Community Ministries

Centre 454 Suspending Weekend Programming

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It is with heavy hearts that we announce that Centre 454 will be suspending weekend programming starting September 29. This decision has not been an easy one for the Centre 454 community but due to lack of sustainable funding, we will not be able to offer 7 day a week service. We will be offering an Out of the Cold Service beginning in December 2018 through till March 2019 on the weekends but will not be open throughout the rest of the year. The closure of this program means that 222 individuals living in poverty will not have a place to be on Saturdays and Sundays.

We will be putting our efforts in to fundraising in hopes that we can raise the additional $78,000 it takes to keep our doors open an extra two days. This program means so much too so many! To make a donation please visit www.centre454.ca. We also have a Go Fund Me page, Two Days More at 454  Every little bit counts!

Thanks for you continued support!!

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Homelessness and Affordable Housing: A Municipal Responsibility

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Ontario residents go to the polls on October 22 this year to elect their municipal governments. In advance of the election, I urge Ottawa voters to discuss the issue of homelessness and affordable housing with their candidates. I ask them to consider the most vulnerable in our society, the poor and the homeless. “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute” (Proverbs 31:8).

Ottawa and the surrounding region, like most major cities across the country, is facing a crisis of homelessness. Despite having a ten-year Housing and Homelessness Plan, last year the city saw a 5% increase in the number of people requiring emergency shelter. The largest increase in homelessness was among families with children, who now account for over half of the bed nights used in Ottawa’s shelters. This crisis is fuelled by severe shortages of affordable housing, extreme poverty for people with minimum wage jobs or on social assistance, inadequate funding for mental health and addictions treatment, and a failure to focus on early intervention and prevention of homelessness.

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Bishop Urges Ottawa Voters to Make Housing a Priority

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The Anglican Diocese of Ottawa is urging the federal and Ontario governments to give increased priority to programs that help the most vulnerable in the community.

In a public statement the bishop, The Right Reverend John Chapman, calls on Ottawa voters to make homelessness and affordable housing an issue in the June 7 election campaign. He says the Diocese is committed to its Community Ministries which operate Cornerstone Housing for Women, Centre 454, St. Luke’s Table, and The Well drop-in centres. “We cannot resolve the issues of poverty and homelessness alone,” the bishop said. “They require major support from all levels of government.”

The bishop’s statement coincides with a submission by the Diocese encouraging the federal government to strengthen its proposals for a human rights-based approach to housing.

While the federal proposals are commendable, the submission says, they don’t actually provide for legislation that will protect Canada’s most vulnerable, including indigenous people and women.

“We are particularly concerned that women’s equal right to adequate housing be reflected in all aspects of the National Housing Strategy,” the submission says. It cites evidence from a national advisory committee that existing definitions of homelessness discriminate against women because of their unique needs.

Certification through legislation of a human rights-based approach is vital to the effectiveness of a national strategy, the submission says. Bishop Chapman joined last fall with the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness (CAEH), the Canadian Housing and Renewal Association (CHRA) and the United Nations Special Representative on the Right to Adequate Housing to call on Canada to meet its obligation as a signatory to the UN International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

Bishop Chapman said Ottawa, like most large Ontario cities, is facing a crisis of homelessness. Solutions require the support and cooperation of all orders of government.

“We look to the next Ontario government to support a portable National Housing Benefit in addition to, not in place of, existing provincial programs.”

Centre 454 Named Non-Profit Employer of Choice

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Jan 30, 2018 Toronto, Ontario – Hilborn:ECS together with partners CCEOC Inc. and The Goldie Company congratulate the recipients of the third annual Canadian Nonprofit Employer of Choice (NEOC) Award. This year, 13 organizations from across Canada fulfilled program requirements to be named a Canadian Nonprofit Employer of Choice. The 2017 award recipients are:

  • Alberta Retired Teachers’ Association (AB)
  • Brantwood Community Services (ON)
  • Centre 454 (ON)
  • Chilliwack Society for Community Living (BC)
  • CMHA – York Region (ON)
  • Équiterre (QC)
  • Lakeridge Health Foundation (ON)
  • The Participation House Project (Durham Region) (ON)
  • The Society for Selections: A Career Support Service (AB)
  • St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation Inc. (SK)
  • The Ottawa Mission Foundation (ON)
  • UNICEF Canada (ON)
  • York Support Services Network (ON)

All winners successfully completed the NEOC Organizational Profile and Employee Commitment Survey achieving a minimum overall score of 75% overall to qualify for the award.

