Memoranda issued by Community and Social Services

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Information on the publication of memoranda

Memoranda issued by the City of Ottawa’s Senior Leadership Team to all Members of Council and the media will be published here when available. The memoranda are published on an ongoing basis as they become available and will remain online for a period of one year from the date of issuance.  Residents wishing to obtain copies of memoranda that are no longer available online should contact the relevant department through one of the City’s general inquiry processes.

In accordance with the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA), some attachments have not been proactively disclosed. If you are seeking an attachment that is not available online, please visit ottawa.ca/mfippa for information on filing an access to information request.

Memo: Interdepartmental Task Force on Affordable Housing Update (April 4, 2024)

To: Mayor and Members of Council
From: Clara Freire, General Manager Community and Social Services Department Vivi Chi, Interim General Manager Planning, Real Estate and Economic Development Department
Date: April 4, 2024

This memorandum aims to provide an update on the recently established Interdepartmental Task Force on Affordable Housing. The Task Force will facilitate a coordinated, collaborative, and Team Ottawa-focused response to the housing crisis in Ottawa. This includes responding to provincial legislation and regulatory changes, the 2023-2026 Term of Council priorities related to affordable housing and housing supply, as well as implementing the Housing Accelerator Fund initiatives and recommendations from the Audit on Affordable Housing. The internal Task Force will work for an initial three-year term.

Background
In July 2023, Council approved its 2023-2026 Term of Council Priorities, which include the priority to create an Ottawa that has affordable housing and is more liveable for all by “Investing in services that affect the lives of all residents, including those most in need, is a key priority for the City. This strategic priority focuses on supporting individuals by increasing access to a range of housing options, including affordable housing.” Strategic priorities also include efforts to support intensification.

Additionally, the government of Ontario’s enacting of Bill 23, the More Homes Built Faster Act, 2022 and Bill 109, the More Homes for Everyone Act, 2022, include extensive changes to several Acts and regulations, including the Development Charges Act, Planning Act, and Municipal Act. The compressed timelines for development approvals as well as potential financial penalties underscore not only the prioritization of increasing the housing supply, but also the need to ensure continued collaboration and focused effort amongst Community and Social Services and Planning, Real Estate and Economic Development staff.

Further focused effort will be needed to respond to the findings of the City of Ottawa Audit on Affordable Housing which was tabled on March 8, 2024. This Audit provided recommendations on the policies, programs, tools, and structures within the control of the municipality to increase the stock of available affordable housing units within Ottawa.

Recommendations included the establishment a formalized governance structure to oversee the affordable housing portfolio which would include the establishment of a cross-functional oversight body with the authority to prioritize and expedite key projects.

Objectives and Deliverables
The Interdepartmental Task Force on Affordable Housing will enable the strategic alignment of the Community and Social Services (CSSD) and Planning Real Estate and Economic Development (PRED) departments towards housing goals. This Task Force will ensure timely consultation, expertise, and decision-making within the staff’s delegated authority on advancing affordable housing options and provide a formal opportunity to engage elected officials, as necessary, to advance priorities and opportunities, as well as resolve barriers to achieving the Task Force’s goals.

The main areas of focus for the Task Force will include:

  • Housing Accelerator Fund implementation, and
  • Affordable Housing Audit recommendations.

The initial meetings of the Interdepartmental Affordable Housing Task Force have focused on formalizing the internal governance structure. The Task Force will work with the Public Information and Media Relations (PIMR) department to develop an effective communication strategy that will include quarterly updates to Council.

The structure of the Interdepartmental Task Force on Affordable Housing includes the City Manager as the Executive Sponsor with overall authority on all decisions arising from the Task Force. This position is also responsible for resolving any escalated and unresolved issues.

The Interdepartmental Task Force on Affordable Housing will include the following members:

  • City Manager
  • General Manager, PRED (Co-Chair)
  • General Manager, CSSD (Co-Chair)
  • General Manager, FCSD (Finance and Corporate Services) and Chief Financial Officer
  • Chief Communications Officer, (PIMR)
  • Manager, Business and Technical Support Services, PRED
  • Program and Project Management Officer, Business and Technical Support Services,PRED
  • Manager, Strategic Initiatives, Housing Services, CSSD
  • Specialist, Strategic Programs & Project, Business Support Services, CSSD
  • Senior Legal Counsel, PRED
  • Legal Counsel, Housing Services, CSSD
  • Director, Housing Services, CSSD
  • Manager, Affordable Housing, Housing Services, CSSD
  • Director, Transportation Planning, PRED
  • Director, Corporate Real Estate Office, PRED
  • Director, Economic Development and Long-Range Planning, PRED
  • Director, Planning Services, PRED
  • Director, City Manager’s Office

We look forward to providing quarterly updates to Council on the work of the Task Force in achieving our overall housing goals.

