The Salvation Army believes that everyone deserves safe, affordable housing.
Through our homeless prevention programs, and the efforts of our Housing Response Team, The Salvation Army in Ottawa has an 85% success rate in keeping clients housed.
Our programs and services help individuals and families find housing, and stay housed.
Salvation Army case workers conduct regular home visits for newly housed clients, to help with the difficult transition from life on the street to commencing life in their new home. The managers work with the client, the community and the landlord ensuring that everyone’s rights are protected.
The Salvation Army offers homeless prevention initiatives in Ottawa, including emergency food and clothing assistance, vouchers for household items and furniture, the Low Income Energy Assistance Program and Moneywise.
These programs prevent families from having to choose between paying housing costs and other basic necessities.
These programs are delivered with the support of meaningful community partnerships and our generous donors.
“Our services provide people with the tools they need to stay in their homes and reach their goals,” said Marc Provost, Executive Director at The Ottawa Booth Centre. “Our approach is to offer a hand up, not a hand out.”
The Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) is a service offered to Ottawa-area residents who have fallen behind on their Hydro bill. The Salvation Army Ottawa Booth Centre is the lead agency in the program, working with intake agencies across the city to give assistance.
“When individuals fall behind on their heating or electric bill they risk getting disconnected, (which adds reconnection fees), or having to move out of their homes,” said Diana Javier, Community and Family Services Coordinator at The Ottawa Booth Centre. “This is where The Salvation Army steps in, along with other community agencies, to prevent families from losing their homes. With the right support, individuals can maintain their housing in times of crisis.”
MoneyWise another homeless prevention program offered by The Salvation Army, assists individuals and families who receive social benefits, pensions and wages, to manage their finances and avoid recurring debt and homelessness.
Increasing Emergency Needs
The Salvation Army has seen great successes and lives transformed as a result of homeless prevention programs; however over the last 5 years the needs have continued to grow in the area of emergency food, clothing, and household items.
“We have seen a rise in the number of new Canadians in need of assistance as well as those affected by natural disasters such as the Ottawa Tornado in 2018 and this Spring’s flooding, many of whom will continue to access services for months or even years,” said Diana.
The Salvation Army Ottawa Citadel located on Walkley Road, also offers a Community and Family Services program and sees about 20 families a week visiting their food bank. In the summer months a large vegetable garden on the property provides fresh vegetables for the community.
“We are so thankful to The Salvation Army staff and volunteers, community members and children from the Marius-Barbeau Catholic Elementary School who come together to create this beautiful garden to provide fresh food to the community,” said Graciela Arkell, Salvation Army Officer at The Ottawa Citadel.
The number of families accessing emergency assistance has been steadily increasing, including refugee families, new Canadians, single parent families on low incomes, and families facing crises.
The Salvation Army is grateful of the support from donors, government and other community agencies which allow us to continue to provide basic necessities and tools to individuals and families to keep people housed.