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We’re Hiring Students for Summer 2017!

Posted on: May 3rd, 2017 by Nellie's No Comments


Summer Student Positions

Nellie’s operates a 36 bed shelter for women and children who are homeless and leaving violence and provides community support for women living in the community. Nellie’s is a community based feminist women’s organization committed to social justice and anti-oppression. Currently we are looking for 7 summer student positions:

For the Children Program Worker position, CPR/First Aid certificate is required. 


Must meet all Canada Summer Jobs criteria including:

  • Be between 15-30 years of age at the start of employment;
  • Have been registered as a full-time student in the previous academic year and intend to return to school on a full-time basis in the next academic year;
  • Be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or person to whom refugee protection has been conferred under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act:
  • Be legally entitled to work in Canada in accordance with relevant Ontario legislation and regulations.

Working Period:                                            33 hours per week for 8 weeks from May 15 – August 31, 2017

Hours:                                                                          Monday – Friday

Salary:                                                                          $12/hour

We regret that our shelter location is not wheelchair accessible.

 Faxes or phone calls will not be accepted. Please email your resume and cover letter with specific position you’re applying to

 This position requires a criminal reference check as per Ministry requirements.

Date of Posting:           Monday May 1, 2017

Deadline:                      Friday May 12, 2017

We are sorry that only those candidates who will be interviewed will be contacted.

Relief Childcare Worker Needed

Posted on: April 21st, 2017 by Nellie's No Comments



  • Works as part of the shelter and community support staff teams in providing parent relief and children’s programs.
  • Maintains established routines for the children and youth and organizes age appropriate developmental activities for children and youth.
  • Ensures that all health and safety guidelines and shelter policies are followed.
  • Communicates with parents, shelter and community support staff
  • Advises shelter and community support staff of suspected abuse immediately.
  • Responsible for completing all required documentation and reports.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Proven commitment to AR/AO
  • Demonstrates leadership.
  • Regular evening work required and occasional weekends
  • At least Grade 12 Diploma
  • Previous experience in childcare
  • 2 or more years’ experience working with children in crisis and/or in the areas of homelessness, poverty and violence
  • Experience in and commitment to working within an anti-oppression framework
  • Experience in the social service sector ideally in an agency delivering counseling, crisis intervention or advocacy services
  • Able to work shifts including nights and weekends
  • Consistently demonstrates reliable professionalism in working in, out and across the organization
  • Excellent counseling and/or facilitating skills
  • Excellent computer and database management skills
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Knowledge of the social service sector
  • Strong understanding of child & family services
  • Strong communication and negotiation skills
  • Networking skills
  • Negotiation and advocacy skills
  • Public speaking skills
  • Team building methods
  • Comprehensive knowledge in Children Aid Society 

Hours:           Different shifts including Evenings, Weekends and Holidays
Salary:           $17.66/hr

Nellie’s is committed to the development of an agency that reflects the women it serves.  Applications from Aboriginal Women, World Majority Women/Women of Colour, Lesbians, Bisexual Women, Transgendered Women and Women with DisAbilities, Women who have experienced Violence and Consumer Survivors are strongly encouraged.

.We regret that our shelter location is not physically accessible.

Faxes, emails or phone calls will not be accepted.

Please mail your letter of application, including resume and cover letter to:

 Marlene Bell
Program Manager
970 Queen St. East
PO Box 98118
Toronto, ON M4M 1J8

This position requires a criminal reference check as per Ministry requirements.

Date of Posting:                 Friday April 21, 2017
Deadline:                              Friday May 12, 2017

We are seeking 2 New Board Members!

Posted on: April 4th, 2017 by Nellie's No Comments

Nellie’s is seeking members to join our Board of Directors whose experiences align with Nellie’s Mission:

Our Mission is to operate programs and services for women and children who have and are experiencing oppressions such as violence, poverty and homelessness. Nellie’s is a community-based feminist organization which operates within an anti-racist, anti-oppression framework. We are committed to social change through education and advocacy, to achieve social justice for all women and children.

About the Board of Directors

Nellie’s Board of Directors provides strategic leadership for Nellie’s in accordance to the organisation’s Vision, Mission, and Values. The board consists of 10 directors.

Currently we have two (2) vacancies on the Board of Directors.

Although individual Board members do not represent any particular constituency of Toronto, our aim is to have our Board membership reflect the city’s population and the clients we serve. Therefore, when recruiting applicants to our Board positions, the Nominations Committee will consider the following:

  • Individuals who bring a perspective that encompasses the general experience of visible minority groups in Toronto.
  • Individuals from diverse ethnic identities and cultural traditions and backgrounds.
  • Individuals who understand from their personal experience, work and/or volunteer activities, issues important to vulnerable or marginalized community members (e.g. disability, sexual orientation, low income, homelessness youth, seniors.

