Trellis Society for Community Impact

we serve these populations

  • children and youth
  • homelessness
  • immigrant newcomers
  • indigenous communities
  • women

we need help with:

  • education
  • employment
  • human trafficking
  • mental health
  • sports and recreation
non profit

Trellis is rooted in history and focused on futures.

In 2020 we grew out of the merger of Boys & Girls Clubs of Calgary and Aspen Family & Community Network Society. Today Trellis builds on our 120+ year legacy of both organizations and offers a wrap-around services for people with all sorts of backgrounds. We know growth happens on nourished ground, and we’re committed to empowering children, youth, families and communities with the support they need to grow beyond life’s challenges and reach their dreams. Our agile culture and willingness to take risks help us react fast to emerging needs. With a human touch, our team cultivates supportive relationships that evoke hope for anyone seeking a sense of belonging.

Help Trellis staff support children, youth and families so they can grow independently, together, and stronger!

Trellis staff are focused on removing systemic barriers for our neighbours, some of whom are new immigrants, Indigenous, and members of the LGBTQ2S+ community. Across 33 programs, we welcome everyone, helping them to define the path that will help them to grow. Trellis provides effective frameworks and opportunities for nurturing human potential. Our communities face challenges that grow ever more complex. People of all ages and backgrounds face intergenerational trauma and disparities in opportunity and ability. Trellis tackles these problems by bringing together teams with the skill, passion and range of expertise to make a difference across lifespans and generations.

Trellis runs 33 programs which offer wrap-around support for the children, youth, adults and families we serve.

Programs focus on the following areas:

  • Pre-schools for early childhood learning
  • Clubs for after school fun and support
  • Indigenous Initiatives for Children Youth and Families
  • Shelter & Housing for Youth & Families experiencing or on the edge of homelessness
  • Family Resource Networks in Calgary SW and Strathmore strengthening family bonds
  • Group Homes for youth involved with Children’s Services
  • Foster Care family support and youth connections
  • Stay in School Programs in every Calgary high school
  • Employment Training from resumes to site experience

Across Trellis’ 33 programs there are funding needs, wants and dreams. They are built on our professional experiencing of working with and supporting individuals and families to grow. From a $10 gift given through Shaw Birdies for Kids, to a $25,000 matched contribution through Trellis Society Soirée in the fall to help break cycles of homelessness for youth, every single contribution supports our work.

Trellis staff works with you and the Calgary Foundation staff to find the perfect match for your generosity, and your investment in a healthy community. Our new Strategic Priorities; our biggest areas of focus to ensure that we serve better.  We welcome conversations on how your generosity will fit into finding solutions to the issues we are tackling together.

Trellis Indigenous Initiatives

How can Calgary’s largest human services agency answer Truth & Reconciliation Calls to Action?

Supported by the wisdom of Elders and the Knowledge Keepers Council, Trellis staff organically weave Indigenous Ways of Being and Knowing, ceremony, and cultural practices throughout all programming. Trellis is firmly decolonizing its processes and protocols, addressing intergenerational trauma, and offering culturally inclusive programs. Trellis is a recent “George Blondeau Indigenous Support and Awareness Builder Award” winner; signifying Trellis’ commitment to advocacy and allyship.

Accomplishing this commitment to Truth & Reconciliation requires dedicated programming and ongoing education:

Our Pineridge Hub was newly gifted with a new name by Elder Chief Moon. Iitoh’kanop (ee doh gun nop) meaning “Where people gather”, is set up for cultural programming and healing, has a commercial kitchen for making traditional foods, gatherings and feasts. An adaptable space can be used for games and creative work, and at times will be the home for an indoor tipi. Support for the ongoing operation of this new home for our Indigenous programming is very welcome from the community.

Iiyika’kimaat youth programming focuses on addressing intergenerational trauma, covers culture and counselling, ceremony, and kinship; creating community events for Aboriginal Awareness Week Calgary, Reconciliation Walk, Truth and Reconciliation Day, and Orange Shirt Day, and intergenerational gatherings over the year.

Home Fire scattered-site housing for Indigenous youth 16-24 to thrive with natural supports.

The Maple Housing First (housing with supports), for women up to age 24 who have been chronically homeless.

Access to Elders and Circle Keepers for healing and culture to deepen connections to community.

Annual Cultural Training & Education for all Staff and Foster Families.

 Implementing intentional decolonization of internal processes and creating agency-wide protocols.

With your support of Indigenous Initiatives, inclusion is strengthened, healing and belonging is deepened.


Belonging & Cultural Connections Diversity and Inclusion with BIPOC and LGBTQ2S+ Community Members

How can Calgary’s largest human services agency respond to the needs of BIPOC and LGBTQ2S+ communities?

