Alliance Membership Update

Dear Alliance Members,

It has been an exciting year for the Alliance to End Homelessness Ottawa. Collectively, we have raised the profile of homelessness and the importance of increasing the supply of affordable housing in our city. 

The impact of local attention to issues such as homelessness, accessibility to essential services, and the development of clearer policies and priorities to address inclusive community development in Ottawa has provided valuable opportunities to the Alliance to engage collaboratively with community partners and governments. 

As we move forward, the complexity of the challenge is real. As is the knowledge, experience and capacity of our members to offer solutions to how we envision the future of Ottawa’s homelessness and affordable housing system. The door is open. Now is the time to work collaboratively towards meaningful change.  

The Alliance has been strategically pursuing opportunities to build collective impact on homelessness and affordable housing issues in our city. Significantly, this has included:

  • Leading capacity development and systems level change

  • Political engagement and advocacy

  • Community collaboration and member engagement

SYSTEMS MAPPING

The Alliance is leading Ottawa’s first Systems Mapping initiative in collaboration with homelessness, supportive and social housing agencies and community stakeholders, including the City’s Housing Services Branch. 

The goal of this data driven initiative is to better understand the programs, services and structures in place that can inform an evidence-based approach to aligning future policy, program and funding related targets and outcomes specific to Ottawa’s housing and homelessness needs.

With your support the Alliance has:

§  Surveyed over 100 local agencies, identifying the various programs and services for homeless and at-risk groups;

§  Collected the largest Systems Mapping data set of any participating Canadian city to-date;

§  Is the first Canadian city to map separately both the homelessness serving sector as well as the non-profit housing sector; and 

§  Is working with stakeholders and the City to use the results to help inform the redevelopment of the City’s 10-Year Housing and Homelessness Plan, among other priorities.

As new federal funding comes online the significance of Systems Mapping will be in offering the tools to do the strategic planning necessary to determine local needs around funding and resource allocations. 

The mapping process also responds to increasing requests by funders for systems-level coordination at the local level, and will further allow for opportunities to rethink – collectively – how we partner and evolve.  

LAUNCH OF 2017 PROGRESS REPORT: ‘Homelessness in Ottawa: A Roadmap for Change’

The Alliance nimbly responded to the mid-point update by the City’s Housing Services Branch to City Council’s Community and Protective Services Committee in March 2018. The resulting report, ‘Homelessness in Ottawa: A Roadmap for Change’ ensured attention from City Council, the community and the private sector to Ottawa’s specific homelessness challenges, andgarnered considerable media coverage. CTV News coverage of March 22nd featuring Alliance ED.

This year’s Progress Report took a new approach. It tracks outcomes from 2014 to 2017, since the adoption of the City’s 10-Year Plan. It also recognized the release of the City’s own ‘Progress Report’ detailing the City’s analysis of investments and outcomes to date. 

Furthermore, the report puts forward a Roadmap for Change and call to action to governments, non-profits and the community, to co-design solutions that will make a significant impact towards preventing and ending chronic homelessness in our city. Read Progress Report

Select Media Coverage: CBC News | The Ottawa Citizen | CTV News

LAUNCH OF ADVOCACY TOOLKIT

The Alliance is encouraging our members to make the most of the recent provincial and upcoming municipal elections through the launch of our ADVOCACY TOOLKIT! Get Toolkit

COMMUNITY CAPACITY BUILDING

  • In collaboration with our partners, the Alliance is working with the City of Ottawa through their newly formed Interdepartmental Working Group on Affordable Housing to address housing, transit, planning and citywide development issues.

  • The Alliance has been collaborating with Making Voices Count, Healthy Transit Coalition, ACORN Ottawa, CAWI, Refugee613, Ottawa Social Housing Network, Coalition of Community Health and Resource Centres, Ottawa Local Immigration Partnership, A Way Home Ottawaand others on local advocacy and capacity building efforts.

  • We are collaborating with a dozen Alliance’s across Ontario including in Toronto, Peel Region, London, Guelph-Wellington and others, along with the Canadian Alliance on Homelessness to form a regional body focused on provincial level homelessness and affordable housing issues.

  • Hosted an interactive March Members Meeting that sought direct input from members into the Alliance’s recently developed Policy Briefs.

  • The Alliance, led by AWHO’s Youth Liaisons, played an integral role in Ottawa’s first Poverty Challenge, a citywide event that brought together civic leaders to build understanding around the experience of homelessness and housing insecurity from the perspective of those who have experienced Ottawa’s service system first hand.

RESEARCH

The Alliance released three locally driven research papers this Spring. Read Research Reports

Building Bridges: Perspectives On Youth Homelessness From First Nations, Inuit And Métis, Newcomer, And LGBTQ2S+ Youth In Ottawa’

We can as a society strive to ensure that all youth, across all demographics, have access to safe housing with the unique supports that they require to remain stably housed. The recommendations outlined in this report are possible, and they are plausible, and long overdue.

Housing, Shelter, And Safety: Needs Of Street-Level/Survival Sex Workers In Ottawa’

This important study points to the intersecting barriers to housing that converge for street-level/survival sex workers; the success of low-barrier, person-centred approaches that work to meet survival sex workers “where they are”; and the importance of prioritizing and coordinating greater access to service models of this kind.

‘Time To Get On Board: Building More Affordable Housing Near Rapid Transit Stations in Ottawa’

This is a summary report of a session held at City Hall in Spring 2018 to identify potential policies to facilitate the construction of new affordable housing along Ottawa’s LRT corridors. The report offers further context on the role of the City, developers and social housing providers in transit oriented development, and provides a better understanding of community issues and concerns. 

SAVE THE DATE

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Upcoming Housing & Homelessness Events

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September 18th-19th - Cities Innovating to Reduce Poverty

October 23rd - CHRA Housing on the Hill

November 5th-7th - CAEH National Conference on Ending Homelessness

November 21st-22nd - CMHC National Housing Conference

January 2019 - Alliance Annual Community Forum on Ending Homelessness

We look forward to seeing you at these events!

SUBSCRIBE TO THE NEW ALLIANCE NEWSLETTER – TO SAY INFORMED ON COMMUNITY MATTERS IMPORTANT TO YOU.

We are grateful to all our members for your continued support. Together we can bring an end to homelessness.

Sincerely, 

Kristen Holinsky