Support and Assistance for Tenants

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Visit the Ottawa Public Health site to view the latest update

OCH offices are closed until further notice. OCH staff remain available Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to assist you. Our 24/7 Call Centre also remains open. Please call 613-731-1182.

Finding trusted sources of information on the internet and social media is critical in working together to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus. To assist you in managing during this difficult time, we compiled reliable sources of information that you, your friends and neighbours might find useful.

Updated: June 5, 2020

If you find yourself in a crisis, there are local resources available to you.

  • The Ottawa Distress Centre offers emotional support and encouragement, crisis management and intervention, suicide risk assessment and prevention, community resource/referral information. Please call 613-238-3311.
  • The Ottawa Crisis Line offers services are for people experiencing a situational crisis, psychosis or suicidal behaviour, severe depression or anxiety or suicidal behaviour. Please call 613-722-6914.
  • The Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa has a 24/7 Crisis Line & On-Line Chat service for children and youth ages 18 and under who are experiencing a crisis, and for parents, guardians, caregivers, friends or service providers who are concerned about a young person in crisis. Please call 613-260-2360.
  • It’s normal for situations like COVID-19 to affect your mental health. Everyone will experience these events in their own way. It is completely natural to feel stress and concern during these times and so it is important to practice positive coping strategies. Ottawa Public Health has an excellent listing of mental health resources available here.
  • The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) offers free skill-building programs designed to help adults and youth 15+ manage low mood, mild to moderate depression and anxiety, stress or worry. Delivered over the phone with a coach, and through online videos, you will get access to tools that will support you on your path to mental wellness. Click here for more info.
  • COVID-19 and mental health – Facts and resources for clients of CMHA Ottawa
  • Big White Wall offers support with a wide range of mental health and well-being issues – from anxiety, depression, isolation and stress, to relationship problems and lifestyle challenges. Click here for more info.
  • Facts and resources from the Canadian Mental Health Association including Peer Supports, Food Security, 2SLBGTQ+, Caregivers, Children, First Nation & Inuit, Seniors and more.
  • The Royal – Mental Health. The Royal’s C-PROMPT clinic provides quick access to essential mental health services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our goal is to prevent urgent needs from becoming emergencies.
  • The Walk-In Counselling Clinic provides immediate counselling services in English, French, Arabic, Spanish, Somali, Cantonese and Mandarin at a variety of different locations to individuals, couples, and families. The walk-in sessions are free to all members of the community, with no restrictions based on age or location/address and no need for an appointment. Please call 613-755-2277 or click here.
  • The Canadian Addiction Counsellors Certification Federation offers no-cost addiction counselling sessions with certified Addiction Counsellors. Click here for more info.
  • ConnexOntario provides free and confidential health services information for people experiencing problems with alcohol and drugs, mental illness and/or gambling. They can help direct those in need to the help they seek. Please click here for more info.
  • The Service Access to Recovery (SAR), formerly the Ottawa Addictions Access and Referral Services (OAARS), is a starting point for people 16 years and older who are concerned about their substance use and mental health and want to understand and discuss treatment options. Please click here for more info.

Food resources

  • For a list of food programs in specific areas of the City, please click here. Note – some programs have a cost and many have subsidies.
  • Ottawa Good Food Box
  • Good Food Ottawa – food resources for both those struggling to buy food and for those more financially secure.
  • Good Food at Your Doorstep, is a joint initiative by the Ottawa Good Food Box, MarketMobile, and the Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre that supports Ottawa households who currently have limited financial and physical access to affordable fresh fruits and vegetables. This new initiative will provide a weekly home delivery service to low-income and vulnerable community members during the COVID-19 health crisis. (613) 860-6767
  • Bag Half Full YOW – FREE grocery delivery service for people who are sick, elderly, self-isolating, and immunocompromised with limited ability to go out for groceries. Volunteers (with police and background checks) are available to pickup and drop off groceries and prescriptions. Cash payments accepted for groceries. They cover Orleans and South Orleans, Central Ottawa, Nepean, South Nepean, Barhaven, Kanata and Stitsville. People can request online or by phone 873-339-4007.
  • The Salvation Army’s Community and Family Services is offering an emergency food bank supporting food security for families in need. As of this time, their services are running in an appointment base only on Mondays, Wednesdays and Friday. Appointments can be made by calling 613-241-1573 x 221. For those families who are in isolation and/or who are considered at risk, they are offering agencies the ability to refer clients for food pick.

