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SJHH / Health Services/ Mental Health & Addiction Services/ Addiction Services/ Womankind Addiction Service

Womankind Addiction Service

What this program does...

Womankind Addiction Service provides a range of gender specific substance use programs, supporting women seeking change with their substance use. A 26 bed facility located in west Hamilton, Womankind offers a safe, inclusive and caring place where all women, woman-identified individuals, transgender, non-binary folk, are welcomed and assisted by our specially trained team to assess and define next steps regarding their substance use and recovery with a whole person approach.

Telephone and Email Support

Telephone support and inquiries are provided to women and their families, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (905) 545-9100. Email support is available at Please note, email is not recommended when in need of immediate support as it is not monitored or responded to 24 hours a day.

Withdrawal Management

A supportive environment for women of all ages to safely withdraw from substance use. Individuals at risk of relapse can also access a short preventative stay.

Women will attend a variety of recovery education, relapse prevention and peer-led groups during their stay. Stabilization and next step planning is completed with individuals based on their personal goals.

Admission Process

Women may self refer to withdrawal management by calling (905) 545-9100.

A short telephone screen is completed and women will be:

  1. Offered an admission time if bed presently available
  2. Added to short wait list for next available bed with follow up plan discussed
  3. Referred to another appropriate support for present needs (RAAM clinic, hospital, physician)

What to Expect

Upon arrival, women are admitted into observation for monitoring of intoxication/withdrawal symptoms. During this time, rest and fluid intake is encouraged.

Once stabilizing safely, women are then transitioned into a program bed for next step planning. In this phase, women will attend education groups, engage in assessment planning and referrals. Women will participate in light chores and attend to personal hygiene and self care.

Inhouse and Day Treatment

Provides therapeutic, holistic and educational programming in an evidence informed six week treatment curriculum. Individual and group counselling, mindfulness practice, social, recreational and peer-led programs are encompassed with trauma informed, strengths based and relapse prevention perspectives.

The Womankind treatment program is available to women over the age of 18, fully covered by OHIP and welcomes women from across the province.  

Admission Process

Women will be referred to treatment with a current GAIN Q3 assessment along with the Womankind Treatment Referral Package.

Upon receipt of referral, the team will connect to complete application interview and engage women with weekly telephone support during their wait time.

The treatment program runs on a continuous intake schedule and admissions will be offered based on availability in a first come, first served basis. Admissions occur on Saturdays with entry to treatment on Mondays.  

What to Expect

The Inhouse and Day treatment women join together for the program which is run Monday through Friday. Every participant is offered a six week treatment that involves a collaborative, ongoing assessment to determine individual program length that can be completed in a four, five or six week format. Visits and passes are incorporated into the program to ensure women an opportunity for safe transition planning to community. Women will participate in household chores, be present for all programs and attend to personal hygiene and self care.

The Treatment offers the following six program modules:

Develop practical wellness strategies
Increase understanding of whole self and importance of self care

Enhance emotional well being and connection to others
Expand ability to be with pain in a courageous way

Recognize the power of shame
Understand the role of empathy and vulnerability in healing shame 

Create plan for healthy support system
Build skills to understand and transform difficult relationships 

Make room for discomfort while attending to the present moment
Target avoidance of unwanted thoughts and emotions with acceptance

Release pain and strive toward your best self
Become aware of how to own your power 

Emergency Shelter

Emergency shelter beds are available to women 18+ who are experiencing homelessness.

Our team will assist women to connect with housing and community supports. 

Admission Process

Women may self refer for shelter by calling (905) 545-9100. A short telephone screening will be completed to determine program is suited to present needs. Shelter beds are first come, first serve and for women seeking housing support in the Hamilton area.

What to Expect

Shelter beds at Womankind are funded by the City of Hamilton. Women in shelter have access to an Ontario Works Case Manager.

It is an expectation that women in shelter are active in pursuit of housing and transition planning in Hamilton. Women may access shelter regardless of substance use history however are required to be abstinent throughout stay.

While in shelter, women are required to participate in household chores and attend to personal hygiene and self care.

Addiction Supportive Housing

Dedicated team provides an intensive case management approach to women who require support in maintaining recovery. This may involve support with enhancing life skills, acquiring and sustaining adequate housing.

Admission Process

Submit referral form by fax to ASH team at (905) 528-7255. Interview will be completed and timeline for acceptance is dependent on availability.           

