Category Archives: Media Release

Continuing to Help Those in Need: Ottawa Mission Served 6189 Meals to Those Who Are Hungry This Thanksgiving

Ottawa, ON – During The Ottawa Mission’s annual Thanksgiving dinner program, which was held on October 12th as well as the week prior to Thanksgiving through the shelter’s food truck program, The Mission served 6189 meals. On any given day, The Ottawa Mission serves over 2,500 meals to shelter residents and those in need in the community. During special meals such as Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter, The Mission provides 5,000 – 6,000 meals for those who would otherwise go hungry.

“It takes 4,000 pounds of turkey to feed everyone during our special Thanksgiving dinner,” noted Chef Ric Watson, Director of Food Services at The Mission. Also on the menu was: dinner rolls (5,000); peeled potatoes (2500 lbs); glazed fresh carrots (1000 lbs); gravy (150 gallons); vegetarian quiche (900); individually wrapped desserts (5,000).

Despite being a wealthy city, Ottawa has some of the highest rates of hidden hunger in the province. The riding of Rideau-Vanier where The Mission is located has the highest use of food banks in Ontario. As well, Ottawa South and Ottawa West-Nepean are among the 10 ridings with the most food bank users per capita.

Food insecurity contributes to poor mental health, diabetes and heart disease. In 2020 – 2021, The Mission served 727,903 meals to those who would otherwise go hungry, the highest number in the shelter’s history. If current trends continue, the shelter will deliver 900,000 – 1 million meals in 2021 – 2022.

The continuing pandemic, now in its 20th month, has made hunger in our community much worse. This is one reason why The Mission launched its food truck program, which delivers over 3,000 meals per week at 19 community partner locations across the city to ensure that those who cannot travel to the shelter due to disability, lack of funds for transportation, or other reasons do not go hungry. The shelter is working to expand this program is response to overwhelming community need.

“Poverty, homelessness and food insecurity are serious public health issues. We at the Ottawa Mission are doing our part to address hunger and keep people healthy through our meal program,” said Ottawa Mission CEO Peter Tilley. “Our kitchen volunteers and staff worked very hard to ensure that everyone had a delicious turkey dinner. And our donors and supporters have been profoundly generous in their support. A huge thank you to all,” Tilley concluded.

About The Ottawa Mission

Since 1906, The Ottawa Mission has been serving those who are homeless, hungry and lost by providing food, clothing, shelter and skills. In 2020-2021, The Ottawa Mission provided emergency shelter to an average of 185 men every night and served an average of 1,994 meals every day.  The Ottawa Mission also provides health services, mental health and addiction treatment programs, hospice care, dental services, housing services, educational support, job training, spiritual care, and clothing to thousands of men and women in need in our community. In September 2020, The Ottawa Mission marked the one millionth hour that the shelter has been in existence since its founding in 1906. In 2019, the Mission became a housing-focused shelter reflective of its commitment to a home for everyone as a human right with the launch of its housing department. Visit ottawamission.com to learn more.

FOR INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

Aileen Leo

Director of Communications

T 613.234.1144 x 305

C 613.712.3092

aleo@ottawamission.com

Diane Morrison Hospice marks 20 years of providing care for homeless community members

Shelter also releases community impact report, including providing 728,000 meals in response to hunger 

 Ottawa, ON – Today, The Ottawa Mission and Ottawa Inner City Health (OICH) marked the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Diane Morrison Hospice to provide palliative care to homeless community members. 

Wendy Muckle, CEO of Ottawa Inner City Health, noted the reason the Hospice was founded. “People who are homeless or street-involved have a much higher burden of serious physical and mental health conditions and addictions. As a result, our clients can die up to 20 years’ earlier than people who have permanent homes. Think of that: because you have no home, your risk of premature death increases dramatically.” 

A fundamental principle of the Hospice is that no one dies alone. The provision of care is based on ensuring the dignity of all people reflective of their inherent value as human beings. The Hospice extends unconditional acceptance to people who are homeless by providing palliative care appropriate to their needs. 

A federal grant enabled OICH and The Mission to establish the Hospice. By bringing care directly to those who are homelessness, the project sought to show that this model of care is more accessible, appropriate, and improves clinical outcomes. “Over the past 20 years, the Hospice has demonstrated this,” Muckle added. 

Dr. Jeffrey Turnbull, OICH Medical Director, noted the evolution of the burden of illness of Hospice patients and the care provided to them. “While 20 years ago AIDS was a major cause of mortality for people who were homeless, with advances in treatment, premature death for this population has dramatically declined. Now, the causes of death are related to the impact of addictions and mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other afflictions. This population suffers from very high rates of alcohol consumption, smoking and other addictions, which leads to cancer, Hepatitis C, and organ failure.” 

While many people within the Hospice die within months, some do not. They have chronic palliative conditions, which have a life expectancy of one year, compared to those patients with terminal conditions which end in premature death within three months or less. With their admission to the Hospice, they receive care, proper nutrition, and other supports, so their health improves and they can return to where they were living before or in new accommodation. “The Hospice has proven that people with lived experience of homelessness who are ill can get better with the proper care and supportive services,” Dr. Turnbull added. 

