Category Archives: In the News

Why we work for The Mission: ANDREW AND LEANDRO

Andrew and Leandro are one of two sets of brothers who are a part of The Mission family. Leandro joined in the summer of 2019 out of a desire to help people. Before coming to The Mission from the military, he hadn’t seen much homelessness, and was humbled by the overwhelming need for The Mission’s services. “I remember an older couple who came for a community meal before the pandemic. The meal hour was almost over, and they hadn’t yet finished. When I mentioned that the hour was almost over and they had to finish, they slid the remainder of their meals into a bag and left. That hit me hard.”

While things have changed due to COVID-19, interactions with clients continue to make an impression on Leandro. “These changes are challenging, but we find ways to connect with clients. For example, we see them in the community meal line and catch up with them even though they can’t enter the shelter. This maintains our rapport with them.”

Andrew joined a bit later, after working in a group home. “I’ve learned a lot about homelessness since coming here, especially how debilitating mental illness can be. I’ve also learned about empathy, compassion, and discretion in terms of how to respond to clients to meet their needs. Each client is different, and each teaches me tolerance, acceptance and how to support each person. Ultimately all clients want to move on from the shelter, and we want them to do that. We help them along their way to independence, everything from helping them get their meds, to small thing such as handing out toiletries.”

“I’ve seen increasing diversity among our clients, including students and refugees. Coming from an immigrant family, this breaks my heart. Homelessness is completely non-discriminatory, and anyone can become homeless. Clients appreciate the support they receive across programs, which is phenomenal. I’m happy to hear from former clients after they’ve left the shelter and are doing well.” Leandro says.

Andrew notes the support he receives from his team. “I’ve learned a lot from staff here and am really thankful. The training we get here is fantastic. And the mentorship from supervisors and our manager Mikel is great. Our team members trust each other and look out for each other. We take care of each other.” This extends to Leandro as well. “I’m reassured that Leandro’s on my team and has my back.”

“We wouldn’t be here if The Mission didn’t do good work,” Leandro notes.

The Ottawa Mission Marks One Million Hours of Service to Ottawa since 1906

[su_youtube url=”https://youtu.be/r8p2U0qg4vc”]

Ottawa, ON – Today, representatives from The Ottawa Mission, Ottawa city council and the province marked the one millionth hours that the shelter has been in existence since its foundation in September 1906. The Mission also released a major report on its impact within the community during the past year, accomplishments that were achieved in the midst of both the Covid19 pandemic and the homelessness emergency gripping Ottawa.

“The Ottawa Mission was founded less than 50 years after Confederation. At that time, Canada had a population of 6.5 million people. More than 50% of Canadians lived in rural areas. Neither women nor Indigenous peoples could vote. Average life expectancy was 50 years,” noted Councillor Catherine McKenney, City Council’s Special Liaison for Housing and Homelessness, who MC’ed the event.

Last year, the Ottawa Mission:

  • Provided shelter for 1,755 unique individuals. Last year also marked the third straight year that the shelter has been at more than 100% capacity.
  • Served an average of 1,422 meals per day, or an astonishing 520,373 meals per year.
  • Supported an astounding 17,713 patient consults within its health clinic while also dealing with Covid19.
  • Successfully housed 202 people last year, a particular challenge given restrictions imposed by Covid19.
  • Graduated 104 and 123 students respectively from its educational and job training programs as well as Addiction and Trauma Services.

Ottawa Mission CEO Peter Tilley noted the parallels between the profound hardship of the Great Depression and current situation due to Covid19 and lack of access to affordable housing. “In 1929, the Mission served just over 73,000 meals. By 1932, we had served over 425,000 meals, a sixfold increase. The shelter also accommodated an overflow of transient men searching for survival in truly desperate times. As during the Great Depression, this year, Covid19 has made our situation even more difficult, with so many people in our community falling on hard times. This, coupled with our emergency situation since then concerning homelessness, has been particularly difficult for us, but we’ve risen to this challenge.”

