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We want to help.

Optimism Place offers an array of services and supports to women in need. All of these services are available on an outreach basis, meaning you do not need to be living in-shelter to access our services. They are available to any woman in Perth County. Our staff work closely with women to ensure that they receive the support required to meet their needs.


Where shelter or supports are not available, we will do our best to help you find the support that you need. We are happy to conduct a warm transfer and connect you to a more appropriate referral or resource. 

Mother with her Child

Children's Support Services

We understand that for mothers seeking refuge, children can often be their primary concern. That's why at Optimism Place, whether in-shelter or through outreach services, we will work with you to make sure that the needs and safety of your children are of highest priority.  

Some of our services include:  

  • Crisis intervention and supportive counselling for children and mothers 

  • Education on the impact of abuse/witnessing abuse on children 

  • Parenting support and skill development 

  • Referrals to community services (EarlyON, Huron Perth Public Health, day cares, day camps, etc.) 

  • Individual and group support (open to children who do not reside in our shelter) 


If you have any questions, concerns, or would like to find out more about the services available, please do not hesitate to reach out to our Children's Services Coordinator, Sally. 

Sally Chaffe

Children's Services Coordinator


519-271-5310 (ext. 111)

Family Court Support and Legal Advocacy

At Optimism Place we seek to support members of our community as they navigate the legal system. Our legal services are free, confidential, and are tailored to your particular needs.


Both men and women can access our Family Court Support Program Worker. Men who access our services will be referred to Victim Services for assistance. Safe meeting sites are available throughout Perth County. Some of our supports include: 

  • Understanding the family court systems 

  • Finding a lawyer or access legal advice 

  • Completing court papers and/or prepare evidence statements 

  • Attending court with you 

  • Navigating peace bonds  


If you require any extra support, or have questions about whether we are able to meet your specific needs, please do not hesitate to call. Our legal advocate would be happy to discuss individualized support and programming with you.


Joanne Grimes

Family Court Support Worker

and Transition Program Coordinator


519-271-5310 (ext. 118)

Office Meeting
Support Groups

Outreach Services

All services are tailored to one’s individual needs. Women can access as many of our services they need. We are able to meet with folks where they are throughout Perth County in safe spaces in the community. Women may also visit our North Perth Outreach Centre in Listowel by appointment only. Some of our outreach services include: 


Housing Assistance  

  • Completing housing applications 

  • Assisting women in acquiring proper documentation (ex. identification, banking information, income verification) 

  • Providing information about housing options  

  • Referrals to other housing search supports 


Healthy Relationships Counselling (Counselling groups may also be available)  

  • Setting boundaries 

  • Identifying and addressing red flags in relationships  

  • Developing communication skills  

  • Understanding abusive behaviours  


Emotional Support  

  • Providing support for any abuse-related emotions  

  • Providing first level trauma support 

  • Validating experiences and feelings 

  • Referrals to intensive trauma support resources  


For any general inquiries regarding our outreach services and programming, please contact:  

Brenda Boswell 

Outreach Counsellor

Phone: 519-271-5310 (ext. 124)  



The Supported Housing of Perth Program (SHOPP) is a Housing First program that serves the City of Stratford, St. Marys, and Perth County. SHOPP provides housing assistance and wrap around support to those who are experiencing homelessness from the following groups:  

  • Youth 16-24 years old  

  • Adults transitioning from provincial institutions 

  • Families with dependent children who face multiple barriers to housing stability 

  • Individuals experiencing chronic homelessness- including those who self-identify as Indigenous 


SHOPP services include:  

Housing Stability 

  • SHOPP Housing Stability Workers provide support to those experiencing persistent homelessness by assisting with the transition into a new home, neighbourhood and community. 


Housing Liaison  

  • The SHOPP Liaison Worker supports social and private market housing providers who are interested in making apartments available to those experiencing homelessness 


After Hours Support 

  • SHOPP has a dedicated phone line to support tenants and housing providers connected to the program

Know someone experiencing homelessness in Perth County? Call the Emergency Community:


Weekdays, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.: 519-271-3773 (ext. 200)


After hours/Holidays/Weekends: 519-272-2294

If you have any further questions about SHOPP or referrals, please visit our FAQ page or contact: 

Grant Martin

Housing Stability Policy and Program

Coordinator/ SHOPP Team Lead

City of Stratford 


519-271-3773 (ext. 401)

Front Desk at Clinic
Front of the North Peth Resource Centre

North Perth Resource Centre

Located in Listowel, our North Perth Resource Centre has provided one-on-one service to those in need for over a decade. Please note that the centre is not a shelter. It is a safe place where folks can access our services and programs from a rural location. However, free transportation from North Perth to our shelter in Stratford can be arranged if needed.  


Hours at the Resource Centre are by appointment only. To get a referral, please call our frontline staff: 519-271-5550


If you need immediate support, please call our toll free support line: 1-800-265-8598


If you are in immediate danger, please call emergency services. 


Address: 145 Argyle Ave. North, Listowel ON

Brenda Boswell 

Outreach Counsellor

Phone: 519-271-5310 (ext. 124)