Sincerely,
Clara Freire
General Manager Community and Social Services

Vivi Chi Interim General Manager Planning, Real Estate and Economic Development

cc. Senior Leadership Team
Andrea Lanthier-Seymour, PIMR
Community and Social Services Departmental Leadership team
Planning, Real Estate and Economic Development Departmental Leadership team

Memo: Community Gardens Action Plan (March 14, 2024)

Date: March 14, 2024

To: Mayor and Members of Council
From: Clara Freire, General Manager, Community and Social Services Department;
Dan Chenier, General Manager, Recreation, Cultural & Facility Services

The purpose of this memorandum is to provide the Mayor and Members of Council an update on the progress of the Community Garden Action Plan review. This includes updates to the timeline to provide formal recommendations on future governance, scope, internal and external processes, and the necessary resources for community gardens and similar green community-led initiatives on City-owned land.

Background

On October 25th, 2023 Council approved motion (File No. ACS2023-OCC-CCS-0122), which directs Recreation, Culture and Facilities Services (RCFS) to work with Community and Social Services Department (CSSD) on a thorough review and update of the Community Garden Action Plan in partnership with the Planning, Real Estate and Economic Development (PRED) and Public Works Departments (PW). A review and update to the current Community Gardens Action Plan is required as residents’ requests to access City-owned land for community food gardens and similar green community-led initiatives is steadily increasing, with a focus on City-owned parkland. Community food gardens and other similar green community-led initiatives have implications for several different City departments. Residents would benefit from a clear process through which the City may consider requests for access to City-owned land for the purposes of community food gardens and similar green community-led initiatives, ultimately reducing barriers to residents.

Planning for a Review

After assessing the project's scope and complexity and following successful completion of the procurement process, the City has selected an external consultant, Hoffmann Hayes, to conduct a Review of current Community Garden Action Plan, including an extensive internal interdepartmental review, public engagement, and review the best practices from other municipalities.

Hoffmann Hayes is a leading consultancy firm in urban agriculture and community development, with 30 years of experience driving transformative community garden projects across the GTA, Ontario, and Canada. Their collaborations with municipalities like Toronto, Mississauga, London, and Charlottetown are extensive. Notable achievements include co-developing Charlottetown's Community Garden Program, City of Toronto’s Community Garden Action Plan, and leading collaboration in the Community Engagement and Entrepreneurial Development Garden Program. They've also been pivotal in shaping urban agriculture policy, contributing to essential documents such as Mississauga’s Urban Agriculture Strategy and GrowTO: An Urban Agriculture Action Plan for Toronto.

Hoffmann Hayes will provide the City with recommendations for consideration in developing a future Community Garden Framework for the City of Ottawa. Recommendations will include considerations for future governance, scope, internal and external processes, and necessary budgetary and staff resources required for implementation of a framework for community gardens and similar green initiatives on City-owned land.

The decision to hire an external consultant aims to ensure our action plan is not only thorough, but also responsive to the needs of the residents. Our commitment remains unwavering, and we are dedicated to having an improved plan in place for the 2025 growing season.

Timelines

Given the scale and scope of the review required to develop a new Community Garden Framework for the City of Ottawa, staff will not be able to meet the timelines laid out in the original Council motion. Instead of being ready in time for the 2024 growing season, staff will bring a report to Council for approval in the fall of 2024 in time for the 2025 growing season.

To mitigate the impacts of these delays on the 2024 growing season, active collaboration between RCFS, CSSD, and community partners is currently ongoing. Efforts include identifying improvement strategies to existing gardens on City owned land, and land planning for a new Albion Heatherington Community Garden.

Next steps

The consultant, Hoffmann Hayes, will begin their work in March 2024. Further updates will be shared with the Community Services Committee and City Council as the project progresses in 2024. While under development, residents may continue to share their questions and ideas with communitygardens@ottawa.ca.