Chef Ric Allen-Watson also noted the parallels between long ago and today for The Ottawa Mission. “When I learned that the Ottawa Mission has served over 18.3 million meals over one million hours, I thought: Wow. I then thought: what would all of those people have done if the Mission wasn’t here?” He continued. “The pandemic has made community hunger much, much worse. Hungry community members now receive three meals at once through our garage entrance. I’ve personally seen people who are so hungry that they rip the bag of food open as soon as they get it. That’s why we continue with this service.”

Former Board of Directors President Paul Mckechnie noted the evolution of The Ottawa Mission emergency services to help those in need improve their lives. “My history here goes back a long way. My father was a board member here. He brought me here over 60 years ago, and I’ve been attached to the Mission ever since. it’s both remarkable and poignant to consider what has changed, and yet, what remains the same about The Ottawa Mission. When I see the growth in services and the broad range of services that the Mission offers, it’s both thrilling and humbling to watch it grow.”

Manager of Housing Services Marc Gallant noted the results of the first year of the Mission’s new Housing Department, a tangible demonstration of the Mission’s commitment to safe and affordable housing as a human right. “Before COVID-19, we had made great strides in finding homes for shelter guests and diverting people to alternate accommodation: housing placements were up 34% and those diverted were up by 61%. After the pandemic was declared, many external agencies curtailed or stopped their operations altogether, and requirements to stay home made it difficult to support clients in their housing searches. However, staff persevered and continued to offer support when and where they could. As a result, we placed 202 people into housing, a 4.7% increase over last year, and the number of individuals diverted away from the shelter to alternative accommodation increased to 168, or 37.7%. These impressive results under very difficult circumstances provide a positive outlook for the future on our work to ensure that everyone has a home.”

Councillor Mathieu Fleury noted The Mission’s results concerning homelessness. “I’m glad to see the success of the Mission’s Housing Department. These efforts need to continue to grow, with support from the City of Ottawa. In addition to our City’s housing and homelessness emergency, the effects of COVID19 have clearly demonstrated the gaps in services available to our most vulnerable. The Mission works hard every day to support those in need in our community.”

Mayor Jim Watson noted the recent partnership between the City of Ottawa and the shelter to keep people safe during the pandemic. “The City has been very pleased to work with the Mission’s staff and other homelessness service providers concerning both the Routhier self-isolation centre for Covid19 as well as the Jim Durrell Centre and the Dempsey Community Centre to support social distancing measures within the shelter system to ensure that shelter guests, employees, and volunteers remain safe.”

Jacques de Moissac representing MPP Lucille Collard noted the particular challenges facing the provincial riding of Rideau-Vanier. “The riding of Rideau-Vanier has unique challenges. Unfortunately, it has the highest usage of food banks in all of Ontario. MPP Collard is glad to know that the Ottawa Mission is here to meet the needs of our constituents for access to healthy food. To have served over 520,000 meals last year and over 18 million meals over these past million hours is truly amazing.

Councillor McKenney also noted the changes to those who have sought The Mission’s help over time. “As the oldest and largest homeless shelter in Ottawa, the Mission has changed remarkably to continue to meet the needs of our most vulnerable community members. As it has changed, those who turn to the shelter for help have changed as well: both men and women; those from racialized communities, including refugees and new immigrants; those who are First Nations, Inuit and Métis; those who belong to gender and sexual minorities; and those of different faiths, or of no faith. I congratulate the Ottawa Mission for continuing to deliver your essential services to our most vulnerable community members. This is especially important now given the twin challenges that our community continues to face from both a homelessness emergency, and also the Covid19 pandemic,” they concluded.

About The Ottawa Mission

Since 1906, The Ottawa Mission has been serving the homeless, the hungry and the lost by providing food, clothing, shelter and hope. In 2018 – 2019, The Ottawa Mission provided emergency shelter to an average of 195 men every night and served an average of 1,358 meals every day. The Ottawa Mission also provides health services, mental health and addiction treatment programs, hospice care, dental services, educational support, job training, spiritual care, and men’s clothing to thousands in need in our community.

