SHIP began as an organization dedicated to providing housing and hope, despite a less than favourable social climate in the early 1980s. Through the perseverance of SHIP’s first Executive Director, Nellie Manley, and the support of community advocates including CMHA, SHIP opened a small townhouse in Mississauga, to provide housing for five individuals with mental health issues.

Within two years, SHIP had opened Parsons Place in Brampton, a small group home that housed eight residents. Four years later, a second group home, Hammond House in Mississauga, was opened to provide housing for another eight tenants.

Compassionate and proactive members of the community began to pull together in support of SHIP’s efforts. The Peel Mental Health Housing Coalition brought together SHIP, Salvation Army, ReLink, regional housing providers and local hospital staff. In 1984, the Region of Peel was approached to support SHIP’s continued efforts to house clients in the community. Their long-standing support continues to make a difference.

1992 saw the incorporation of SHIP as an independent agency. Partnerships with community organizations were established and every effort was made to earn the recognition and respect of hospitals and other mental health service providers.

A significant shift in philosophy embraced the attitude that we are all created equal. Clients were invited to participate in the development of programs and were involved in all levels of the decision-making process. By 1987, the Mental Health Reform Act had been passed and SHIP was in the forefront of a respectful new approach to providing housing and support to those in need.

SHIP remains a client-driven, client-focused organization. We continuously expand our capacity to provide health services and housing support to the communities in which SHIP serves.

Recent History Highlights:


  • Launch of second Assertive Community Treatment Team (ACTT)
  • Opening of second Short Stay Crisis Support Program location
  • Establishment of SHIP’s Central Intake Assessment Team
  • Expansion of housing and health services into Dufferin County and Malton communities
  • Funding received from Ministry of Community and Social Services for Dual Diagnosis SAIL Program
  • Funding acquired for residential units for seniors in Brampton and enhanced seniors services
  • Establishment of Integrated Seniors Team Program
  • Occupancy begins in Nance Horwood Place, a 30-unit older adult building
  • Construction of 11 Henderson completed and tenants welcomed to building
  • Launch of High Support Program
  • Funding announced for Problematic Substance Use Program
  • 200 percent increase in available client programs and services
  • SHIP holds head lease on 662 housing units
  • 1,450 clients served
  • Wait list reaches nearly 1,200

2000 – 2005:

  • Implementation of the Homelessness Initiative
  • Launch of Central Intake to provide co-ordinated access to housing and support services
  • SHIP becomes lead agency on eight community partnerships
  • Three new capital properties acquired, representing 28 additional housing units and two commercial sites
  • SHIP celebrates the formal Grand Opening of DestinationCafé.ca
  • Enhanced case management service and three new programs launched including Short Stay Crisis Support Program, Assertive Community Treatment Team (ACTT) and Early Intervention Program
  • SHIP went from housing 220 to 338 housing units and 366 clients served
  • Wait list reaches 313