Project step is Ottawa’s award-winning community response to address the need for support, treatment, education and prevention of youth addictions. The OGYF pledged a $1 million gift to this initiative in 2008 and will have invested $1.3 million by Dec. 2020. Project step partners deliver addictions counselling, prevention education, and family support in 57 publicly funded high schools and three community-based schools at Operation Come Home, Youville Centre, Wabano Aboriginal Health Centre, as well as residential treatment at two centres – one in each official language.
“While many people in Ottawa are thriving, some children and youth in our city face a different reality: homelessness, mental health and addictions challenges and low graduation rates are issues that no child should experience, but many in Ottawa do. These issues demand collaboration, long-term commitment and smart, measured investments – and that is the sort of valuable partnership we find with the Foundation.”
President and CEO, United Way Eastern Ontario
On November 11, 2019 we welcomed the first group of youth into the Youth Services Bureau’s (YSB) Youth Housing Hub at 2887 Riverside Drive. Along with 39 beautiful new studio and two-bedroom apartments, the building offers a Youth Hub to once-homeless young people. This space was made possible by the OGYF and its partnership with Bell Let’s Talk, DIFD, and the Danbe Foundation.
The Youth Hub is on the main floor of the building and offers a complete range of support services in a variety of areas including mental health, substance abuse, housing, employment, education, primary care and peer navigation. This comprehensive, wrap-around programming is required to stabilize and support young people as they transition into adulthood. Programming is proved by YSB, the Royal Ottawa Hospital, South East Ottawa Community Health Centre, and the Canadian Mental Health Association Ottawa Branch.
“We know that youth homelessness is complex and, without intervention, can lead to lifelong homelessness. This building represents so much more than a safe home, it will also offer youth programs and services – through the main floor Youth Hub – to help them prepare for an independent adulthood. We’re grateful for our Youth Hub partners – the Foundation, Bell Let’s Talk and the Danbe Foundation – who will help make our services available to youth onsite and in the community.”
Executive Director, Youth Services Bureau