Mission Statement
Sistering is a women’s organization that offers practical and emotional support through programs which enable them to take greater control over their lives. Guided by the principles of Anti-Racism/Anti-Oppression, Sistering works to change social conditions which endanger women’s welfare.

In 1980, a concerned group of women came together to develop a strategy to meet the needs of the growing number of homeless and transient women in Toronto. It was a mixed group of women, with representatives from women’s agencies, community residents and women who were living in hostels. Women were being discharged from mental health facilities, and many had nowhere to go. They were alienated from their families, and community supports were seriously inadequate. Sistering was primarily created for these women. However, it soon became apparent that there were other marginalized and vulnerable women who could benefit from this unique service; they included women leaving abusive family situations, women who were widowed and pension-less, and young women involved in prostitution and drugs. 

In 1981, Sistering opened its doors in an emergency shelter at Bathurst and Dundas. By January 1982, the program moved to Scadding Court Community Centre to accommodate the growing number of women seeking support. The Drop In centre opened, and began providing services and supports 5 days a week. After two years, the space could no longer safely accommodate the increasing number of women. In September 1983, Sistering moved to its well known home on College Street. 

In October 1987, the Drop In began opening on weekends, and that same year, the Outreach program in Parkdale opened its doors. After 10 years on College Street, Sistering became the victim of urban gentrification as the building was sold to make room for a condominium development. 

In 2004, Sistering moved to a temporary location at the Heydon Park School. After a three year search for a suitable space, Sistering opened its doors at 962 Bloor Street, West. 

The realities of the early 1980's have not changed much for many women who visit Sisterng today, 35 years later. Low levels of social assistance and disability payment combined with the chronic shortage of safe, affordable and permanent housing continues to undermine women's efforts for independence and dignity.

Sistering operates a multi-service women’s center for homeless, at risk and socially isolated women in Toronto. The core services offered are basic needs for daily living, housing support services, primary healthcare, counselling, individual advocacy and employment readiness. 

Sistering’s target population is exclusively women who are without homes, living in hostels, shelters and Out of the Cold Programs, sleeping outside, and women who are poor and at risk of becoming homeless. At least 60% of these women are survivors of violence and abuse and 70% struggle with mental health conditions. More than half of the women have children, but most are disconnected from family due to CAS interventions, mental illness, institutionalization, violence and abuse.

 Accolades and Accomplishments
1998 Trillium Sally Horsall Farr Award
1999 Outreach Program Housing partnerships begins
2000 Intensive Case Support begins
On the Path To Employment program is launched
Common Occurrence, a ground breaking report which focuses on the nature of women’s homelessness, is realeased
2001 Sistering presents its signature event, Funny Girls and Dynamic Divas
2007 Leonardo Da Vinci Award for Inspirations project
Sistering moves into its permanent home at 962 Bloor Street West
2008 Harm Reduction program begins
Women’s Homelessness & Health bulletin is published Talk Back symposium occurs – A special Poverty Reduction symposium where Sistering women engaged Hon. Deb Matthews, Minister for Children and Youth, and Chair of the Cabinet Committee on Poverty ReductionSistering’s
2009 The Survivor’s Guide to Freedom from Violence, a Canadian documentary, is launched
Sistering Demographic Survey Report is released
Social Purpose Enterprise Strategic Plan is completed
2011 Employment & Income Support Program begins
On-site medical service partnered with Inner City Health Association begins
2015 24-Hour Drop-In begins