Homelessness in Ottawa: Civic Leaders Summit


With over 7,530 people sleeping in shelters in 2017, and a growing wait list of over 10,000 people in need of affordable housing, it’s clear we need a renewed focus on poverty education and prevention in Ottawa. 

The Civic Leaders Summit was held at the United Way Ottawa on October 4th, 2018. The Summit provided a forum for discussion on the opportunities, tools and resources available to civic leaders to impact homelessness and affordable housing outcomes in Ottawa.


Please find below links to speakers presentations.

The Alliance slide deck is also available.

For more information on the topics raised at the Summit, please see the Alliance’s Advocacy Toolkit and Municipal and Provincial policy briefs.

Ward Profiles identifying neighbourhood housing, poverty and affordability data are also now available.

Program Presentations

Session One: How Does Ottawa’s Housing & Homelessness System Work? 

This panel of sector leaders discussed a variety of approaches to how we can work together to help get people out of shelters and into housing. Topics included: the role supportive housing; what we mean by non-profit and affordable housing, and how to get more built; the role of community partners; and the capacity of the sector to respond to city growth and change.


  • Deirdre Freiheit, President & CEO, Shepherds of Good Hope

  • Catharine Vandelinde, Executive Director, Options Bytown Non-Profit Housing

  • Ray Sullivan, Executive Director, Centretown Citizen’s Ottawa Corporation

  • Simone Thibault, Executive Director, Centretown Community Health Centre 

  • Carl Nicholson, Executive Director, Catholic Centre for Immigrants

Moderator: Alice Kubicek, Executive Director, Daybreak Non-Profit Housing

Session Two: Building A Better City for All: City Council’s Role in Impacting Results

This session addressed issues such as the role of City Council in meeting local homelessness and housing priorities. It also discussed the tools and resources available to support more affordable housing development in Ottawa, along with the possibilities surrounding social procurement and community economic development. 


  • Councillor Mark Taylor, Deputy Mayor & Special Liaison on Housing & Homelessness

  • Dennis Carr, Principal of DCarr Community Solutions

  • Doug Pawson, Director, Social Business & Social Finance, Causeway Work Centre

Moderator: Lisa Ker, Executive Director, Ottawa Salus Corporation

The Civic Leaders Summit is brought to you in partnership by The Deputy Mayor's Office, Special Liaison on Housing and Homelessness & The Alliance to End Homelessness Ottawa