Media release Poverty

PSA: Adsum Holiday Appeal

Dear Friend of Adsum, 

I can sleep at night knowing that we are safe and have a roof over our heads.”

 The past eight months have been among the most challenging in Adsum’s nearly four decades of operations. The pandemic, amidst an escalating housing crisis, has forced our organization to continually adapt our protocols, procedures and services, all while serving an ever-growing number of folks experiencing homelessness and insecure housing. What has been remarkable, and what has allowed us to meet these challenges, has been the generosity of our community of donors and supporters.

Since mid March, we have increased staffing to implement necessary health and safety practices to keep clients and staff safe; we have completed six major renovation projects at our emergency shelter to allow for greater social distancing and enhanced food safety; we have made ongoing purchases of essential supplies like sanitizers, thermometers and PPE; we have provided multiple grocery cards to hundreds of families and single adults living in poverty; and, we have purchased phones and tablets for some clients to try to diminish the isolation in which people now find themselves living. Additionally, we have rented and renovated a large six-bedroom house and started a pilot project that now has six women living together in shared housing. Some of the early tenants in this house had been homeless, some living in cars, for at least six months. We have also started providing support to women before they become homeless to help them avoid having to turn to an emergency shelter. In just four months since starting this work, our staff has assisted 38 clients, including 12 families. 

To ensure our staff are best equipped to serve our clients, we have provided them with additional training, professional development and support, including grief counselling following difficult losses within our client community. All of this work, and these milestones, are on top of what Adsum planned and budgeted for at the beginning of the year, on top of the services and support we have been providing for more than 36 years. It is amazing that we have been able to do all this work day-to-day while adapting to the continuing needs associated with COVID-19 and our city’s housing emergency. This has only been possible with the financial support of donors and government and foundation grants. Thank you!

Because of your generosity, we’re able to provide dignity and a sense of security to a mom like L.:

“I hope that you know every day I am thankful for Adsum and my (apartment). I work super-hard but still barely make ends meet…(with) so much unknown in my life, it’s nice to know that I have one thing that’s a given – I have a place to call home…I can sleep at night knowing that we are safe and have a roof over our heads.”

        L., mother and Adsum client

At a time when we are all experiencing different degrees of isolation and uncertainty, it is essential that we can provide L. with a safe, adequate home. As we move through the second-wave of the pandemic, and the coming months of cold and darkness, our organization’s needs will continue to grow and change.

Each holiday season, we are overwhelmed by the generosity of so many individuals, families and community groups who strive to ensure that the folks we support can experience many of the traditions we enjoy at this time of year. We so appreciate the donations of toys, pyjamas, slippers, personal care items and gift cards that we share with our clients. This month, we expect to support more than 400 women and children who are living in Adsum’s shelter and many housing locations around HRM or who are directly supported by our housing outreach team. While this is a large number, these folks aren’t numbers. They are mothers, grandmothers, sisters, friends, sons and daughters.

As we all brace ourselves to respond to the second wave of the pandemic, we are asking you to consider making a gift to support our work.  It means more than you will ever know.  You can make a donation by visiting, by sending an electronic transfer to (no password word required); or by calling Sarah at (902) 423-5049 extension 0.

With gratitude and my wishes for your good health,

Sheri Lecker, Executive Director