Women’s Services

Transforming lives one person at a time.

66%
clients who accessed our online services were women
4,165
adult and young women participated in COSTI programs to secure employment and upgrade their skills

Women of all races and ages face personal systemic barriers every day. Many immigrant women who come to Canada are well-educated and experienced professionals, but overlooked by employers because they are not able to communicate at a high level of English. Others need access to housing, mental health services, settlement and counselling services.

COSTI believes all women deserve a supportive environment in which they can feel empowered. Our goal is to offer specialized employment services, supportive counselling, workshops on financial matters, health, parenting, and much more to over 21,000 adult and young women who came to a COSTI location for help in 2019/20.

We continue to experience a year-over-year increase in the number of women accessing our services. COSTI’s priority for 2020/21 is to explore corporate involvement and funding opportunities that will allow us to sustain successful programs for women such as Pathways to Success and provide supports to enable them to care for their children and themselves.

Many of our clients are the sole income earner and caregiver of their children. They need support from COSTI and the community in helping them to overcome potential hardships they may be facing over the next year and beyond. As an organization, we are concerned that the COVID-19 pandemic will disproportionately affect our female clients and their children. We will be devoting our energy to ensuring they have our support in helping to secure employment, financial resources and the essentials needed to maintain a standard of living above the poverty line.

Joy is a single mother of four who stayed at one of our shelters. She made beautiful fabric masks for our staff as a thank you. “This is from my heart and my way of giving back, a token to appreciate what COSTI is doing for us, a thank you from me and my kids.” Demand was so high for them that she is now making masks for community members and staff who heard about her generosity and wanted to support her by purchasing the hand-made masks.