In addition to providing appropriate and accessible care, the Hospice is also cost-effective. Five years after it opened, a review of the Hospice’s cost-effectiveness was undertaken. This analysis determined that compared to the acute care system where the cost per patient would have been $900 per day, care within the Hospice cost $70 per day. Over the course of one year, cost savings for care were projected for a group of 28 patients at $1.39 million. The Mission and OICH are exploring options to update this analysis based on this evolving context to reflect the current work of the Hospice, combining both acute and chronic palliative care.

 Lynn Landis, Director of Health Services for The Mission, noted the circle of care that the Hospice provides. “We provide a person-centred atmosphere that celebrates the life of our patients. They have personal effects in their rooms, and special celebrations include birthdays and holiday parties. Personal support and peer support workers help patients through assistance with activities of daily living such as feeding and bathing, as well as listening to patients. Many patients have painful conditions such as cancer, and pain and symptom management is essential to ensure their comfort. Managing addiction is also critical. Managed Alcohol and Managed Opioid Programs employ a harm reduction approach through providing patients small amounts of each substance throughout the day. Their physical and psychological symptoms are controlled, and their quality of life is improved.” 

Landis also spoke of the importance of spiritual care, including grief support. “Spiritual pain and loneliness are some of the most profound afflictions of people who are homeless. Many are estranged from their families and have few or no friends. Our circle of care surrounds them, including spiritual support. Our spiritual care team listen to their stories and provide comfort, alleviating their fears. When a patient dies a memorial service is held to allow a patient’s family, friends, Hospice volunteers and colleagues to provide solace to one another,” she added. 

Learn more about The Ottawa Mission’s Hospice at 20

The Mission also released its annual impact report which outlines its community impact over its past fiscal year. Among the most significant responses by the shelter to community need during the pandemic has been a huge increase in the number of meals over last year through its modified community meal service as well as its food truck service. Beginning with five stops delivering 500 meals per week, this food truck service now has 19 locations rotating throughout Ottawa 7 days a week that deliver over 3,000 meals per week. Since it started, the food truck has delivered more than 150,000 meals to people across Ottawa. The Mission also has a waiting list of partners who want to join this program. “This has meant that over our last fiscal year, we served almost 728,000 meals. Every time I think of this figure, I’m blown away by the level of need and the number of people this represents,” noted Mission Director of Food Services Chef Ric Allen-Watson. 

“If current trends continue, this year we’ll deliver between 900,000 and 1 million meals. Every single day our truck goes out across Ottawa, and hundreds of people line up to receive the meals they need to survive. People line up in walkers, in wheelchairs, and with their kids. People who never had to worry about feeding themselves and their families until Covid-19 arrived come to our truck to survive. Food truck clients tell us that they go hungry, sometimes for days, until our truck comes. In a wealthy city like Ottawa, this is wrong – just plain wrong,” Allen-Watson added. 

Despite the ongoing impact of Covid-19, Peter Tilley noted the additional accomplishments of The Mission over the past year, including: 

  • Providing emergency shelter to 1244 people.
  • Finding permanent homes for 144 people.
  • Hosting 15,362 primary care patient consults in its health clinic working with OICH.
  • Having 85 graduations from its Addiction and Trauma Services program, and 39 graduations from its education and job training programs.
  • And work to open “Chef Ric’s”, the Mission’s new social enterprise which expands our successful Food Services Training Program and provides healthy food to people at very affordable prices. 

“Ottawa was already experiencing a homelessness emergency and opioid-use epidemic before COVID-19. Given the impact of the pandemic on our collective mental health, finances, food insecurity and risk of homelessness, we anticipate remaining the first place of refuge for even more vulnerable people after the pandemic has passed,” Tilley concluded. 

Learn more about The Ottawa Mission’s impact

About The Ottawa Mission 

Since 1906, The Ottawa Mission has been serving those who are homeless, hungry and lost by providing food, clothing, shelter and skills. In 2020-2021, The Ottawa Mission provided emergency shelter to an average of 185 men every night and served an average of 1,994 meals every day. The Ottawa Mission also provides to men and women health services, mental health and addiction treatment programs, hospice care, dental services, housing services, educational support, job training, spiritual care, and clothing to thousands in need in our community. In September 2020, The Ottawa Mission marked the one millionth hour that the shelter has been in existence since its founding in 1906. In 2019, the Mission became a housing-focused shelter reflective of its commitment to a home for everyone as a human right with the launch of its housing department. Visit ottawamission.com to learn more. 

FOR INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT
Aileen Leo
Director of Communications
T 613.234.1144 x 305
C. 613-712-3092
E-mail: aleo@ottawamission.com

L’Hospice Diane Morrison marque 20 ans de soins aux personnes sans abri de la collectivité

 Le refuge publie aussi son rapport d’impact communautaire, qui inclut 728 000 repas pour combler la faim 

 Ottawa, ON – Aujourd’hui, La Mission d’Ottawa et Ottawa Inner City Health (OICH) ont souligné le 20e anniversaire de la fondation de l’Hospice Diane Morrison qui prodigue des soins palliatifs aux personnes sans abri de la collectivité. 