In a quest to create “decent workplaces” thought leaders are debunking the myth that employees in the nonprofit sector are willing (and should be expected) to work in exchange for the opportunity to “do good.” Today, talented people can find a socially meaningful career outside a traditional nonprofit organization, which intensifies the competition for qualified staff. And, while there are larger systemic issues, Imagine Canada found there are also practical human resource (HR) issues at the organizational level that cause young professionals to leave the sector  including: inadequate HR management, challenging organizational cultures, lack of clarity around job expectations, and limited training and career development.[1]

The Nonprofit Employer of Choice(NEOC) Award is a tool that measures a nonprofit’s HR practices. The NEOC program provides a framework to evaluate an organization’s talent management issues and start constructing a corrective plan of action. This program further enables the board and senior staff to probe and analyze the issues and start the transformational change needed to achieve the impact the donor rightly expects.

“We are thrilled with the interest and positive feedback we’ve received from the sector on this program.” said Jeff Doran, president of CCEOC Inc.  “All of the winning nonprofits showed strong leadership qualities, particularly in the areas of communication, employee engagement and involvement. These organizations can now take advantage of continuous improvement initiatives to help make their organizations even better places to work.”

Other supporting partners of the NEOC Award program include: Associum, Canadahelps.org, the Sustainability Network, and PGgrowth

[1] Imagine Canada, “4 Myths About Young People and Non-Profit Work,” Blog, August 2016

Cornerstone – 373 Princeton Project Update

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It is my privilege to be the Honourary Chair of the Building a Dream Capital Campaign for Cornerstone’s new housing initiative at 373 Princeton Ave in Ottawa.  It will be a beautiful facility that will provide affordable supportive housing for 42 women in Westboro.

I am always amazed by the incredible generosity and support of the people of our Diocese. So many of you have found creative and fun ways to support the project. Many of you have been asking me for updates on the Princeton initiative and what the current needs are. I am delighted that we are so close to achieving our goal but we still have work to do.

The Building the Dream capital campaign has just exceeded $1.4 million dollars!  However, due to unexpected expenses (100 year flood plan, moving a hydro pole, etc.) the capital campaign goal is now $1.9 million.

Huge thanks to the many individuals, parishes and community groups that have already adopted a room. There have been so many fundraising events and activities around the Diocese in support of the Adopt a Room effort. HOWEVER, there are still 16 Adopt a Rooms available at $6,500 each. If you know of any groups or individuals who would like to adopt a room please let us know. We are so close to our goal of providing a lovely home for 42 women. For some, this will be their first safe home.

Please check the new CROWDFUNDING SITE.  This is an interactive site that allows individuals or groups to donate towards the construction costs of the building. Donations of any amount are accepted, with a tax-receipt being issued for donations of $10    or more: https://princeton.cornerstonewomen.ca/

Attached is a save the date card for the upcoming Gift of Jazz concert at 6pm on Feb. 15, 2018 at the National Gallery on Sussex Dr. 50% of tickets purchased through Cornerstone’s website will be donated back to Cornerstone. Tickets are available for $40 each at www.cornerstonewomen.ca. Senior and student tickets are $25 each.

There are many other ways to support this exciting and life-giving project. Monetary donations in any amount will help us reach our goal. They can be made online at www.cornerstonewomen.ca or mailed to the Cornerstone administrative office at 314 Booth St. Ottawa K1R-7K2. If you would like to host an event and would like a member of the Cornerstone Team to be present, they would be most happy to do so.

– Catherine Chapman

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