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Peer Support

Nellie’s Peer Support Groups are offered with the intention of bringing together women who have had similar experiences to talk, listen, and share strategies for coping and overcoming violence and oppression.  The following groups are currently being offered at Nellie’s:


WEAV (Women experiencing abuse and violence)

16 week psychosocial closed support group for Women and Trans women who have or are currently experiencing violence and homelessness.  The group operates from an Integrative feminist, anti-racist/anti-oppression framework. The scope of the group includes dynamics of abuse, the cycle of violence, power and control, as well as intersections power and privilege and gender based violence on a local and global scale. Participants will explore individual experiences of abuse and systemic violence as well as have an opportunity to practice recognizing and naming the larger systems of oppression and violence operating in the lives of Women and Trans Women.

Wheeling and Rolling on Women experiencing abuse and violence

12 week Closed Social Support Group for women with physical disabilities, focusing on their experiences of violence and oppression.  This program provides education and peer support to women living with physical disabilities.

Arts and Craft Support Group

Provides the opportunity for women to have fun and take risks in a supportive atmosphere.  Many women have not had the opportunity to do something fun and creative for a long time.  Providing the opportunity with staff to guide them through the activity helps women develop self-confidence and a new form of expression.  The group is also a great place for discussion, while providing a space not only for women to come together, socialize, and learn a new skill, but the opportunity for women to discuss topics they present as a priority in a less structured format.

Creative Play Children’ Group

This group parallels the House Meeting for women.  It is a play group for children to develop social skills and discuss age appropriate topics. The program teaches positive social interactions with peers, promotes creativity, listening skills, provides the opportunity for gross/fine motor activity.  These groups encourage children to share their thoughts and feelings on various educational topics.  Examples include; hands are not for hitting, identifying feelings, positive ways to express feelings, self-esteem, cultural diversity etc.  Again, it is our hope that these group programs will give young children a safe place to talk about the violence that has happened in their home.  By doing so the likely hood of these children growing up and entering into violent relationships diminishes.  Also, the likely hood of these children being violent towards others is decreased.

House Meeting

Weekly Open Group for women at the shelter.  The focus of this program is on problem solving and conflict resolution.

Workshop Series

We organize many workshops throughout the year.  In consultation with the clients we develop a list of workshop topic priorities.  Women enhance knowledge on the educational topics presented and increase knowledge of community resources and ability to access these resources. We provide women with information on violence and abuse, coping strategies and anti-racism/anti-oppression, tenants rights and eviction prevention etc.

Social Recreational Outings

Staff organize outings to the community.  Outings may be to community social justice rallies, cultural events, artistic events or to recreational places.