FOR INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

Aileen Leo
Director of Communications
T 613.234.1144 x 305
613-712-3092
E-mail: aleo@ottawamission.com

Help The Ottawa Mission Feed the Hungry this Thanksgiving by Donating Frozen Turkeys

Ottawa, ON – As we head into the fall, planning is well underway for The Ottawa Mission’s annual Thanksgiving Dinner, which will take place on Monday October 12th.

Covid19 protocols to keep shelter guests, community members, employees and volunteers safe while continuing to deliver essential support continue at the shelter. Accordingly, the meal for shelter guests will begin at 11:30 am in the Mission dining room. The Thanksgiving meal for community members who would otherwise go hungry will be available at the garage entrance beginning at 1:00 pm. To continue to support vulnerable community members as much as possible, The Mission will also continue to provide two additional meals for community members to take with them.

On any given day, The Ottawa Mission serves 1,358 meals to shelter residents and those in need in the community. During Thanksgiving, The Mission will provide 2,000 – 2,500 meals for this special occasion for those who would otherwise go hungry.

“It takes between 80-100 large turkeys, or about 2500 pounds of turkey, to feed everyone who comes to our special Thanksgiving dinner,” says Chef Ric Watson, Director of Food Services at The Mission. “Our kitchen volunteers and staff are working very hard to ensure that to ensure everyone will have a delicious turkey dinner by preparing for this very special event in advance.”

Also on the menu will be: savory stuffing (30 pans); mashed potato (450lbs); roasted vegetables (350lbs); vegetarian quiche (150 portions); fresh baked rolls (250 dozen); giblet gravy (50 gallons); pumpkin tarts with whipped cream (2500 portions); and bottled water and juice (2500 units).

Frozen turkey donations can be dropped off between 7 am – 5 pm at the garage entrance to The Ottawa Mission at the corner of Waller and Besserer. Please ring the bell and a staffperson will arrive to receive your donation.

About The Ottawa Mission

Since 1906, The Ottawa Mission has been serving the homeless, the hungry and the lost by providing food, clothing, shelter and hope. In 2018- 2019, The Ottawa Mission provided emergency shelter to an average of 195 men every night and served an average of 1,358 meals every day.  The Ottawa Mission also provides health services, mental health and addiction treatment programs, hospice care, dental services, educational support, job training, spiritual care, and men’s clothing to thousands in need in our community. 

FOR INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

Aileen Leo
Director of Communications
T 613.234.1144 x 305
E-mail: aleo@ottawamission.com

Addressing Food Insecurity in Our Community

Ottawa Mission Launches Food Truck to Bring Healthy Food to Those in Need Throughout our Community

Ottawa, ON – The Ottawa Mission is partnering with the Pelican Seafood Market and Grill, Urbandale Corporation, Orleans Fresh Fruit, Capital Meat, and local food service agencies such as the Gloucester Emergency Food Cupboard to address food insecurity in Ottawa through a Food Truck to go out into the community to provide warm and nutritious meals to those in need in Ottawa.

“The Ottawa Mission serves over 1400 warm and nutritious meals a day. Last year, we served almost half a million meals to shelter guests and members of the community who are hungry and can’t afford nutritious food. Our new Food Truck meal program will enhance our community meal program through bringing food to people in their own communities who may otherwise not be able to travel to our shelter because of disability, lack of funds for bus fare, or other issues,” stated Chef Ric Allen-Watson, Director of Food Services.

“We’re very grateful to our partners the Pelican Seafood Market and Grill, Urbandale Corporation, Capital Meat and Orleans Fresh Fruit for supporting this project. We’re also very pleased to be partnering with food service providers such as our friends here at the Gloucester Emergency Food Cupboard to ensure that everyone in our community who needs healthy food receives it,” Allen-Watson added.

