Whether it is in one of our affordable housing communities, at one of our drop-in day programs or our emergency downtown women’s shelter, or in the consultation rooms of our experienced counsellors and psychotherapists; whether it’s someone struggling with mental illness or fleeing abuse, the hallmarks of the Community Ministries of Ottawa are the easy welcome and the opportunity to access a network of practical help available for the people who walk through our doors – choosing hope.
We are here for them – one conversation, bowl of stew, card game, land of laundry, quiet room, phone call, workshop or joke at a time. Together we are pushing back despair and supporting each success—large or small—one step at a time.
Every day we see that the most powerful opportunities to heal feelings, bodies and lives come from loving, caring relationships and a sense of belonging. Our volunteers, counsellors and employees are adept at building such relationships in unassuming ways.
As a result, life improves in Ottawa: neighbourhoods settle down and pitch in as public health indicators receive a boost. Each success builds strength in our community.
In 2013, more than 6.700 men, women, and children were homeless in Ottawa.
Our Community Ministries offer:
- Safe places away from the streets
- Meals and emergency food
- Emergency shelter and safe, affordable housing for women
- Life skills training and access to healthcare
- Help navigating a transition into housing
We are committed to providing food for those who are hungry and to helping all participants develop good nutritional practices:
- Over 200,000 meals are served each year
- Advice for people with diabetes and special needs
- Cooking classes
- Guidance for people in a housing transition and on a tight budget to meet the challenge of buying and preparing nutritious meals
Many of the people visiting our centres struggle with mental health challenges. We provide
- Counselling services
- Spiritual care
- Access to mental health professionals
- Non-judgemental, stigma-free environment
To all, we offer our support and encouragement, and qualities too often in short supply on our streets – respect, dignity, a sense of belonging, and the assurance that somebody cares:
- A safe place to go today
- Help in finding the motivation to reconcile with family and friends
- The skills and stability to find a job and move into permanent housing