This is consistent with Nellie’s commitment to the development of an agency that reflects the women it serves.

Currently Nellie’s is looking for women with a commitment to and experience in the following areas:

  • Strong Board policy governance experience
  • Working from an Anti-Racist/Anti-oppression Framework
  • Feminist pedagogy and practice
  • Community based skills, including service delivery and / or as a service user
  • Human Resources
  • Fundraising
  • Finance
  • Risk Management

Responsibilities of Successful Applicants:

Prepare for and attend monthly Board Meetings (2.5 hours per month + prep time) and the AGM in September

  • Join one Board Committee (meetings usually once per month, 2.5 hours per month + prep time)
  • Participate in the annual Board Retreat in October / November (10 hours approx.)
  • Participate in the ongoing development and implementation of a long term vision and strategic plan for Nellie’s.

Successful applicants to the Nellie’s Board of Directors will be making a commitment to a two-year term, with possibility of extension to a maximum of three two-year terms.

TO APPLY:  Please submit a cover letter outlining your interest to serve on the Board and how your experiences align with Nellie’s mission. Please also include a resume (if applicable) or download the application form here.  Correspondence can be sent by email or fax to:

Janna Cheng-Brown
Fax: 416-461-0970

Deadline for applications: May 15, 2017.

All interested persons are invited to and are encouraged to attend a Board information session scheduled on Wednesday, June 7 from 6:30 – 7:30pm at Nellie’s Administrative Office, 754 Queen Street East (Broadview & Queen). This will be an informal opportunity for you to meet with current Board members and talk with them about their experience on Nellie’s Board as well as learn more about Nellie’s.

Annual General Meeting Sept 21, 2016

Posted on: August 25th, 2016 by Nellie's No Comments

some of our wonderful staff members at Nellie's!

Notice of  43rd Annual General Meeting 

6-8:00pm, Wednesday September 21, 2016

Ralph Thornton Community Centre

765 Queen Street East, 2nd Floor


Food, Childcare & Sign Language Interpretation Available


6:00 – 6:30 Business Meeting
6:30 – 6:45 Volunteer Recognition Ceremony
6:45 – 7:15 Light Dinner
7:15 – 8:00 Entertainment by The Mexicans Folk Ballet *


* The Mexicans Folk Ballet (TMFB) is a non-profit dance company.  The main objective is to share and spread the cultural roots of Mexico through a show based on the dynamism, aesthetics and polychrome of the Mexican folklore, in order to promote the love of the Mexican traditions and customs through the combination of dance and music supported by the great cultural heritage of Mexico.


The Mexicans Folk Ballet was awarded second place in the 2012 International Folk Dance Competition at the Chin Picnic Festival.  In 2014 they participated in the Festival of Cultures in Guiyang, China, and for three consecutive years they were guest of honor at the Charm of Song and Dance Concert organized by the Academy of Serbian Folk Dancing.  They also received a nomination from the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Vision Awards 2014 in the Arts and Culture category.


1 Approval of Minutes of 2015 Annual General Meeting
2 Report from Board President
3 Auditor’s Report
4 Appointment of Auditor
5 Election of New Board Members
6 Meeting Adjournment



Please RSVP to Janna at 416-461-8903 by Friday September 9 to register for childcare

This is How our Garden Grows!

Posted on: June 1st, 2016 by Nellie's No Comments


Planting a summer garden at the Shelter

A huge Thank You to the sponsors, donors and all who supported and participated in this event! 

Here are women’s quotes from the Gardening program on Saturday, May 21, 2016. Some women did not write their names.

Woman one.

It was my first experience gardening and I learned so much on Saturday. The staff, Bernadette, and Angie were great teaching me. I will like to do it again and I’m sure I will plant flowers at my new place.

Woman two:

  1. We love your program
  2. I will wish we have more of these programs
  3. I like group program.

We love you, Thank You.

Woman Three

A delectable & delicious day! Yummy.

Woman Four

Making New friend, planting flowers, nice to be part of Nellie’s Family.

Woman Five

I enjoyed myself; I need more of the program.

Woman Six

This is my first time to spend Saturday at Nellie’s Shelter as I usually head to the church, eventually I stayed in for some physiological reasons. ………….I was invited to help in the garden and honestly, it was awesomely great —- an experience and also quite getting to collaborate with my fellow roommates. Enjoyed the event as it save me some of my loneliness. But the best part the meal was fantastic which never fail to amaze my choosy palate. Thanks so much, I look forward for these fabulous programs.

