Youth homelessness in Ottawa: the most at-risk people in the capital

When people think of what a homeless person looks like, a child doesn’t usually come to mind. A large number of homeless Canadians are children and young adults. With the winter fast approaching, many are looking for a way to escape the cold.  Last year, there were 844 youth using shelters in Ottawa. Compared to adult homelessness in the capital, 1,352 male and female adults over the age of 50 used shelters, according to Kaite Burkholder Harris, director of A Way Home Ottawa, an organization whose goal it is to prevent and end youth homelessness in Canada. “We don’t really have a sense of the bigger number, because there’s not that many youth shelters,” she said. “There’s many young people […]

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Editorial: Take a preventative approach to student housing issues

As the City of Ottawa grapples with a housing crisis, it is often forgotten that students and youth are highly susceptible to becoming homeless as well. That is not to say that many students are homeless, but housing costs on and off-campus are so high, that it may lead to them experiencing homelessness in the future. According to the Carleton University website, a traditional residence room costs approximately $11,000, while living off-campus costs about $8,000. While students may manage to cover those costs through student loans and part-time jobs, it still leaves them with huge debt. Then, as they try to pay off the loans they used to pay for their rent or residence plans, it leaves them with little […]

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Opinion: City priorities wrong to cut drop-in centre funding

We might toss a coin into someone’s cup downtown, but that doesn’t mean we have profoundly acknowledged the homeless. The Odawa Native Friendship Centre, which serves the Aboriginal homeless, is being forced to close its drop-in centre after having its funding cut by the City of Ottawa. It is patently unacceptable that on unceded Algonquin territory, we do not recognize the need for Aboriginal leadership within programming for the homeless. It is estimated First Nations, Métis, and Inuit people make up more than 20 per cent of the homeless population in Ottawa, despite accounting for only 1.1 per cent of the overall community. In an attempt to save the centre which serves between 60-100 people each day, an Indiegogo crowdfunding […]

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Carleton students go homeless for five days

Carleton business students are living outside the Unicentre from March 9-14 to collect donations for a local charity and to raise awareness about homelessness. Funds raised through the campaign “5 Days for the Homeless” are going to Operation Come Home this year, an Ottawa-based centre for homeless and at-risk youth aged 16 and up. They aim to help individuals rebuild their lives and give them skills and knowledge to help them become employed. “It does provide more than . . . just a shelter, more than a food bank. It really helps people actually get back on their feet,” Gillian Moore, co-chair of the organizing committee, said. It is Moore’s first time participating in the event. She and four other Sprott […]

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