Wendy Muckle, directrice générale d’Ottawa Inner City Health, a rappelé les raisons ayant mené à la fondation de l’Hospice. « Le risque de souffrir de problèmes de santé physique et mentale graves et de dépendance est beaucoup plus élevé chez les sans-abri et les personnes dans la rue. En effet, nos clients peuvent mourir jusqu’à 20 ans plus tôt que les personnes ayant un domicile fixe. Pensez-y : parce que vous n’avez pas de toit, votre risque de mort prématurée augmente énormément. » 

Un principe fondamental de l’Hospice est que nul ne meurt seul. La prestation de soins est fondée sur l’assurance de la dignité de chaque personne, qui reflète sa valeur intrinsèque en tant qu’être humain. L’Hospice accepte sans condition les sans-abri et leur fournit des soins palliatifs selon leurs besoins. 

Une subvention fédérale a rendu possible la mise sur pied de l’Hospice par OICH et La Mission. Le projet de prestation des soins directement aux itinérants visait à montrer que ce modèle de soins est plus accessible, plus adéquat, et qu’il améliore les résultats cliniques. « Au cours des vingt dernières années, l’Hospice en a fait la preuve », affirme Wendy Muckle. 

Le Dr Jeffrey Turnbull, directeur médical d’OICH, a souligné l’évolution du fardeau de la maladie des patients de l’Hospice et des soins prodigués. « Vingt ans passés, le sida était l’une des grandes causes de décès chez les itinérants, mais les progrès en matière de traitement ont fortement diminué l’incidence de mort prématurée chez cette population. Aujourd’hui, les causes de mortalité sont liées à l’impact de la dépendance et de la maladie mentale, notamment le trouble bipolaire, le syndrome de stress post-traumatique et d’autres affections. Cette population affiche des taux élevés de consommation d’alcool, de tabagisme et d’autres dépendances, qui causent le cancer, l’hépatite C et la défaillance des organes. » 

Bien que de nombreux patients décèdent à l’Hospice après un séjour de quelques mois, ce n’est pas toujours le cas. Certains souffrent de maladies chroniques nécessitant des soins palliatifs et ont une espérance de vie d’environ un an, comparé aux autres patients dont les maladies terminales les emporteront prématurément en trois mois ou moins. À l’Hospice, ils reçoivent des soins, une alimentation adéquate et d’autres soutiens, de sorte que leur santé s’améliore et qu’ils peuvent retourner là où ils vivaient auparavant ou dans un nouveau logement. « L’Hospice a prouvé que les personnes ayant connu l’itinérance qui tombent malades peuvent aller mieux moyennant des soins appropriés et des services de soutien », a ajouté le Dr Turnbull. 

 En plus d’offrir des soins adéquats et accessibles, l’Hospice est une initiative peu coûteuse. Cinq ans après l’ouverture de l’établissement, une étude sur le rapport coût-efficacité a déterminé qu’en comparaison avec le système de soins de courte durée, où le coût aurait atteint 900 $ par jour par patient, les soins prodigués à l’Hospice ont coûté 70 $ par jour. Sur une période d’un an, on a estimé les économies réalisées sur les soins à 1,39 million de dollars pour un groupe de 28 patients. La Mission et OICH étudient les possibilités de mettre à jour cette analyse selon l’évolution du contexte afin de refléter le travail actuel de l’Hospice, qui combine à la fois les soins palliatifs actifs et chroniques. 

Lynn Landis, directrice des Services de santé de La Mission, a décrit le cercle des soins fournis par l’Hospice. « Nous créons une atmosphère centrée sur le client qui célèbre la vie de nos patients. Ils ont des effets personnels dans leur chambre et nos célébrations spéciales incluent les anniversaires et les célébrations des Fêtes. Les préposés aux bénéficiaires et les travailleurs en entraide soutiennent les patients en les assistant dans les activités de la vie quotidienne comme les repas et le bain, ainsi qu’en les écoutant. Pour les nombreux patients souffrant de conditions douloureuses comme le cancer, la gestion de la douleur et des symptômes est essentielle pour assurer leur confort. La gestion de la dépendance est cruciale également. Les programmes de gestion de l’alcool et des opiacés reposent sur une approche de réduction des méfaits consistant à donner aux patients de petites quantités de substance pendant la journée. Leurs symptômes physiques et psychologiques étant ainsi contrôlés, leur qualité de vie s’améliore. » 

Lynn Landis a aussi souligné l’importance des soins spirituels, notamment le soutien en cas de deuil. « La douleur spirituelle et la solitude sont parmi les souffrances les plus profondes des itinérants. Bon nombre sont séparés de leur famille et n’ont que peu ou pas d’amis. Nous les entourons de notre cercle de soins, qui inclut l’aide spirituelle. Notre équipe de soins spirituels les écoute et leur offre du réconfort, soulageant ainsi leurs peurs. Lorsqu’un patient décède, nous tenons un service commémoratif pour permettre à sa famille, à ses amis ainsi qu’aux bénévoles et collègues de l’Hospice de se réconforter mutuellement », a-t-elle ajouté. 