Woman seven

On Saturday, we had a wonderful day. It was a great experience doing planting with all the women. It was so nice and relaxing doing planting as a team and having fun together. I would like to thank Marlene and Jamuna for allowing it to happen and also thanks to Angie and her friends for donating the flowers to us.   Big thanks to Bernadette for participating with us and buying the snacks. Bless you all and all the best to all of you

World Day of Social Justice

Posted on: February 20th, 2015 by Nellie's No Comments


“The gap between the poorest and the wealthiest around the world is wide and growing. … We must do more to empower individuals through decent work, support people through social protection, and ensure the voices of the poor and marginalised are heard.”

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Message for the 2014 World Day of Social Justice (1)


“Social justice is an underlying principle for peaceful and prosperous coexistence within and among nations. We uphold the principles of social justice when we promote gender equality or the rights of indigenous peoples and migrants”. (2).

In late 2013, the Commissioner of the RCMP initiated an RCMP-led study of reported incidents of missing and murdered Aboriginal women across all police jurisdictions in Canada. Police-recorded incidents of Aboriginal female homicides and unresolved missing Aboriginal females in this review total 1,181 – 164 missing and 1,017 homicide victims.

There are 225 unsolved cases of either missing or murdered Aboriginal females:105 missing for more than 30 days as of November 4, 2013, whose cause of disappearance was categorized at the time as “unknown” or “foul play suspected” and 120 unsolved homicides between 1980 and 2012.The total indicates that Aboriginal women are over-represented among Canada’s murdered and missing women. (3)

A report released on January 12, 2015 by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights adds further weight to calls for a comprehensive national response to violence against Indigenous women and girls, including an independent public inquiry. (4)

According to a Committee Report on the Root Causes of Violence and Violence Prevention by the Parliament of Canada “The high levels of poverty and lack of housing limit the options available to women experiencing violence. Women are sometimes forced to stay with an abusive partner because they have nowhere else to go. “

The Committee has heard that those who leave their communities, or leave an abusive household sometimes find themselves homeless, or forced into the sex trade.

Additionally, as a result of their collective experience with the residential school system, there is a high level of distrust between Aboriginal people and services such as the child welfare system and police forces. As a result, Aboriginal women and girls may not benefit from the level of prevention services which would be warranted by their high level of vulnerability to violence.

The findings of the Committee are consistent with other documented findings related to the way that systems and services are failing Aboriginal women and girls and making them more vulnerable to violence. (5)

The report released on January 12, 2015 by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights further states that a “failure to act with due diligence with respect to cases of violence against women is a form of discrimination. The lack of due diligence in cases of violence against indigenous women is especially grave as it affects not only the victims, but also their families and the communities to which they belong.”

The report urges governments in Canada to deal with “the persistence of longstanding social and economic marginalization through effective measures to combat poverty, improve education and employment, guarantee adequate housing and address the disproportionate application of criminal law against indigenous people.”

The Commission is also critical of governments in Canada for failing to adequately involve Indigenous women and Indigenous women’s organizations in developing solutions to the human rights violations that they face. (4)

An article in the Toronto Star on Wednesday February 15, 2015 reports that : ”The Conservative government has resisted calls for a national public inquiry, but last fall put forward a $25-million action plan on violence against aboriginal women and girls. (6)

According to the United Nations article on World Day of Social Justice, “We advance social justice when we remove barriers that people face because of gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture or disability.

Observance of World Day of Social Justice should support efforts of the international community in poverty eradication, the promotion of full employment and decent work, gender equity and access to social well-being and justice for all.” (1)

Reference Sources:

(1)  Secretary-General’s Message for 2014

(2)  World Day of Social Justice

(3) Missing & murdered Aboriginal Women: A National Operational Overview

(4) Regional human rights body condemns Canada’s failure to address crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women

(5) Parliament of Canada, Committee Report, Chapter Three: Root Causes of Violence and Violence Prevention

(6) Toronto Star Article, Wed Feb 15,2015: Activists hope international group’s report will lead to action on aboriginal women



International Women’s Day

Posted on: February 17th, 2015 by Nellie's No Comments


Join us for International Women’s Day!