The meals that will be served from this truck will be similar to the kind that The Ottawa Mission offers to shelter guests and community members. As with shelter guests and those who access its community meal program, those who access the food truck program will not have to pay for their food. Accessing food support can be stigmatizing and The Mission wants to make this program as accessible as possible.

“There’s a lot of hidden hunger in Ottawa, and huge income disparities in our community. People come to food banks such as ours because of inadequate income support, low wages, part-time work, and lack of affordable housing. This situation has been made worse by the current pandemic. We’re very pleased to partnering with The Ottawa Mission and its private sector partners to reach even more people in need,” noted Erin O’Manique, Executive Director of the Gloucester Emergency Food Cupboard.

Larry O’Hara, Vice-President of Commercial Real estate for Urbandale Corporation, noted the importance of the private sector in addressing food insecurity in Ottawa. “At Urbandale Corporation, we believe in building strong communities and value our partnerships. This important new initiative will go a long way go a long way to addressing food insecurity in our community and ensuring that people who need healthy meals will get them. We’re very pleased to support The Ottawa Mission toward this end.”

Jim Foster, owner of the Pelican Seafood Market and Grill, spoke of his decision to donate Pelican’s food truck to the shelter to address food insecurity in Ottawa. “We believe in giving back to the community where we live and work. That’s why we’re thrilled to be partnering with The Ottawa Mission to launch this critically needed new service by donating our food truck. We know through our own experience how important it is to provide healthy meals to people in their own communities.”

Adam Tomaszewski, Vice-president of Sale for Capital Meat and long-time partner of The Mission, noted the importance of public-private partnerships to meet the needs of our community’s most vulnerable. “Through our business, we understand the importance of providing quality healthy food to our community. That’s why we’ve partnered with The Ottawa Mission since 2015 to provide healthy food options for the most vulnerable members of our community. We’re delighted to support this new food program by The Mission to meet people where they’re at and ensure that no one in our community goes hungry.”

The Food Truck will also make people aware of our Food Services Training Program, which is a job training program The Ottawa Mission has run for the past 15 years that provides graduates the skills, confidence and professional certification to work in the food services industry. Since its inception in 2004, over 90% of FSTP graduates have secured positions in this industry.

“FSTP applicants must demonstrate only one qualification to be accepted into the program — a strong desire to change their lives for the better. Students pay no costs and we make sure they have all the tools they need to succeed. Students graduate with not only a credential that allows them to be self-supporting, but also newfound confidence, pride and dignity,” Allen-Watson concluded.

About The Ottawa Mission

Since 1906, The Ottawa Mission has been serving the homeless, the hungry and the lost by providing food, clothing, shelter and hope. In 2018- 2019, The Ottawa Mission provided emergency shelter to an average of 195 men every night and served an average of 1,358 meals every day.  The Ottawa Mission also provides health services, mental health and  addiction treatment programs, hospice care, dental services, educational support, job training, spiritual care, and men’s clothing to thousands in need in our community.

FOR INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

Aileen Leo
Director of Communications
T 613.234.1144 x 305
E-mail: aleo@ottawamission.com

Ottawa’s Emergency Shelters Strongly Support the #hotels2homes Day of Action Campaign

Joint Statement
April 28, 2020

OTTAWA, ON – In January, Ottawa declared a homelessness emergency. Despite the city’s ten-year plan to end homelessness, homelessness has moved beyond a crisis to levels never seen before. Last year, almost 8,000 people stayed in emergency shelters, which have been operating at over 100% capacity for years.

While many factors lead people to become homeless, lack of affordable housing is key. While governments at every level have made investments in affordable housing, it’s simply not enough to meet this overwhelming need.

The homelessness emergency in Ottawa has been significantly amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic. While all homelessness shelters have rapidly adapted to the challenges imposed by COVID-19, overcapacity issues make physical distancing especially challenging. If we do not act immediately to relieve overcapacity by finding safe spaces for people who are homeless, COVID-19 could spread throughout the shelter system.