Par ailleurs, La Mission a publié son rapport d’impact annuel qui énumère son action au sein de la collectivité au cours du dernier exercice. Parmi les contributions les plus significatives du refuge pour combler les besoins communautaires durant la pandémie, il faut noter la hausse considérable du nombre de repas servis au cours de la dernière année par l’entremise de son programme de repas communautaire modifié et de son camion repas. Comptant au départ cinq arrêts permettant de livrer 500 repas par semaine, le service de camion repas effectue maintenant 19 arrêts à Ottawa selon un horaire mobile, sept jours par semaine, pour un total de plus de 3 000 repas par semaine. Depuis ses débuts, le camion a livré plus de 150 000 repas à des résidents et résidentes de la ville. La Mission a aussi une liste d’attente composée de partenaires désireux de se joindre au programme. « Cela signifie qu’au cours du dernier exercice, nous avons servi près de 728 000 repas. Chaque fois que je pense à ce chiffre, je suis renversé par l’ampleur du besoin et le nombre de personnes que cela représente », a affirmé le directeur des Services alimentaires, le Chef Ric Allen-Watson. 

« Si la tendance se maintient, cette année nous allons livrer entre 900 000 et un million de repas. Chaque jour notre camion sillonne les rues d’Ottawa et des centaines de personnes font la file pour recevoir les repas nécessaires à leur survie. Les gens font la queue en déambulateur, en fauteuil roulant, avec leurs enfants. Des personnes qui n’ont jamais eu à se soucier de se nourrir et de nourrir leur famille avant l’arrivée de la COVID-19 viennent à notre camion pour survivre. Les clients nous disent qu’ils ont faim, parfois pendant des jours, jusqu’à ce que notre camion arrive. Dans une ville riche comme Ottawa, ce n’est pas normal, vraiment pas normal », a ajouté M. Allen-Watson. 

Peter Tilley a mentionné les autres réalisations de La Mission au cours de la dernière année, malgré l’impact de la COVID-19, notamment : 

  • Fourni un refuge d’urgence à 1 244 personnes.
  • Trouvé un logement permanent à 144 personnes.
  • Accueilli 15 362 patients en consultation de soins primaires à sa clinique médicale, de concert avec OICH.
  • Remis 85 certificats du programme de services liés à la dépendance et au traumatisme et 39 certificats des programmes d’études et de formation professionnelle.
  • Et ouvert « Chef Ric’s », la nouvelle entreprise sociale de La Mission, qui bonifie notre Programme de formation en services alimentaires et propose des aliments sains à des prix très abordables. 

« Ottawa connaissait déjà un état d’urgence en matière de logement et une épidémie liée aux opioïdes avant la COVID-19. Étant donné l’impact de la pandémie sur notre santé mentale collective, sur l’insécurité alimentaire et sur le risque de sans-abrisme, nous prévoyons demeurer le premier lieu de refuge pour encore plus de personnes vulnérables après la pandémie », a conclu Peter Tilley. 

À propos de La Mission d’Ottawa 

Depuis 1906, La Mission d’Ottawa est au service des sans-abri, des affamés et des âmes perdues, leur offrant des repas, des vêtements, un refuge et des compétences. En 2020-2021, La Mission d’Ottawa a hébergé en moyenne 185 hommes toutes les nuits et a servi en moyenne 1 994 repas par jour. La Mission d’Ottawa offre également aux hommes et aux femmes des soins de santé, des programmes de santé mentale et de traitement des dépendances, des soins palliatifs, des soins dentaires, de l’aide en éducation, de la formation à l’emploi et du soutien spirituel ainsi que des vêtements à des milliers de personnes démunies dans notre collectivité. En septembre 2020, La Mission d’Ottawa a souligné la millionième heure de service du refuge depuis sa fondation en 1906. En 2019, le lancement d’un nouveau département du logement a permis à La Mission de devenir un refuge centré sur le logement conforme à son engagement selon lequel un logement est un droit humain. Voir ottawamission.com pour en apprendre davantage. 

POUR TOUT RENSEIGNEMENT, COMMUNIQUEZ AVEC :

Aileen Leo
Directrice des communications
T. 613 234-1144 poste 305
C. 613 712-3092
Courriel : aleo@ottawamission.com

Giving to Support Those in Need: 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 at its shelter, which will take place on Monday, October 11th, and also from October 4 – 11 through its food truck program.

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 will be available at the garage entrance beginning at 11:00 am. 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. The Mission’s food truck program will also serve a full Thanksgiving meals to everyone who accesses this service the week prior to the October 11 meal.

On any given day, The Ottawa Mission serves over 2,500 meals to shelter residents and those in need in the community. Last Thanksgiving, The Mission provided over 5,700 meals for this special occasion for those who would otherwise go hungry.

“It takes about 4,000 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: mashed potato (2500 lbs); glazed fresh carrots (1000 lbs); vegetarian quiche (900); fresh baked rolls (5,000); giblet gravy (150 gallons); individually wrapped desserts (5000).

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 skills. In 2019-2020, The Ottawa Mission provided emergency shelter to an average of 197 men every night and served an average of 1,422 meals every day.  The Ottawa Mission also provides to men and women health services, mental health and addiction treatment programs, hospice care, dental services, housing services, educational support, job training, spiritual care, and clothing to thousands in need in our community. In September 2020, The Ottawa Mission marked the one millionth hour that the shelter has been in existence since its founding in 1906. In 2019, the Mission became a housing-focused shelter reflective of its commitment to a home for everyone as a human right with the launch of a new housing department. 

