About Us

The Canadian Shelter Transformation Network is a network of homeless shelter leaders and organizations committed to becoming housing focused shelters and in taking on community leadership roles in ending homelessness.

Who We Are

Network members include family, single adults, women and youth shelters as well as policy-makers, advocates, funders and researchers.  The Network launched in May 2019.

Our Co-Chairs

Sandra Clarkson

Sandra Clarkson is the Executive Director of the Calgary Drop-In Centre. With 25 years of experience working with vulnerable populations, Sandra brings a wealth of experience as an advocate for marginalized Canadians, a champion of community collaboration, and an expert in operational excellence. Sandra’s vision is to create opportunities that result in long-term systemic improvements for citizens in need. In addition to serving on several non-profit boards, Sandra has provided strategic planning, assessment and other management consulting services to non-profits through her own business, MSH Strategies Inc.


Matthew Pearce

Matthew, President & CEO Old Brewery Mission, whose background in the development of community and social programs in the non-profit sector spans three decades, assumed the role of President and Chief Executive Officer of the Old Brewery Mission in 2008. Through media and public events, Mr. Pearce shares the Mission’s vision to see the end of homelessness in our lifetime, engaging the public about practical and sustainable solutions to help homeless men and women reclaim their lives.

What we do

Network members are committed to ending homelessness, they have a bias for action and are focused on continuous improvement and making measurable progress toward becoming housing focused shelters.

This peer-led network, supported by the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness, is dedicated to supporting the transformation of homeless shelters through research, training and peer learnings.

Our Work

The CSTN’s aims are:

  • Articulating a housing focused role for shelters in ending homelessness
  • Acting as the voice of shelters in the media and in policy discussions
  • Developing research and toolkits to support shelter transformation (check our Resources page)
  • Developing a community of practice
  • Collecting and posting shelter-based resources
  • Developing a set of national guidelines and certification for housing focused shelter

What it means to be a housing focused shelter

Homeless shelters play a pivotal role in the homeless systems of most Canadian communities. Over the last several years, a growing number of homeless shelters have been transforming from a traditional emergency service approach to a focus on housing and taking on community leadership roles in ending homelessness.

Read about how the Calgary Drop-In Centre is becoming housing focused: HERE

Read about Beyond Shelters, a book on transforming Canadian shelters into ‘engine rooms of homelessness elimination’: HERE

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Join our growing network

The CSTN is a network of homeless leaders and organizations committed to becoming housing focused and taking on community leadership roles in ending homelessness once and for all.

If you wish to become a member and join our mailing list and receive correspondence, newsletters and updates on the CSTN, please fill out the form here: