Meeting the Need
In 2020, our community faced the pandemic. Fortunately, COVID-19 has declined, and in November 2022, we expanded services that had been scaled back. It has been heartening to welcome community clients back into the shelter for meals, addiction and trauma counselling, employment and housing support and so many other services they rely upon.
Like hospital emergency rooms, emergency shelters are the entry point for many people within the homelessness continuum of care. Our community faces many challenges in a post-pandemic environment such as increases in mental health distress and substance use, coupled with inflation, the ongoing housing emergency, and poisoning of the street drug supply.
Inflation has worsened already shocking levels of hunger in our community, pushing the number of meals served at The Ottawa Mission to a new record of over 1 million meals last year!
Tragically, overdoses have surged during the pandemic. Our amazing staff respond to them twice weekly. This is one reason why our integrated Addiction and Trauma Services are so important to keep clients safe and reduce their risk of relapse.
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, which still stands today.
Even with pandemic restrictions, we placed 424 clients into housing over three years. This is remarkable since there are almost no affordable private rental units for low income households in Ottawa. We appreciate the increased $1.5 million for affordable housing in the City of Ottawa’s 2023 budget, and urge all governments to significantly increase funds for affordable and supportive housing so everyone has a place to call home.
CEO, The Ottawa Mission
Chair, Board of Directors, The Ottawa Mission
Impact Report Video
meals served last year
unique individuals sheltered annually
clients successfully housed
primary care patient consults
educational and job training graduates
Stories of Hope
At The Ottawa Mission, we support clients to enhance the quality of their lives. We nourish the body, mind and spirit of those who seek our help, and enable people in crisis to heal and build hope for the future.
Here are just a few stories of their stories:
Why I turned to The Mission for help: Tetiana
Tetiana, a mother of two, fled Ukraine after her home city of Mariupol fell to Russian forces. Arriving in Ottawa, she learned about the Food Services Training Program. Since graduating, she has worked at Chef Ric’s.
Why I turned to The Mission for help: Andre
Andre, a senior grappling with a heart condition and memory loss, found himself in our shelter. After working with his case manager, he secured an affordable one-bedroom apartment he is now proud to call home.
“When someone treats you with kindness, it makes all the difference in the world. The Ottawa Mission saved my neck; I want to thank God for The Mission.”
Why I turned to The Mission for help: Richard
Richard has relied on The Ottawa Mission for years in various ways, but Discovery University maybe the most special. Duties on his family farm meant he never got the opportunity to study at a post-secondary level, until he enrolled in DU.
“Those courses deepened my intellectual understanding and were for the benefit of my soul. I don’t know where I’d be without The Mission.”
Why I turned to The Mission for help: Suzanne
After a series of health issues and complications at a retirement residence, Suzanne was left homeless and staying at our sister shelter. She eventually transferred to our Hospice to accommodate her increased care needs.
“People need to be treated with compassion. It’s so nice here, so well kept. The staff here are angels. They look after everything.”
Why I turned to The Mission for help: John
John grew up in a household suffering from mental illness and alcoholism that saw him eventually face similar addiction struggles. On his recovery journey, he joined our abstinence-based Stabilization program, where we also helped him find subsidized housing and employment.
“The Mission has meant the difference between life and death for me. I can’t say enough good things about them.”
At The Ottawa Mission, direct costs are categorized based on program outputs and have been grouped into six main categories:
- Food & Shelter
- Housing Services
- Client Services
- Addiction & Trauma Services
- Health Services
The cost of delivering these programs includes the costs of volunteer services, community engagement and a full-time chaplaincy department. These costs are allocated to programs based on estimated time spent on each one.
The Mission is funded through a combination of a per diem subsidy we receive from the City of Ottawa and donations from generous partners and members of the community.See our completed financial statements