FOR INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

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

Réalisation d’un rêve : La Mission d’Ottawa ouvre « Chef Ric’s »

Ottawa ON – Aujourd’hui, La Mission d’Ottawa a célébré l’inauguration de sa nouvelle entreprise sociale, « Chef Ric’s », située dans les locaux de l’ancienne très populaire boulangerie Rideau Bakery. La Mission est reconnaissante de la subvention de presque 417,200 $ reçue de la Fondation Trillium de l’Ontario ainsi que des contributions de nombreux donateurs et partisans ayant permis la réalisation de ce projet.

Dans ses nouvelles installations, La Mission bonifiera son célèbre Programme de formation en services alimentaires (PFSA), qui fournit aux diplômés les compétences et qualifications requises pour travailler dans une cuisine commerciale, et s’est dotée d’un comptoir où tous les membres de la collectivité peuvent se procurer des repas santé à des prix très abordables. « Chef Ric’s » accueillera aussi l’entreprise de traiteur de La Mission en pleine expansion, dont les bénéfices sont remis dans le PFSA, ainsi que le programme de camion repas de La Mission, qui a servi plus de 120 000 repas depuis son lancement il y a un an.

Le directeur général de La Mission d’Ottawa, Peter Tilley, a rappelé le lien essentiel qui existe avec la famille Kardish, ex-propriétaires et exploitants de la boulangerie Rideau. « Je suis ravi de vous souhaiter la bienvenue aujourd’hui sur les lieux de notre nouvelle entreprise sociale appelée “ Chef Ric’s ” aménagée dans les anciens locaux de la bien-aimée Rideau Bakery d’Ottawa, qui a cherché à procurer à chacun un sentiment d’appartenance, de réconfort et d’inclusion pendant presque 90 ans. »

Le Chef Ric Allen-Watson, directeur des services alimentaires, a souligné les retombées du PFSA et indiqué comment l’expansion du programme aidera encore davantage de personnes dans le besoin. « L’espace que nous occupions dans le refuge était trop exigu pour nous permettre de répondre à la demande et nous étions obligés de refuser des demandeurs. Depuis 2004, le PFSA a produit 190 diplômés, dont 90 % ont trouvé un emploi dans le secteur des services alimentaires. À la suite de l’expansion, nous estimons que 25 diplômés de plus par année pourront transformer leur vie en devenant plus autonomes et indépendants. »

Erica La France, actuellement inscrite au PFSA, a expliqué ce que le programme représente pour elle. « J’ai grandi dans la maltraitance, mais je cuisinais beaucoup et ça me plaisait vraiment. Ça me servait de thérapie. J’adore le sentiment de communauté du Chef Ric’s. Nous nourrissons une communauté de personnes ayant le même besoin fondamental en nourriture que quelqu’un qui peut le combler facilement. J’ai un lien avec la communauté grâce au Chef Ric’s. Ce programme me permet d’être indépendante et de prendre ma vie en mains. »

Le maire Jim Watson a rappelé le leadership soutenu de La Mission afin d’aider les gens à améliorer leur vie par l’intermédiaire du Chef Ric’s. « Cette nouvelle entreprise sociale illustre une fois de plus l’approche novatrice de La Mission d’Ottawa, le plus ancien et le plus grand refuge de notre collectivité, pour aider des hommes et femmes à rebâtir leur vie et développer de la fierté, de la dignité et de l’indépendance. »

Mathieu Fleury, conseiller de Rideau-Vanier, a noté les effets du Chef Ric’s dans son quartier. « Votre Programme de formation en services alimentaires favorise l’autonomie en procurant aux diplômés les compétences, la formation et la voie à suivre en vue de décrocher un emploi. Et votre camion repas comble la faim, y compris aux cinq arrêts prévus dans ce quartier, ce qui est fort apprécié. Notre quartier a besoin de ce soutien. C’est ici que l’on enregistre le taux le plus élevé de recours aux banques alimentaires dans la province, sans parler d’un revenu médian beaucoup plus faible. Le Chef Ric’s et La Mission offrent aux gens de l’espoir et une aide pratique pour améliorer leur vie. »

Lucille Collard, députée provinciale d’Ottawa-Vanier, a souligné l’investissement public consacré au Chef Ric’s. « Je suis heureuse que la province ait appuyé ce projet très valable par l’intermédiaire de la Fondation Trillium de l’Ontario. Les investissements publics dans les entreprises sociales comme le Chef Ric’s sont un moyen excellent et rentable de maximiser les bienfaits aux personnes dans le besoin. »

Lalit Aggarwal, président de Manor Park Management, a expliqué sa décision d’appuyer Chef Ric’s en n’exigeant que 10 $ par année en frais de location pour l’espace réaménagé. « J’ai appris que La Mission avait besoin d’espace supplémentaire pour bonifier le Programme de formation en services alimentaires. Tant de personnes comme Erica et d’autres veulent améliorer leur sort, et c’est ça qui compte. Ce sera d’autant plus important avec les effets persistants de la COVID-19 dans notre collectivité. C’est formidable que tout cela se réalise entre les murs de l’ancienne Rideau Bakery. »

