In 2017 – 18, The Ottawa Mission’s unique client services centre helped hundreds of people everyday with things like finding a new home, educational and training support, getting back to work, and mental health support.
Our dedicated Client Services team offers support to both shelter residents and vulnerable people in the community, many of whom are risk of homelessness. The team helps people to overcome hurdles that keep them from having a place of their own, getting a job, accessing education or training, or other challenges. Some people want to complete high school, take online courses or gain certain job skills. Client Services staff work to support people through educational and job training services, which help better prepare them for the workforce and take advantage of job opportunities that come their way.
A key initiative in the Mission’s 2019-2021 Strategy Map is to transform our Mission into a Housing Focused shelter to:
- provide the most innovative and effective support services to those who are homeless and at risk of homelessness; and
- expand public awareness of our unique value proposition in addressing homelessness
To do this, we have reorganized our services to create a new housing department with a strong emphasis on helping even more clients find safe, accessible and appropriate housing through refining our staff structure to:
- support streamlined services;
- improve the coordination of second-stage housing projects for those clients who have completed Mission treatment programs; and
- enhance the provision of city-related housing contracts.
The Housing department is staffed by:
- Diversion Case Managers, who try to divert those who are newly homeless to a safe alternative other than the shelter, for example, staying with family or friends. They also continue to support them to explore other housing options while they stay elsewhere, and help people new to the shelter system and community members at risk of homelessness to search for appropriate and affordable housing options.
- A Housing Based Case Manager, whose case load of clients comes directly from the City of Ottawa across all areas, and with whom she works in the community for as long as needed until they are settled in their new homes.
- Direct Engagement Shelter Based Case Managers for Housing help shelter residents who require more support. For example, they connect people with mental illness with the right resources that can help them gain greater independence.
- 1 half-time Peer Support worker to support our Housing Based Case Manager with her caseload. This staff colleague has lived experience who provides hope and optimism to these clients.
- Shelter Case Managers who help support shelter clients with their various goals, for example, working with clients on securing financial and housing assistance, and other forms of support.
We also have great partnerships with the Canadian Mental Health Association and the Royal Ottawa Hospital to help people at the shelter have timely access to trained mental health experts.
We are a one-of-a-kind centre offering a range of services to help people who come from all walks of life.