Homelessness is Growing in Ottawa


Homelessness has been growing rapidly in our city, despite the City of Ottawa adopting a 10-year housing and homelessness plan. In 2019 alone, over 8,000 people were in emergency shelters. Additionally, over 12,000 people are currently waitlisted for subsidized housing. And on any given night, nearly 100 people had no choice but to sleep outside.

Year-over-year our city has seen increases in the number of people experiencing homelessness. In response, Ottawa City Council unanimously declared homelessness an emergency in January of 2020.

From 2014 – 2019 homelessness grew dramatically.

In fact, there has been an over 25% increase in the number of people experiencing homelessness in Ottawa. This epidemic of homelessness concerns all of us.

COVID-19 Has Intensified the Situation

Since January 2020, homelessness and hunger in Ottawa has only grown due to COVID-19. On any given night, 1,900 individuals — including children — have nowhere to sleep but in a shelter bed in our city. There simply isn’t enough affordable housing to meet the growing need, and this combined with people losing employment and income is one reason why the number of people having to sleep outside has doubled since the start of the pandemic.

How The Ottawa Mission is Reducing Homelessness

A shelter is not a home. That’s why The Mission makes finding housing a supportive and compassionate process — every step of the way. Our Case Workers help members of the community who are homeless or at risk of homelessness create a personalized, housing-focused plan. From the day they arrive at our shelter, we support people with whatever they need to secure affordable and appropriate housing. We invite you to join us — together we can accomplish more!

To End Homelessness, <br>Housing Is A Must.

To End Homelessness,
Housing Is A Must.

Housing is a human right. It is the key to health, dignity, and the ability to live full lives in society. It’s our goal to make the experience of homelessness as brief as possible for our guests. The Ottawa Mission prioritizes housing in all our programs and services. In 2020-2021 alone, we helped over 144 people find affordable housing. 

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Addressing Hunger for Individuals and Families

Addressing Hunger for Individuals and Families

Ottawa has some of the highest rates of hunger in our province. And the pandemic has made the situation worse. In addition to ensuring that our shelter guests have access to healthy food, both our community meal and food truck programs safely serve people who would otherwise go hungry. Last year, we served over 727,000 meals.

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Healthcare Is Essential

Healthcare Is Essential

Many vulnerable people in Ottawa struggle to find the care they need. The Mission offers access to quality health care through medical or dental treatments. But it also includes mental health and addictions services, hospice care, and spiritual support — everything a person requires to live a full and healthy life.

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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.

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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.

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