Debbie Baylin a transmis à La Mission les meilleurs vœux de la famille Kardish à l’occasion de l’ouverture de Chef Ric’s. « La Rideau Bakery a été ouverte pendant presque 90 ans, sous la direction de trois générations de la famille Kardish. Quatre générations de frères et sœurs, de neveux et nièces, ont pris part à ses activités. Tout le monde a appris à travailler fort. Nous souhaitons le meilleur des succès à Chef Ric’s et nous sommes convaincus que vos travailleurs partagent la diligence et l’éthique de travail qui caractérisaient la famille et le personnel de la Rideau Bakery. »

Enfin, le Chef Ric Allen-Watson a conclu par un hommage à la famille Kardish. « Je suis ravi que nos nouvelles installations se trouvent dans l’ancienne Rideau Bakery et que la famille Kardish soit présente aujourd’hui pour célébrer avec nous. Louis, David, Josh et Debbie, sachez que vous ferez toujours partie de notre famille ici au 384 de la rue Rideau. »

À propos de La Mission d’Ottawa

Depuis 1906, La Mission d’Ottawa est au service des sans-abri, des affamés et des âmes perdues, leur offrant des repas, des vêtements, un refuge et des compétences. En 2019-2020, La Mission d’Ottawa a hébergé en moyenne 197 hommes toutes les nuits et a servi en moyenne 1 422 repas par jour. La Mission d’Ottawa offre également aux hommes et aux femmes des soins de santé, des programmes de santé mentale et de traitement des dépendances, des soins palliatifs, des soins dentaires, de l’aide en éducation, de la formation à l’emploi et du soutien spirituel ainsi que des vêtements à des milliers de personnes démunies dans notre collectivité. En septembre 2020, La Mission d’Ottawa a souligné la millionième heure de service du refuge depuis sa fondation en 1906. En 2019, le lancement d’un nouveau département du logement a permis à La Mission de devenir un refuge centré sur le logement conforme à son engagement selon lequel un logement est un droit humain.

À propos de la Fondation Trillium de l’Ontario

La Fondation Trillium de l’Ontario (FTO) est un organisme du gouvernement de l’Ontario et l’une des principales fondations subventionnaires du Canada. L’an dernier, elle a investi près de 112 millions de dollars dans 1 384 projets et partenariats communautaires afin de bâtir des communautés saines et dynamiques et renforcer l’impact du secteur sans but lucratif en Ontario. En 2020-2021, la FTO a soutenu la reprise économique en Ontario en aidant des organismes sans but lucratif à se rebâtir et à se remettre des impacts de la COVID-19. Consultez otf.ca pour en savoir plus.

POUR TOUT RENSEIGNEMENT, COMMUNIQUEZ AVEC :

Aileen Leo
Directrice des communications
613 234-1144 poste 305
613 712-3092
Courriel : aleo@ottawamission.com

Cooking Up a New Dream: The Ottawa Mission Opens Up “Chef Ric’s”

Ottawa, ON – Today The Ottawa Mission celebrated its grand opening of its new social enterprise “Chef Ric’s” at the former home of Ottawa’s beloved Rideau Bakery. The Mission appreciates the grant of almost $417,200 from the Ontario Trillium Foundation as well as the contributions of so many donors and supporters to realize this project.

This new facility will expand The Mission’s very successful Food Services Training Program (FSTP), which provides graduates the skills and credentials to work in a commercial kitchen, as well as a storefront operation where all members of the community can purchase healthy prepared meal options at very affordable prices. Chef Ric’s will also expand The Mission’s growing catering business, with all proceeds directed back into the FSTP, and be the new home of The Mission’s Mobile Mission Meals food truck program, which has served over 120,000 meals since it began one year ago.

Ottawa Mission CEO Peter Tilley noted the important connection to the Kardish family, the former owners and operators of the Rideau Bakery. “I’m delighted to welcome you here today to our very own “Chef Ric’s”, our new social enterprise at the former home of Ottawa’s beloved Rideau Bakery which provided a feeling of home, warmth and inclusion to people in our community for almost 90 years.”

Chef Ric Allen-Watson, Director of Food Services, noted the impact of the FSTP and how the expansion will help even more people in need. “Our space within our shelter wasn’t big enough to meet the demand and we had to turn applicants away, which we didn’t want to keep doing. Since 2004, this program has graduated 190 people, 90% of whom have gone to jobs in the food service industry. Through this expansion, we expect to graduate about 25 more students per year into new lives, self-sufficiency, and independence.”

Erica La France, a current FSTP student, explained what the program means to her. “I grew up in abuse, but I baked a lot, and that was something I really enjoyed. It was very therapeutic for me. I love the community feel of Chef Ric’s. We’re feeding a community of people that have that same basic need for food as somebody who is able to provide it easily. I have the connection to the community through Chef Ric’s. This program allows me to be independent and in charge of my own life.”

Mayor Jim Watson pointed out the continuing leadership of The Ottawa Mission to help people improve their lives through Chef Ric’s. “This new social enterprise is one more example of the innovative approach of The Ottawa Mission, our community’s oldest and largest homeless shelter, to help people rebuild their lives and attain pride, dignity and independence.”