Many food stores offer pick-up and delivery services. Some have costs, and others don’t. Click on the stores below to find a store near you.

The Ottawa Food Bank has a list of all food banks in Ottawa. Please click here to find one near you.

  • The City of Ottawa’s website for child care and online activities has information on
  • The EarlyON Child and Family Centres are working to ensure families in Ottawa have access to children’s programs and resources during the COVID-19 pandemic. There are many virtual programs and resources for children from birth to age 6, their parents and caregivers. Check out their fact sheet  for all the details
  • Kids at Home provides curated lists of some of the best free resources and experiences available online. Discover educational tools, self-care tips, live-streamed performances and dozens of other resources. Updated weekly, this site is your destination for unique and engaging online activities.
  • Jumpstart – Play from home Ideas to help keep kids active at home
  • The Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization (OCISO) are providing one on one academic support to newcomer youth for high school students (Grade 9 -12). Interested youth should contact Daniela Arrieta at 613- 518-0680 ext. 113.
  • Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868 or text #686868
  • The Ottawa Public Library offers you content for leisure and learning. Creative activities, wellness tips, literary and cultural gems, learning tools, and much more. Click here to learn more.
  • The Parent Support Line is a free and confidential non-medical service, providing support to parents and caregivers concerned about issues related to parenting, child development and child behaviour.  They provide mental health and emotional support, parenting strategies and coping mechanisms, and they are there to answer your parenting and child development questions. For more information, please call 613-565-2467, ext. 2 (Monday to Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) or email information@parentresource.ca (disponible en anglais seulement).
  • Parents for Diversity has developed a communication tool, written in multiple languages (Arabic, Simplified Chinese, Chinese Traditional, Farsi/Persian, Somali, Swahili, and Urdu), to help parents reach out to teachers and administration to request extra support, in their language of choice. They hope that this tool will help make parents’ and caregivers’ efforts supporting their children at home more manageable during this unprecedented time, and going forward into the new school year. Click here for more information.
  • Ottawa Community Housing (OCH) is following the Government of Ontario’s direction on opening food producing gardens and will work to support gardeners in our communities to have access to information and tools to allow them to apply to reopen gardens safely, should they wish to garden this year.  OCH Community Development staff will support a gradual reopening of OCH food producing community gardens. This does not include ornamental flower gardens, as they do not meet the essential service criteria of the Government of Ontario. Ornamental gardens remain closed until such time as the Government of Ontario directs us to do otherwise. Tenants with questions concerning gardens should contact our 24 / 7 Call Centre at 613-731-1182.
  • Just Food is a local, non-profit, community-based organization that works on both rural and urban food and farming issues in Ottawa and the surrounding region
  • If you are using shared laundry facilities, be sure to check out resources here to learn how to do so safely during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Lyft is offering a $20 ride coupon to OCH families to help with grocery shopping during the COVID-19 crisis. Please click here for more information

As COVID-19 continues to spread globally, watch out for associated scams. Fraudsters want to profit from consumers’ fears, uncertainties and misinformation. Fraudsters are exploiting the crisis to facilitate fraud and cyber crime.

