The first clients of Alice Housing arrived in March of 1983, as the organization opened its doors with 16 units in three properties located in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Staffed by only the Executive Director, project funding enabled ad-hoc counselling programs to exist sporadically until 1998, when an additional staff person was added to offer counselling as needed. In 2001, a full-time Women’s Counsellor was hired to meet the growing therapeutic needs of women leaving domestic violence. In 2004, a Drop-In Centre and youth building were purchased supported by funding from the Supporting Communities Partnership Initiative. Due to ongoing sustainability challenges, the youth building was sold in 2007.
In 2006, with seed funding from the Community Mobilization Program, a long standing gap in services was filled with the creation of Healing the Bruises, a therapeutic counselling program for child witnesses of domestic abuse. With program outcomes far exceeding expectations, in 2007 Healing the Bruises became a full-time component of the Alice Housing program.
Second stage housing refers to longer term safe housing, following a stay in transition housing. With 18 units, Alice Housing is the one of the largest and oldest second stage housing organizations in Canada and the largest in Atlantic Canada. In the last decade, the organization has become a leader in the Second Stage housing movement in Canada and is a charter member of the Federal Alliance of Second Stage Housing Providers. Alice Housing has been repeatedly recognized for its work by the Donner Foundation, which awards non-profit social services agencies deemed to be the best operated in Canada. Most recently Alice Housing was regionally granted the Ethics Award for Non Profits by the Better Business Bureau of The Maritime Provinces, which recognizes organizations for their high ethical and professional standards and the Peter F. Drucker Award for Non-Profit Management in Canada.