Mathieu Fleury, Councillor for Rideau-Vanier, noted the impact of Chef Ric’s on his ward. “Your Food Services Training Program helps people to become independent by giving your graduates skills, training and a pathway to a job. And your food truck keeps people fed, including the five stops in this ward, which is very much appreciated. This ward needs this support. Our community has the highest rate of food bank usage in the province, and a much lower median income. Chef Ric’s and The Mission offer people hope and practical support to improve their lives.”

Lucille Collard, MPP for Ottawa-Vanier, noted the public investment in Chef Ric’s. “I’m glad that the province has supported this very worthy project through the Ontario Trillium Foundation. Public investment in social enterprises such as Chef Ric’s are an excellent and cost-effective way to provide as much benefit as possible to people in need.”

Lalit Aggarwal, President of Manor Park Management, explained about why he decided to support Chef Ric’s through charging only $10 per year for the enhanced space. “I learned that The Mission needed new space to expand the Food Services Training Program. People like Erica and so many others want to improve their lot. That’s the hook. This will now be even more important with the lingering effects of COVID-19 in our community. It’s great to see it all come together in the home of the former Rideau Bakery.”

Debbie Baylin, speaking on behalf of the Kardish family, extended their best wishes to The Mission on the opening of Chef Ric’s. “The Rideau Bakery was in operation for almost 90 years under the ownership of three generations of the Kardish family. Four generations of brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, were part of the operation.  Everyone learned how to work hard. We wish great success to “Chef Ric’s” and are confident that your workers share the diligence and work ethic that seemed to pervade the family and staff at the Rideau Bakery.”

Chef Ric concluded with a tribute to the Kardish family. “I’m so happy that our new home is the former Rideau Bakery, and that the Kardish family can be with us today to celebrate. Louis, David, Josh and Debbie: you will always be part of our family here at 384 Rideau Street.”

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 skills. In 2019-2020, The Ottawa Mission provided emergency shelter to an average of 197 men every night and served an average of 1,422 meals every day.  The Ottawa Mission also provides to men and women health services, mental health and addiction treatment programs, hospice care, dental services, housing services, educational support, job training, spiritual care, and clothing to thousands in need in our community. In September 2020, The Ottawa Mission marked the one millionth hour that the shelter has been in existence since its founding in 1906. In 2019, the Mission became a housing-focused shelter reflective of its commitment to a home for everyone as a human right with the launch of a new housing department. Visit ottawamission.com to learn more.

About the Ontario Trillium Foundation

The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. Last year, nearly $112M was invested into 1,384 community projects and partnerships to build healthy and vibrant communities and strengthen the impact of Ontario’s non-profit sector. In 2020/21, OTF supported Ontario’s economic recovery by helping non-profit organizations rebuild and recover from the impacts of COVID-19.  Visit otf.ca to learn more.

FOR INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

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

Ottawa Mission Food Truck Program Experiences Unprecedented Growth In Response to Rising Rates of Hunger in Ottawa due to Covid19

Ottawa, ON – As hunger worsens in our community, The Ottawa Mission brought together its community partner Somerset West Community Health Centre and Councillor Catherine McKenney, Special Liaison for Housing and Homelessness to discuss rising food insecurity as a major consequence of the pandemic and options to address this. 

The Mission launched it Mobile Mission Meals food truck project in the summer of 2020 with 5 stops serving 500 meals per week. Just over 9 months later, it has grown to 19 stops across the City of Ottawa and serves 3,000 meals per week. The Mission also has a waiting list of partners who want to join this program to serve the needs of their respective communities for accessible, healthy food. 

In January 2020, just before the pandemic was declared, The Mission served just over 1,400 meals per day that month. Now the shelter is serving over 2,500 meals per day ― an increase of almost 80%. This also means that total number of meals served by the Mission over its last fiscal year (May 1, 2020 – April 30, 2021) was over 700,000. 

“Every single day our truck goes out across Ottawa, and hundreds of people line up to receive the meals they need to survive. People line up in walkers, in wheelchairs, and with their kids. People who never had to worry about feeding themselves and their families until Covid-19 arrived come to our truck just to survive,” said the Mission’s Director of Food Services Chef Ric Allen-Watson. 

 “When we updated the community in November about this program, we had clients tell us that they go hungry, sometimes for days, until our truck comes. In a wealthy city like Ottawa and a wealthy country like Canada, this is wrong – just plain wrong,” Allen-Watson added. 

Naini Cloutier, Executive Director of Somerset Health Community Health Centre, a community partner of the Mobile Mission Meal program, noted the relationship between the lack of affordable housing in Ottawa and the use of the Mission’s food truck program. “In our catchment area, almost 30% of residents are low-income – over twice the Ottawa average. People who are low-income often have to choose between paying their rent or feeding themselves and their children. This is especially true in our city given that rents rose 15% from 2014 – 2018, with affordable housing options increasingly scarce.” 

Cloutier also noted the disproportionate impact of food insecurity on specific populations. “Our catchment area also has a higher proportion of Indigenous peoples, immigrants and newcomers, refugees, and Black and racialized residents than the Ottawa average. These factors are also very important since all of these populations have higher rates of food insecurity.” 

Councillor McKenney pointed out how Covid-19 has impacted existing very serious issues within the community. “Before Covid-19 arrived in early 2020, our entire community was dealing with not one but 2 emergencies: the homelessness emergency and the opioid use emergency. The pandemic has magnified each of these through its devastating impacts on financial health, mental health, and increased risk of homelessness and hunger.” 

