housing on your current salary, or in need of a friend- Cornerstone is here to welcome you with open arms!

“I’ll tell you something about this place. You walk in and everyone has baggage. But the next day, you just smile, and people smile back and everything is ok. That’s the way it should be. I love Cornerstone. We need people like this.”
- Arij, Cornerstone resident

Giving Back: The Poko Blanket BOGO Campaign

From now until the end of December, when you buy a blanket or throw- we will donate one of our Ecuadorian alpaca blankets to the women of Cornerstone.

 

We know the power that comfort can bring.

 

Which is why we think little luxuries shouldn't be for just a few. They should be for all.

 

 


Primary Goal:

42 blankets by December 25th

  •     To support the 42 women living in Cornerstone’s Westboro location, right around the corner from our first pop-up shop.

 

Ideal Goal:

84 blankets by January 1st

  •     To double our efforts before the New Year, and to support both housing locations beyond just the neighbouring location.

 

You can purchase any one of our blankets online, or in-store at our Westboro Pop Up shop.

 

This year, the luxury of our blankets offers comfort and memories for you, doubled by bringing an essential comfort for her!

The Cornerstone Wishlist

  • Cornerstone has thoughtfully curated a wish list to assist those looking for ways to give back this Christmas.

 

The concern for warmth and safety procures a certain set of needs around the holidays.

 

So here are 5 of their most urgently requested essentials, in addition to the ever-present need for financial contributions:


The Wish List:

 

  1.    New or gently used bedding
    •    Blankets & Sheets- twin-size only, please!
  2.    New bathroom features
    •     Shower Curtains/ Towels/ Face Cloths
  3.    New toiletries
    •    Full-size Shampoo/ Conditioner
    •    Body Wash/ Deodorant
    •    Hair Brushes/Combs
  4.    New clothing & garments*
    •    Underwear/ Bras
    •    Socks
    •    Pajamas & Slippers

 

*All sizes welcome, with a particular need for XL-4XL!

A Gift for You, a Gift for Her

Pokos - you seriously amped up the cozy for all - thank YOU!

 

With your support, we were able to surpass our goal and delivered 114 blankets to the women of Cornerstone on Thursday, January 7th, 2021!

 

With this number - we were able to gift a blanket to every woman who lives at all five of Cornerstone's locations across the city.


 

Looking for another way to support their work?

 

Join the Coldest Night of the Year fundraiser (and get some winter exercise too!) - but financial contributions are always welcome and very helpful for the increased precautions they're managing during the pandemic.

 

www.cornerstonewomen.ca

 

Written by Katelyn Wells, BA Media Production, Poko Blogger

Katelyn is a local freelance copywriter with a passion for the environment.She currently lives in Toronto, Ontario where she spends her mornings on the mat, youtube-ing how to avoid yoga injuries.