Support and Assistance for Tenants

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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: December 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 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 parents, guardians, caregivers, friends, or service providers concerned about a young person in crisis. Please call 613-260-2360. 
  • A Friendly Voice – a confidential telephone visiting line that seniors can access when they want to talk. Please call 613-692-9992 or toll-free 1-855-892-9992. NOTE – this service is not a distress/crisis line or a counselling line.
  • LGBT Wellbeing Check-in Program provides a telephone assurance program for LGBT adults with disabilities (18+) and older adults (55+). To access the program, contact Good Companions at 613-236-0428 or info@thegoodcompanions.ca
  • Seniors’ Centre Without Walls is a free interactive telephone-based program that connects seniors 55+, as well as adults 18+ with disabilities. No special equipment needed – just your average phone. Contact the Good Companions Centre at 613-236-0428 ext. 2101 or by email scww@thegoodcompanions.ca. 
  • Activities for Older Adults During COVID19 – A guide to online resources for those providing care for people with dementia
  • The Council on Aging of Ottawa has published a series of on-line newsletters for seniors and their caregivers as it relates to COVID-19. Please click here for more information. 
  • Connected Canadians offers training for seniors on any technology device. Phone: 613-699-7896 or visit www.connectedcanadians.ca/programs
  • The Champlain Community Support Network is a partnership between a number of organizations that provide community support services for seniors across Ottawa and beyond. Help with pharmacy delivery, Meals on Wheels, telephone safety checks, transportation, dementia support.
  • The Ottawa Public Library offers a fantastic lineup of online programs for seniors. All are free, but all require registration. Anyone can register – no Library card is needed. For more information, contact their InfoService number Monday through Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm at 613-580-2940. 
  • The Seniors Active Living Centres offer social, cultural, learning and recreational programs for seniors that promote health and well-being. Click here to find one near you. 
  • The Province of Ontario has created a list of programs and services to help seniors be healthy, active and engaged. Click here for more information. 

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 a number of resources including: 
  • The Walk-In Counselling Clinic provides immediate counselling services in English, French, Arabic, Spanish, Somali, Cantonese and Mandarin at a variety of 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 for more information. 
  • 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 information. 
  • 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 information. 

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.

Good Food Ottawa – food resources for both those struggling to buy food and those more financially secure.

Bag Half Full YOW – FREE grocery delivery service for the sick, elderly, self-isolating, and immunocompromised with limited ability to go out for groceries. Please email baghalffullyow@gmail.com or call 819-635-5895.

The Salvation Army’s Community and Family Services offers an emergency food bank supporting food security for families in need. As of this time, their services are running on an appointment-only basis on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Appointments can be made by calling 613-241-1573, extension 268.

Many food stores offer pick-up and delivery services. 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.

Ottawa Public Health’s Mental Health and Substance Use Services and Resources webpage has excellent resources as well as sections devoted to children and youth and young adults.

For child care and online activities, including City-operated child care locations, please click here for more information.

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 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 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.

Kids Help Phone – offers professional counselling, information and referrals and volunteer-led, text-based support to young people in both English and French. Call 1-800-668-6868 or text #686868.

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.

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. Click here for more information.

The Ottawa Child and Youth Initiative works to foster the healthy development of all children and youth through research, advocacy and program development. Click here for more information.

Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization youth program (YOCISO) programs are specifically designed to assist immigrant youth, ages 13 to 24, with their settlement and integration process. Through this process, these youth gain the necessary skills to achieve their goals. They offer:

  • tutoring programs for students who would like to meet with the same volunteer on a weekly basis to work on one subject that they need support with. Please click here to fill out an application,
  • virtual homework clubs for students who need support with a specific assignment. Please click here to fill in an application form.
  • 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

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 cybercrime.

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 with.
    • 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.
  • High-priced or low-quality products are 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 and
  • faster testing.

Fake and deceptive online ads, including:

  • cleaning products,
  • hand sanitizers and
  • 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. Their counsellors provide emotional support, practical advice and referrals. Text: 613-704-5535, or 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 p.m. 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.

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 has created a COVID-19 webpage with resources on parenting, health and business resources, and much more. Please click here for more information. They also offer a fantastic lineup of online programs, from yoga and computer support to cultural showcases, author visits, and so much more. Please click here for more information, and select the “OPL Online” tab.
  • The City of Ottawa’s Family and Social Services webpage is an excellent source of information for children’s services, employment and financial assistance, housing, older adults and youth. Click here for more information.
  • Physical activity and getting fresh air are important for our overall physical and mental wellness. When staying home and keeping physical distance, Ottawa Public Health has ideas to help you stay active. Click here for more information.
  • Active for Life is a Canadian not-for-profit social 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.
  • 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. Click here for more information.
  • Did you know that Ottawa Public Health has specific resources for a number of communities, including newcomer populations, the 2SLGBTQ+ and the deaf and hard of hearing communities? Check out their webpages here.
  • Click here to read the most recent and past weekly COVID-19 Update Newsletters online for First Nations, Inuit and Métis Community Members.

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.