Addiction Supportive Housing team can be reached at (905) 521-9591 ext.234

Addiction Supportive Housing Referral form

What to Expect

  • Single women 18+ with or without children
  • Market rentals with a subsidy available
  • Experiencing homelessness or under/over housed
  • Completed a formal addiction treatment program within the last year
  • Unable to obtain or maintain housing without support
  • In receipt of financial assistance (OW/ODSP)
  • Must accept housing in Hamilton or surrounding areas
  • Intensive case management and participation in community support is required.
  • Abstinence goals are supported, the team will provide support/referrals if needed.
  • Support available for up to three years. Women who no longer meet the program eligibility will be transitioned out of program.

Aftercare “Living in Balance”

With two delivery models, the Aftercare program provides ongoing support and skills enhancement to women who have completed a treatment program. Typical length of involvement is 1-2 years, plans are individualized and whole person focused.

Admission Process

Submit referral form by fax to (905)528-7255 and call to Aftercare program at (905)521-9591 ext.240. Our team will complete application over phone and match you with the appropriate group for your needs.

Aftercare referral form

What to Expect

Weekly Group

  • Group is held on Wednesday mornings 10am-noon with participants committed to attending weekly.
  • Group focuses on open sharing, relaxation and mindfulness exercises
  • Enhance skills to help deal with emotions, daily living and relapse prevention
  • An opportunity to move into the less intensive support may be available based on assessment of needs.
  • No one is to attend under the influence of substances or in active withdrawal. Our team is available for other support if you are presently struggling.

Monthly Group

  • Group is held on the first Wednesday each month from 530pm-700pm.
  • Telephone check in is provided every other Wednesday between 100pm-400pm.
  • Commitment to attendance at group and phone check ins needs to be a priority.
  • No one is to attend under the influence of substances or in active withdrawal. Our team is available for other support if you are presently struggling.

Youth Substance Use Program (YSUP)

In partnership with Good Shepherd Centre, Womankind team provide withdrawal management support to youth in shelter at the Notre Dame House.

Admission Process

This service is provided as a support that is exclusive to youth who are in the shelter.

What to Expect

This unique model allows for this specialized population to be served in the most appropriate setting for their present needs. Youth who arrive to shelter under the influence of substances or in acute withdrawal are triaged for care by our addiction workers. The outcome of the triage is as follows:

  • Youth remains onsite at shelter for ongoing monitoring and stabilization
  • Youth transferred to Womankind or MASH for more intensive withdrawal management support
  • Youth transferred to hospital for medical support of their intoxication or withdrawal concerns
  • Referral to onsite youth addiction services for follow up support

How this program helps...

Womankind began in 2004 when Women’s Detox and Mary Ellis House, a residential treatment program merged. Our programs have been developed using key expertise from:

  • The women we work with
  • Community partners
  • Team and board members
  • Evidence-informed literature


Womankind was developed with careful consideration of the client experience framework and is exceeding in the Ontario Provincial Standards for Withdrawal Management Services and the Ontario Provincial Standards for Adult Residential Addiction Services. All programs are evaluated with the Ontario Perceptions of Care and revisions occur over time to ensure the programming is relevant and effective in addressing evolving trends and needs of women.

Your Care Team

The team at Womankind begins with a conversation with each woman to understand their interest and willingness to participate in programs before an admission or referral is made. This involves assessment of needs, strengths and preferences and full review of options available.

The team have specialty knowledge and skills related to women’s substance use, pregnancy, concurrent disorders and trauma. We have expertise in working with women at all stages of change related to their substance use and social determinants of health. It is our hope to engage in a collaborative process of next steps planning with each woman we work with.

Trauma Matters

Essentials of Trauma Informed Care


Withdrawal Management / Telephone Support
Tel: (905) 545-9100
Fax: (905) 545-6385

Tel: (905) 521-9591 ext. 237
Fax: (905) 528-7255

Addiction Supportive Housing
Tel: (905) 521-9591 ext. 234
Fax: (905) 528-7255

Tel: (905) 521-9591 ext 240
Fax: (905) 528-7255


Preparing for Your Visit

During the telephone screen, our team will advise what to bring with you for your stay.

Light comfortable clothing, including pyjamas, personal hygiene items, prescribed medications.

Maps & Directions

We are located in the west end of Hamilton on 431 Whitney Ave. behind White Chapel Cemetery.

Please click here to view a google map.

Registration Procedures

Upon arrival to Womankind, please buzz at front entrance and staff will assist you to the appropriate program. As all admissions are prearranged, we will be prepared for your intake at the scheduled time.

After Your Visit

You are welcome to call the team at Womankind anytime, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for support or information. Please consider contacting our team if you are feeling that you may be headed for a slip. Programming available for your present needs can be discussed and many women decide to remain connected with these as a support to their recovery goals. We are always happy to hear from you.