The impact of COVID-19 has left many hotels and motels empty throughout our city.  Purchasing them would reduce overcapacity issues within the shelter system and reduce the risk of COVID-19 amongst the homeless population.

But the City can’t do this alone. The ability of the city of Ottawa to raise funds is limited, and Covid-19 has significantly impacted the city’s finances. Without immediate additional federal funding to protect those who are homeless, we could experience a COVID-19 outbreak within the shelter system that has the potential to overwhelm our local healthcare system.

We must also plan for the long term. We can protect the most vulnerable people in our community from the spread of COVID-19 and also to get desperately needed affordable housing stock in Ottawa by converting these hotels to permanent affordable housing stock.

We have seen the tragic consequences of this virus in long-term care facilities.  Governments must work together to act quickly to immediately procure additional space for people experiencing homelessness to reduce the risk of COVID-19 while also ensuring that every person in our community has a safe place to stay, both now and for the future.

To show your support, please visit https://www.housingemergencyottawa.ca to send a letter to your elected officials. To date, over 900 letters have been sent.

From 1-4PM on Wednesday April 29th we are encouraging everyone who supports the campaign to post one reason why they support the campaign on Twitter and on Facebook with the hashtag #hotels2homes 

FOR INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

Kaite Burkholder-Harris
Executive Director
Alliance to End Homelessness Ottawa
T: 343-552-0202
kaite@endhomelessnessottawa.ca

Amber Bramer
Manager, Marketing and Communications
Shepherds of Good Hope
Shepherds of Good Hope Foundation
T: 613 789 8210 x. 223
C: 613 878 3393
abramer@sghottawa.com

Aileen Leo
Director of Communications
Ottawa Mission
T 613.234.1144 x 305
C: 613-712-3092
E-mail: aleo@ottawamission.com

Glenn van Gulik
Area Director, Public Relations (East Region)
Divisional Director, Emergency Disaster Services
Ontario Central East Division
The Salvation Army, Public Relations Department
P: 613-233-8428 x226
C: 613-868-5560
Glenn_van_Gulik@can.salvationarmy.org

Jessie-Lee Wallace, CFRE
Resource Development Manager
Cornerstone Housing for Women
T: (613) 986-6708
jessie-lee.wallace@cornerstonewomen.ca

Wendy Muckle
CEO
Ottawa Inner City Health
T: 613 562-4500
C: 613-852-0128
wmuckle@ottawainnercityhealth.ca

Homeless organizations welcome new Covid19 self-isolation centre for people who are homeless

Ottawa, ON – Monday 23, 2020 – As the COVID-19 situation continues to unfold in Ottawa, Ottawa Inner City Health, Ottawa’s emergency shelter providers and the City of Ottawa have come together to create a centre to support self-isolation for people who live in emergency shelters or on the streets. This centre will support the safety and protection of these community members as well as the public at large.

“The health of people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness is often compromised, which may leave them more vulnerable to COVID-19,” stated Wendy Muckle, CEO of Ottawa Inner City Health. “So there is serious concern among our organizations that COVID-19 could spread quickly among those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness since shelter residents are not able to self-isolate given their environment.”

“We’ve kept this top of mind as we’ve adjusted our operations to keep shelter residents safe while continuing to provide service to the most vulnerable in our community,” noted Peter Tilley, CEO of the Ottawa Mission. “So far there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 within the shelter system in Ottawa, which is good news. ”

The self-isolation centre will be located at the Routhier Community Centre located in Lowertown. The facility is fully accessible and will have security and a staff which include peers, personal support workers, nurses and physicians. It is part of the larger emergency response system to the COVID-19 pandemic and is fully integrated with Ottawa’s hospitals, paramedics and the community assessment centre process.