However, McKenney also noted that the pandemic has shown that large-scale system changes can be enacted quickly to meet millions of people’s needs such as the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), and why this should be made permanent. “One of the reasons people fall into homelessness, hunger and despair is because they’re poor. In April of this year, the Parliamentary Budget Officer delivered a report that suggested that a universal basic income project could reduce poverty levels in Canada by almost half in just one year. Combined with enhanced government support at all levels for affordable housing and mental health, it would reduce homelessness, hunger, and mental distress.” 

Peter Tilley, CEO of the Ottawa Mission, noted the continuing impact of Covid-19 across our community and how it will affect the shelter’s program delivery. “Given the overwhelming impact on our collective mental health, finances, food insecurity and risk of homelessness, we anticipate remaining the first place of refuge for increasing numbers of very vulnerable people going forward for several years after COVID has passed.” 

Tilley concluded the press conference by noting that the Mission will continue to meet these needs while also advocating for large-scale system change. “We’re very fortunate that we can continue to raise funds to further expand this program and work with our community partners across the city of Ottawa to reach even more people in need. We’ll also continue to work together with our partners on city council, Queen’s Park, and Parliament Hill to enhance and make permanent needed government programs to help people rebuild their lives.” 

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 skills. In 2019-2020, The Ottawa Mission provided emergency shelter to an average of 197 men every night and served an average of 1,422 meals every day. The Ottawa Mission also provides to men and women health services, mental health and addiction treatment programs, hospice care, dental services, housing services, educational support, job training, spiritual care, and clothing to thousands in need in our community. In September 2020, The Ottawa Mission marked the one millionth hour that the shelter has been in existence since its founding in 1906. In 2019, the Mission became a housing-focused shelter reflective of its commitment to a home for everyone as a human right with the launch of a new housing department. 

FOR INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Aileen Leo
Director of Communications
T 613.234.1144 x 305
C: 613.712.3092
E-mail: aleo@ottawamission.com

Statement on remains of 215 Indigenous children found at former residential school in BC

The Ottawa Mission shares in the mourning of the 215 Indigenous children discovered in an unmarked mass grave at the Kamloops Indian Residential School. Our thoughts are with the families, the communities, residential school survivors and all others who mourn this enormous collective loss for our country.

We also join calls from those in the Indigenous community and others for the federal government and partners in residential schools to acknowledge and address the pain and injustice imposed upon First Nations, Métis and Inuit. Further, we urge these parties move quickly to implement all 94 recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and to examine all current policies and actions today that result in continuing trauma.

As an organization that works closely with Indigenous clients and partners, we have seen the effects of intergenerational trauma and abuse that so many have suffered, including a significant and disproportionate burden of homelessness. We will continue to reflect on and learn how to best we can meet our responsibilities in supporting our clients who are First Nations, Métis and Inuit.

To learn more about the impact of residential schools on Indigenous peoples, we invite you to please explore the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada reports and calls to action.

Ottawa Mission Food Services Training Program Grads celebrates their new lives

Ottawa, ON – Today 10 students of The Ottawa Mission’s celebrated Food Services Training Program (FSTP) celebrated their graduation from this initiative, joining the ranks of 200 people who have graduated since the FSTP began in 2004.

The impact of the FSTP on the program’s graduates can be profound. In the words of Mercy Abe, FSTP Valedictorian, “Getting into this program was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Coming here, I felt accepted, I felt that everyone wants me.”

For men and women looking to change their lives, the FSTP provides the skills necessary to work in a commercial kitchen. 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 with newfound confidence, pride and dignity.

The FSTP is more than a cooking program according to the Director of Food Services for The Ottawa Mission Executive Chef Ric Allen-Watson. “Teaching students how to cook is just one aspect of this program. People come to us and we give them, food, clothing, anything they need, but most of all, we give them love and a sense of belonging. For so many of our students, this is not something they’ve received a lot of in their lives, and it’s the foundation of their ability to succeed.”

Eight of these new FSTP graduates already have jobs in the industry and since 2004, 90% of students have found employment after graduation in the industry. In the summer of 2021, the FSTP will be moved over to the program’s new home at the former Rideau Bakery, which will be renamed “Chef Ric’s” in honour of Allen-Watson. The new site will combine the FSTP, The Ottawa Mission’s established catering social enterprise, and a new retail component where affordable and healthy prepared foods may be purchased for take-out. The grand opening for the new Chef Ric’s will take place in September 2021.

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 skills. In 2019-2020, The Ottawa Mission provided emergency shelter to an average of 197 men every night and served an average of 1,422 meals every day.  The Ottawa Mission also provides to men and women health services, mental health and addiction treatment programs, hospice care, dental services, housing services, educational support, job training, spiritual care, and clothing to thousands in need in our community. In September 2020, The Ottawa Mission marked the one millionth hour that the shelter has been in existence since its founding in 1906. In 2019, the Mission became a housing-focused shelter reflective of its commitment to a home for everyone as a human right with the launch of a new housing department.

FOR INFORMATION OR TO ARRANGE AN INTERVIEW PLEASE CONTACT:

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