About Us



“We partner with those who are on the path from homelessness to home by providing: non-judgmental support, safety, affordable housing, community—and hope.”

Cornerstone offers individualized support services, food, shelter and transitional housing to men 16+, women and families throughout Durham region.

We meet people at a point of crisis and partner with them as they navigate through their circumstance. Established in 1967 as a men’s hostel, today Cornerstone offers much more to those vulnerable members of the community. You can contact our shelter intake line 905-433-0254 ext. 2280 and speak to someone anytime. Our shelter intake line is staffed 24 hours/day seven days a week.

The goal of our housing program is to provide opportunities for re-integration so that people without housing can make the transition from homelessness to home; from the margins of our communities to full citizenship with all of its rights and responsibilities.

We have learned that homelessness is not intractable. 

When provided with affordable housing and individualized support, homeless individuals are able to sustain their housing and meet their rental obligations for long periods. Once they have become tenants with a stable rent payment history, they are able to consider other housing options in the community.

Read more about our housing support >>


Cornerstone supports our residents through many programs and services.

While finding appropriate housing for our clients is a top priority, we also provide support that will help them reach the ultimate goal of independence. Support focuses on building life and employment skills, good health and a positive sense of community rather than isolation.

Our services include:

  •  breakfast, lunch and dinner for our residents
  •  psychologist
  •  employment assistance
  •  life skills workshops
  •  community kitchen program
  •  referral services

More about our services >>


Cornerstone’s response to homelessness has evolved over the years so that our clients realize their full potential and become contributing members of the Durham community.



  1. People in need of housing are a resource and must be engaged as partners in establishing the vision, setting the goals and objectives and carrying out the work of creating opportunities for re-integration.
  2. The transition from life without housing to life with a permanent home requires more than bricks and mortar. It is the transition from a life of vulnerability and isolation to a life of security within community. Those who are actively involved in making this transition need to have access to an appropriate level of support throughout the process.
  3. People without housing should have as much choice as possible in determining the type of housing and the level of support that they need in order to live successfully in our community.


If you, or someone you know is in need of a food bank, there are many offered throughout the Durham community. We recommend you contact the agencies as each will have their own operating procedure, hours of operation and eligibility criteria. Food products will vary depending on the food bank as they often rely on donations. Please do not hesitate to contact us if we can be of any assistance in providing more information.


  • Family Family Church, 158 Harwood Ave. South, 905.619.1109
  • Storehouse Food Bank at Southside Worship Centre, 55 Emperor Street, 905.428.1985
  • Salvation Army Food Bank, 37 King’s Crescent, 905.427.7123 *by appointment



  • Seventh Day Adventist, 2850 Highway #2 East, 905.623.6371



  • Salvation Army Community and Family Services, 607 Palace St., 905.430.3454, Monday-Friday, 12:30-3:30 by appointment
  • St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, 209 Cochrane St., 905-668-4022, Biweekly on Fridays, 1:00
  • All Saints Anglican Church, 300 Dundas St. W., 905-668-5101, Tuesdays and Fridays 10:00-12:00



  • St. Paul’s Pickering Food Bank, 905.839.9537
  • Salvation Army Food Bank, 37 King’s Crescent, 905.427.7123



  • Simcoe Hall Settlement House, 387 Simcoe Street South, 905.728.7525
    Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri 9 am-11:30 am and 1 pm-3 pm
  • 7th Day Adventist Church Food Bank, 1170 King Street East, 905.433.8800
    Wed 12:30 pm-2:45 pm, Thu 9am - 2:45pm
  • Salvation Army Food Bank, 45 King Street East, 905.723.7422 ext. 21
    Mon, Wed 9:30 am-12 pm *drop in, first 25 households 
    Tue 3 pm-6 pm and Fri 9 am-12 noon *by appointment
  • Zion Church, 905.436.3255, Thurs 11 am-1 pm
  • St. V Kitchen, 51 King St. E, Oshawa, $1.50/meal 3:30-5:30 pm
  • The Eating Well, 73 Celina Street, 905.579.1706 *by appointment
  • The Gate 3:16, 394 Simcoe St. South, Oshawa, 905.432.5316, 
    Mon-Fri 9 am-2 pm *drop-in centre
  • The Refuge, 300 Court St., Oshawa, 905.404.2420, Mon-Fri 9:30 am-3:30 pm

We would like to thank all our donors for contributing to the work of Cornerstone. Without your help much of the work would not get done. The list of donors below is not exhaustive but represents agencies and organizations who contributed more than $200 in 2015.

United Way Durham Region
St. George's Memorial Church
Christ Memorial Anglican Church
Rouge Valley Chapter IODE
St. Leo's Knights Of Columbus Council # 11528
Pickering Village United Church
St. Paul's Presbyterian Church
Whitby Free Methodist Church
Spirit Alive Outreach Ministry
Ontario Nurses Association, Local 051
Ontario Nurses Association, Central East CCAC
Community Literacy of Ontario
Lions Club

We would like to share with you articles that help to highlight the issues and progress that is being made in servicing the homeless, mental health and other important social issues.
Everyone Having a Home... It's Now Within Reach is the 2013 progress report issued by the City of Lethbridge. Read about the success experienced by the City of Lethbridge.
Download report >>
Mental Health Commission of Canada published the National Final Report 2014 on the Housing First project. Read about the world’s largest trial of the Housing First approach to homelessness, and the amazing results. 
Download report >>
The State of Homelessness in Canada 2014: Can we really end homelessness in Canada in a cost effective way? Read this current report.
Download report >>
At Home in Durham 2014-2024: What’s the plan for homelessness in Durham?



Cornerstone gratefully acknowledges the critical support of the

United Way Durham Region


Region of Durham

in making these services available to the community.