To be eligible to access the centre, applicants must be 19 years of age or older, homeless or at risk of being homeless, or identifying as part of the homeless community, and able to care for themselves in their current situation. Potential applicants will be admitted on the basis of assessment of need through a number of avenues, including the assessment van, the COVID-19 assessment centre at Brewer Park, in hospital, jail or corrections, and through healthcare providers associated with Ottawa Inner City Health and Ottawa Paramedic Services.

Deirdre Freiheit, CEO of the Shepherds of Good Hope, noted the significant impact of COVID-19 on those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in Ottawa. “If you’re homeless, even at the best of times, there are very few places to go and be welcomed. Now with everything closed, the emergency situation regarding homelessness in our community is even more difficult.” Kia Rainbow, Executive Director of Cornerstone Housing for Women, noted how COVID-19 impacts women experiencing homelessness. “Women are at even greater risk of violence when they’re isolated from the community; their options to seek help are very limited.”

Marc Provost, Executive Director of the Salvation Army, noted the importance of community outreach to access vulnerable people who may need the new centre. “Potential applicants may arrive at the centre on foot, in the Salvation Army outreach van, with Ottawa police, or by other means. We’re proud to do our part to ensure their protection and protection of the community as a whole.”

“The Routhier Centre for self-isolation is a welcome addition to the COVID-19 response in Ottawa. It will support keeping those who are homeless and ill out of hospitals as well as homeless shelters, both of which are already working at overcapacity,” Ms. Muckle concluded. FOR INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

Kate Eggins
Director, Communications and Engagement
The Ottawa Hospital
T: 613-798-5555, x. 74511
keggins@toh.ca

Amber Bramer
Manager, Marketing and Communications
Shepherds of Good Hope Shepherds of Good Hope Foundation
T: 613 789 8210 x. 223
C: 613 878 3393
abramer@sghottawa.com

Aileen Leo
Director of Communications
The Ottawa Mission
T 613.234.1144 x 305
C. 613-712-3092
E-mail: aleo@ottawamission.com

Glenn van Gulik
Area Director, Public Relations (East Region) Divisional Director, Emergency Disaster Services Ontario Central East Division
The Salvation Army, Public Relations Department
P: 613-233-8428 x226
C: 613-868-5560
Glenn_van_Gulik@can.salvationarmy.org

Jessie-Lee Wallace
CFRE Resource Development Manager Cornerstone Housing for Women
T: (613) 986-6708
jessie-lee.wallace@cornerstonewomen.ca

Liz Bernstein
Lowertown Community Association
T: (613) 262-1969

Important Updates – The Ottawa Mission services during the COVID-19 outbreak

As part of our efforts to continue to support the most vulnerable in our community while ensuring the safety and security of our clients, in the wake of CV19, we have made the following adjustments to our programs:

  • The Shelter is open only to staff, scheduled volunteers and residents who are booked in.
  • Shelter residents continue to receive 3 meals per day.
  • Take-out community meals are available from 1 – 1:30 pm at the entrance at the corner of Waller and Besserer
  • All visits to the Hospice have been suspended.
  • The Dymon Health Clinic is following strict protocols concerning prevention, containment and assessment.
  • Client Services building is closed
  • Case management and mental health supports available at the shelter entrance at 35 Waller

The following programs have been suspended until further notice:

  • Day Program
  • Chapel Service
  • Client educational programs (Stepping Stones Learning Centre and Discovery U)
  • Food Services Training Program
  • All Client social activities

In this extraordinary time, we appreciate the understanding of our clients and the community concerning these changes, and we will review on a continuous basis to keep people safe and ensure continued needed services. Your generous support in this time of need will ensure that these essential activities continue.

Ottawa Mission COVID-19 Statement to the Community

As the COVID-19 situation unfolds in Ottawa, the Ottawa Mission is working closely with Ottawa Public Health, Ottawa Inner City Health and our partner emergency shelters to ensure the health and safety of everyone who interacts with our organization. We are in continual contact to ensure we have the most current information and can adjust our operations accordingly as the situation unfolds.