Protect yourself, beware of:

  • Spoofed government, healthcare or research information
  • Unsolicited calls, emails and texts giving medical advice or requesting urgent action or payment
    • If you didn’t initiate contact, you don’t know who you’re communicating to
    • Never respond or click on suspicious links and attachments
    • Never give out your personal or financial details
  • Unauthorized or fraudulent charities requesting money for victims, products or research
  • Don’t be pressured into making a donation
  • High-priced or low-quality products purchased in bulk by consumers and resold for profit
    • These items may be expired and/or dangerous to your health

Questionable offers, such as:

  • miracle cures
  • herbal remedies
  • vaccinations
  • faster testing
  • Fake and deceptive online ads, including:
  • cleaning products
  • hand sanitizers
  • other items in high demand
  • For an updated list of Violence Against Women & Gender-Based Violence support services currently open and still taking referrals, please click here
  • Unsafe at Home Ottawa is a secure text and online chat service for women who may be living through increased violence and abuse at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our counsellors provide emotional support, practical advice and referrals. Text: 613-704-5535, Chat online: https://www.unsafeathomeottawa.ca
  • The City for All Women Initiative (CAWI) and the Community Development Framework (CDF) will be hosting weekly 45-minute online check-ins every Wednesday at 1 pm on Zoom.
  • Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868 or text #686868
  • The Children’s Aid Society – Should you have concerns for the safety or well-being of a child, or if you are a caregiver who requires support to keep your child safe, please call at 613-747-7800.
  • The Distress Centre of Ottawa 613-238-3311
  • The Youth Services Bureau Crisis Line 613-260-2360 or click here to chat with a counsellor.
  • This is a guide for people living in shared accommodation, including shelters, rooming houses, and other shared accommodation models.

OCH communities are served by many great partner agencies that provide a range of programs and services. Below please find a few of them:

  • Ottawa West Community Support (through their Aging in Place program) operates in 11 of the OCH Seniors only community, offering supports and referrals to tenants. Please click here to see if they are in your community.
  • Ottawa Salus operates in some highrise OCH communities, offering support and referrals to tenants. Please click here or call 613-729-0123 to see if they are in your community.
  • Options Bytown operates in some OCH communities, offering support and referrals to tenants. Please click here to see if they are in your community.
  • Ottawa is served by 13 Community Health and Resource Centres. Click here to find yours.
  • 15 OCH family communities have Community Houses that offer a variety of services based right in the community. Click here to see if your community is served by one.
  • United Muslim Organizations of Ottawa Gatineau (UMO-OG) is committed to helping anyone in need of assistance. Grocery pick-up with e-transfers are provided as well. These relief and support services are available to individuals from ALL communities, cultures, and faiths. Please call them at: 613-686-3922 or visit UMO-OG
  • Ottawa Public Library offers a fantastic lineup of online programs from yoga and computer support to cultural showcases, Indigenous month concerts and author visits and so much more. Please click here for more information, and click on the OPL Online tab.
  • Being Active During COVID-19 Physical activity and getting fresh air are important for our overall physical and mental wellness. When staying home and keeping physical distance, there are still some ways to be active and get outside. Ottawa Public Health has ideas to help you stay active.
  • Active for Life is a Canadian not-for-profit social initiative founded by B2ten. They are a national initiative created to help parents give their children the right start in life through the development of physical literacy.
  • The Parent Support Line is a free and confidential non-medical service, providing support to parents and caregivers concerned about issues related to parenting, child development and child behaviour.  They provide mental health and emotional support, parenting strategies and coping mechanisms, and they are there to answer your parenting and child development questions. For more information, please call 613-565-2467, ext. 2 (Monday to Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) or email information@parentresource.ca (disponible en anglais seulement)
  • Parents for Diversity has developed a communication tool, written in multiple languages (Arabic, Simplified Chinese, Chinese Traditional, Farsi/Persian, Somali, Swahili, and Urdu), to help parents reach out to teachers and administration to request extra support, in their language of choice. They hope that this tool will help make parents’ and caregivers’ efforts supporting their children at home more manageable during this unprecedented time, and going forward into the new school year. Click here for more information.

Please note that due to the current situation, hours of operations and services offered may vary from one location to the next. It is recommended that you contact them or visit their website for more information.