RALLY: 11 am OISE Auditorium

MARCH: 1 pm, 252 Bloor St W

FAIR: 2 pm, Ryerson, 55 Gould St

Happy Valentine’s Day

Posted on: February 13th, 2014 by Nellie's No Comments


We are worthwhile

We deserve the best

We are beautiful people

We are loveable

We are all miracles

(from a Nellie’s supporter)

Take Back the Night 2012: September 15th

Posted on: September 21st, 2012 by Nellie's No Comments

On September 15th, 2012, the women and children at Nellie’s will go to the Maseryk-Cowan Community Centre in Parkdale to participate in the 32nd annual Take Back the Night Community Fair, Rally and March, organized by the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre/Multicultural Women Against Rape. Every year, women, children, genderqueer and transpeople take to the streets to protest violence against women and victim-blaming. The march takes place in different areas of Toronto each year in an attempt to reach out to different communities and to reiterate that violence against women can happen anywhere.

This year the theme is Un-Occupying Our Minds, Healing Ourselves. The event starts with the Community Fair and dinner. Representatives from various women’s and other social service agencies will have booths set up in the community centre to provide information pamphlets, key chains, magnets and other items. Nellie’s will have its own booth so please feel free to stop by and visit! Then, we will step outside for the rally. The rally is usually a combination of cries to action, stories, poetry, music, self-defense demonstrations and more. After this, we will take to the streets for the Take Back the Night march. We will walk, sing, chant, march, rally and cheer.

As a shelter for women and children who have experienced violence and other forms of oppression, the march feels like a new home; it is not only a place of solidarity but also a call to action. The message is heard loud and clear throughout the streets:

“Hey hey, ho ho – violence against women has got to go!”

“Hey mister, mister – keep your hands off my sister!”

“Together, united, we cannot be defeated!”

The march is empowering, engaging, fun and builds community. It is quite moving seeing so many women and survivors of violence rallying together for change. But, it is also a reminder; it reminds us why we are marching and why we continue to work to end violence against women.

We walk for our own safety, for the safety of our mothers, daughters, sisters, grandmothers, aunts, partners and friends. We march to commemorate the murder and life of Barbra Schlifer, a feminist/activist lawyer who on the night that she was called to the bar, was murdered. We walk to commemorate her death and the death of so many women who have died through violence. We also walk to commemorate their lives. We walk to remember, to build solidarity and to build a future free from violence against women.

This year, it is especially important to take to the streets to march. Given the sexual assaults in the Annex and the murders and other acts of violence against women that appear in the news daily, it is important to get involved and take action. Given the current political climate, we need to hold abusers responsible and make it clear that “Short skirts don’t rape – rapist rape”. Join us on September 15th at 4pm for the Community Fair, 6pm for the Rally and 8pm for the march – we need to march together to take back the night and take just one more step towards making this city a safer place for all women and children.

For more info about Take Back The Night, please see the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre/Multicultural Women Against Rape’s website.

Sexual Violence: What Does it Look Like?

Posted on: September 21st, 2012 by Nellie's No Comments

Sexual violence takes many forms around the world and in Canada. It includes rape by a spouse who assumes he has consent; trafficking of women and children for sexual exploitation; female genital cutting; displays of sexually degrading images in the workplace; a doctor inappropriately touching a patient and telling her that if she complains he won’t sign her immigration form; a nursing home attendant attacking a senior and saying that no-one will believe her.

Women and children of every age, class, size and social location are vulnerable to sexual violence. However, those who live with multiple layers of oppression, such as trans women, racialized women, and differently abled women, are especially vulnerable, and less likely to be believed if they report the crime to police. Statistics Canada reported in 2006 that one in three Canadian women will experience some form of sexual assault in her lifetime.

Sexual violence is not about desire or passion, it’s about control, and it’s one of the most powerful ways that men exert their control over women and children. Sexual violence is especially hard to address because women are raised to believe that it’s their fault, and that they didn’t do enough to prevent it from happening. So deep is the shame surrounding this crime that women often don’t tell their closest friends, or the police.  An essay published by the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre/Multicultural Women Against Rape estimates that only 1 in 25 rapes are reported to police and 98 percent of rapists suffer no penalty.

At Nellies we see sexual violence as part of the continuum of violence caused by racism, sexism, anti- semitism, classism, ageism, ableism, heterosexism, and transphobia. (See our Position Paper.) We believe women when they disclose the sexual violence they have experienced, and we support them in their choices around reporting and recovering. We refer women to community agencies for support and we facilitate our own W.E.A.V. groups for survivors.  We participate in community actions against sexual violence such as SlutWalk, Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and Take Back the Night. 

You can be part of the movement to end sexual violence. The Toronto Rape Crisis Centre/Multicultural Women Against Rape has published a list of “20 Things You Can Do to Transform Rape Culture.”  You can join us at Take Back the Night  on September 15th.  Stay tuned for more information this month in our 4-part blog series about sexual violence.  We will be posting about Take Back the Night, sexual violence and differently abled women, and we will share a survivor’s story.