We are continuing to support and care for the most vulnerable members of our community and we will not close our doors or stop accepting new clients who need our continuing support and care. The wellbeing of our clients and shelter guests, community members who rely on us, volunteers, partners who help provide our many essential services, and our employees who provide exceptional support to those who need it remains our top priority.

All our regular activities have been reviewed in detail and modified to minimize the risk of infection while maintaining essential services for our clients. The health of people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness is often compromised which may leave them more vulnerable to COVID-19. Given this reality, we are adjusting our operating procedures to ensure that the risk to our shelter guests and other populations remains as low as possible. Strict protocols are in place to identify possible cases of COVID-19 should they be present. We have taken appropriate measures for assessment, testing, and care in the event of a possible case of COVID-19.

We have increased and enhanced our cleaning procedures, and have disseminated information provided by Ottawa Public Health to our staff, clients, residents, volunteers, and community partners so that they are aware of both the symptoms associated with COVID-19, and best practices to minimize its spread, including regular handwashing and social distancing.

We are continuing to do our part to ensure community health and safety. We are working closely together to maintain services to our clients while ensuring strict cleanliness and disinfection practices, as well as the need to identify possible cases and reporting them to Ottawa Public Health.

In this difficult time for organizations serving the most vulnerable in our community, monetary donations are the best way to support our work. If you wish to make a donation, you can do so here. Due to the rapidly changing nature of COVID-19 and the vulnerable population that we support, we are not accepting in-kind donation drop-offs or visitors until further notice.

In January, Ottawa city council declared an emergency situation regarding homelessness with unprecedented numbers of people experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness. We will do everything in our power to meet their needs as we work our way through this.

We will continue to provide timely updates through our website and social media channels. We appreciate your understanding as we continue to work diligently to ensure the continued safety of our clients and all those who need our support.

On behalf of our guests and the staff at The Ottawa Mission, please accept our thoughts and prayers for you and your loved ones.  We remain deeply grateful for your continuing support.

Peter Tilley

CEO, Ottawa Mission

Statement on the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) from Ottawa Homeless Organizations

OTTAWA, ON – Friday, March 13, 2020 – As the COVID-19 situation unfolds in Ottawa, The Ottawa Mission, Shepherds of Good Hope, The Salvation Army, and Cornerstone Housing for Women are working closely with Ottawa Public Health and Ottawa Inner City Health to ensure the health and safety of everyone who interacts with our organizations.

The wellbeing of our clients in our shelters, residents in supportive housing, community members who visit us, volunteers, partners who help provide our many services, and our employees who provide exceptional support to our vulnerable populations is our top priority.

Strict protocols are in place to identify possible cases of COVID-19 should they be present. We are prepared to take appropriate measures for assessment, testing, and care in the event of a possible case of COVID-19.

All shelters have increased cleaning in our buildings and have disseminated information provided by Ottawa Public Health to our staff, clients, residents, volunteers, and community partners so that they are aware of best practices, including regular handwashing.

All of us are continuing to do our part to ensure community health and safety. We are working closely together to maintain strict cleanliness and disinfection practices as well as to identify possible cases and report them to Ottawa Public Health.

-30-

For more information about this issue our organizations would kindly ask that all media inquires be directed to Ottawa Public Health, as they take the lead on Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Homelessness is the number one issue of concern as housing access worsens in Ottawa

[su_youtube url=”https://youtu.be/WLiQFJsZ9-U”]

With bitter temperatures and a colder than normal winter forecast, The Ottawa Mission is urging governments at all levels to work together to address the worsening situation concerning homelessness in Ottawa and nationally. This comes as a new public opinion poll by Nanos Research indicates significant concern about the impact of homelessness both in Ottawa and nationally, and a strong desire for governments to work with other stakeholders towards solutions.

Click here for the media release in English

Cliquez ici pour le communiqué de presse en français

Click here for the Impact Report

Click here for the Nanos Research Poll