Alberta has the fourth highest number of newcomer youth in the country (2011 Census). In 2016, the Calgary Census uncovered that 29.4% of Calgary’s population is comprised of immigrants and New Canadians, and 33.7% of Calgary’s population were described as visible minorities. Year over year, the diversity in our community is evolving.

Canada’s Homeless Hub shares: “…Canadian LGBTQ+ youth are over-represented in poverty statistics, with between 25% and 40% of homeless youth identifying as LGBTQ+. Studies suggest that this is due to rejection from family members during the coming out process.”

Trellis is committed to ensuring its doors are open wide for every community member – meeting their needs, providing safe spaces for their voices to be heard and honored, and focusing on morale and celebration during trying times. Trellis staff work hard to break down barriers for those in isolation, providing wrap-around service and community connections for vulnerable populations in Calgary and area.

Supporting Youth & Young Adults

Aura – Housing where sexual orientation is supported

Building Youth Connections (BYC) – Newcomer youth overcome barriers, access resources, grow skills

Home Fire – Housing for Indigenous youth

Iiyika’kimaat – youth programs created alongside culture

The Maple – 72%+ of women experiencing homelessness residing here identify as Indigenous

Toni’s House – young women exit street life

Family Programming – offered though a culturally sensitive and always improving lens.

1000 Voices – Connecting NE Calgary residents to multiple resources; prioritize volunteerism, employment training and community building

Community Development – supporting residents to mobilize for community improvements in Forest Lawn, Deer Ridge and Deer Run

Family Resource Networks – Serving parents & youth of varied backgrounds

Sustainable Families – support families on edge of homelessness, Indigenous and newcomers are over-represented

Help us take a firm stance on acceptance, and full community participation for everyone.


TRELLIS VIBRANT ASSETS – Capital Care and Enhancement

When an agency’s geographical service expands, how can it prioritize capital needs?

In June 2020, Boys & Girls Clubs of Calgary joined with Aspen Family & Community Network Society, creating the largest human services agency in Calgary. Alongside this regional growth in service, Trellis also increased its geographical footprint of offices, program spaces, and group care homes.

Responding to this increase, the Trellis 2021-22 Strategic Plan includes Optimizing our Impact. Trellis is committed to bringing value to the people we support and the communities we serve by bringing forward wise practices from our two legacy organizations. As a part of this commitment, Leadership is prioritizing Vibrant Assets.

Trellis is defining a strategic prioritization plan to ensure all buildings are safe, always meeting municipal and provincial codes and addressing the anticipated needs for programs and staff. This thorough evaluation of all capital assets will provide Trellis with a prioritized list of capital needs and life-cycle requirements for increased safety, efficiency, and asset life. Trellis capital projects will include elements of the following projects:

Structural Renovations: Kitchen and bathroom upgrades, New paint in interior program areas, Spaces reflecting trauma-informed practices.

Key Building Components: Boilers, furnaces, HVAC air systems, interior ceilings, exterior roofs and siding, windows, landscaping, and foundations.

Maintenance Needs: Electrical systems (lighting), plumbing, fire safety and prevention, and security systems.

Support and inquires are invited for Trellis’ Vibrant Assets. Help us grow so that Calgary’s vulnerable community members can always be growing.


Trellis – Improving with Impact and Evaluation

How can we ensure that Trellis programs are working for the people it serves?

Staff are committed to offering support and resources to address the needs of our clients. Trellis’ Impact & Evaluation Team ensures we uncover what we are doing well, where gaps exist, and where improvements and adaptations can be made to the benefit of the children, youth, families, and communities we serve.

As Trellis is now one of the largest social service agencies in our city, we now offer an opportunity to collect a broader set of data. Combining two evaluation mindsets is strengthening our information gathering processes and Trellis is now looking to put those processes to work through an integrated, organization-wide data collection software platform.

Trax Integration at Trellis – Implement leading, nimble, privacy driven data software to track client program access. Unearth the best experiences and outcomes for children, youth, and families to contribute to best practices.

Roll Out Across 33 Programs for 9,000 People – Agency-wide integration results in clients telling their story once, decreasing re-traumatization. High-volume, complex data captured across all programs.

Reporting and Activating the Outcomes – Articulate our impact to stakeholders. Key Performance Indicators help to target problem areas. Research opportunities with academic bodies and community.

Your contributions help Trellis to work hard to understand our society’s challenges, and to build programs that fill service gaps.

Are you a Calgary Foundation Fundholder?

Contact Info

Michele Chiasson-Suart

Senior Development Officer

(403) 700-5117


More Info

Charity Number: #106804669 RR 0001

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Financial Statements / Annual Reports

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Financial Statements / Annual Reports

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