Homelessness and Hunger in Ottawa


Homelessness Emergency

In 2019, the Mission became a housing-first shelter reflective of our commitment to a home for everyone as a human right. In 2020, Ottawa City Council declared a homelessness emergency. While the number of people living in shelters declined in 2020 and 2021, it rose again in 2022 and remains higher than it was 10 years ago. And about 200 people are sleeping outside — a public health emergency.


Mental Health & Substance Use

Tragically, overdoses have surged during the pandemic. In 2019, monthly ER visits for overdoses ranged from 31 to 58. Since March 2020, that number has changed dramatically, ranging from 43 to 120. Our amazing staff respond to overdoses on average twice a week during 2022–2023. This is one reason why our integrated Addiction and Trauma Services are so important to keep clients safe and reduce their risk of relapse.



At The Mission, our annual number of meals served skyrocketed from 495,360
in 2018–2019 to an astounding 1,057,489 meals in 2022–2023. Our food truck program has grown from one truck, five stops and 500 meals per week in 2020 to now two trucks, 35 stops across Ottawa and about 7,000 meals per week served to vulnerable people, including children, across Ottawa. As one program client said: “I don’t have to go hungry today.

How The Ottawa Mission is Reducing Homelessness

A shelter is not a home. At The Ottawa Mission, we believe that housing is a human right. That’s why our Case Workers work hard to help members of the community who are homeless or at risk of homelessness to secure safe, affordable and appropriate housing.

Hunger has reached epidemic levels in our community, with thousands of people at risk of going hungry. At The Ottawa Mission, we fight hunger by bringing much needed meals to people across our community every single day.

We invite you to join us — together we can accomplish more!

Join our Advocacy campaign
testimonial quote

“I come to The Mission food truck for the meals and to meet different people. This is a good service and the meals are good too.”

- Ronald

How You Can Make a Difference!

Your support makes everything we do possible. Donating is one of the best ways you can make a difference. By giving to The Ottawa Mission, you’re directly helping people experiencing homelessness to access affordable housing and other programs to rebuild their lives.

Explore All The Transformational Programs at The Ottawa Mission

Learn how our emergency services, health and wellbeing initiatives, and long-term support programs are changing lives.

Our Work

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