Sincerely,
Clara Freire
General Manager, Community and Social Services
Dan Chenier
General Manager, Recreation, Cultural, Facilities Services

cc.
Wendy Stephanson, City Manager
Senior Leadership Team
Community and Social Services Departmental Leadership Team
Recreation, Cultural and Facilities Services Departmental Leadership Team

Memo: Child Care and Early Years Service System Plan Community Engagement (March 11, 2024)

To: Mayor and Members of Council
From: Clara Freire, General Manager, Community and Social Services Departments
Date: March 11, 2024

The purpose of this memorandum is to provide the Mayor and Members of Council with further information on the Child Care and Early Years Service System Plan (SSP) update. The SSP establishes the foundation and road map for building a system of early learning and child care services in Ottawa that focuses on meeting the local needs of children and families. The plan will act as the guide for system improvements benefiting children and families across the city of Ottawa. The previous SSP was approved by City Council for 2019-2023 and is now being updated for 2024-2028 as required by the province.

City Staff have also been conducting targeted engagement with sector partners since Q4, 2023 to hear from subject matter experts and front-line workers.

Children’s Services has launched a public engagement campaign for the SSP review, including:

  • Survey for families and caregivers.
  • Survey for child care and EarlyON providers.
  • Series of focus groups with various population groups across the city.

The survey will run until April 10 2024, and we encourage Council to share this information widely. A report to Community Services Committee and Council will be presented in Q4, 2024.

For your consideration, sharing Frequent Asked Questions to support community engagement.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What role does the City of Ottawa play in Child Care and Early Years (CCEY)?

Through the Province, the City of Ottawa is identified as the Consolidated Municipal Service Manager (CMSM) for the licensed child care and early years sector in the city. Through the Children’s Services Service Area (within the City’s Community and Social Services Department), the City is responsible for the planning and management of licensed child care and early years programs and services for children from 0 to 12 years old in Ottawa.

This includes:

  • Setting a strategic roadmap to ensure services are responsive to the needs of families.
  • Supporting child care and early years service providers in licensed centres, homes and schools.
  • Administering the child care fee subsidy program.
  • Managing the Child Care Registry and Waitlist.
  • Implementing the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Program.
  • Planning and implementing child care and early years programs and services.
  • Supporting Ottawa EarlyON Child and Family Centres to offer free, high-quality programs for families and children from birth to 6 years old.

2. What is the Child Care and Early Years Service System Plan?

The Service System Plan (SSP) establishes the foundation and road map for building a system of early learning and child care services in Ottawa that focuses on increased access, affordability, quality and inclusion (formerly referred to as “responsiveness”). The plan acts as a guide to identify priorities, actions, and system improvements benefiting children and families and responding to local needs across the city of Ottawa.

3. Why is the City reviewing the Plan now?

The previous SSP was approved by City Council for 2019-2023 and is now being updated for 2024-2028, as required by the Province. These updates are important to ensure we are responding to local needs and strengthening the local child care and early years system to ensure children get the best start in life.

Since the approval of the 2019-2023 plan, the Province has updated their guiding priorities to include a fifth element: Data and Reporting. This will help ensure that CMSMs’ work is guided by evidence-based decisions. The Province has also renamed Responsiveness to Inclusion to better reflect the goals.

4. What is the Canada Wide and Early Learning and Child Care (CWELCC) program?

The Canada Wide Early Learning and Child Care program (often referred to as CWELCC or the National Child Care system) is a Federal Government plan, to which the Province of Ontario has signed on to, to reduce the cost of child care to an average of $10 per day for eligible families by 2026. More information can be found here.

5. Will the Service System Plan help families access CWELCC child care spaces in their community?

The SSP is a guiding document that identifies actions to enhance the early years and child care system in Ottawa. This includes SSP strategic priorities that are data driven and evidence-based and an equity and inclusion lens helps inform our operational strategies. The Province has provided a limited number of new CWELCC-funded spaces available for Ottawa between now and 2026. In response, Children’s Services has created a directed growth strategy that is in line with the Provincial Access and Inclusion Framework. While the Province is ultimately responsible for the allocation of CWELCC-funded spaces, the SSP helps determine what our local priorities are and how we can achieve them within the Provincial funding and guidance frameworks. Staff are working to create 2,903 additional spaces in Ottawa by 2026 and prioritizing supports to communities and populations most in need and that face various systemic barriers.

6. Who sets the pillars for CCEY and the SSP?

Under the Child Care and Early Years Act, the Province requires an SSP. Provincial legislation also mandates the funding for CMSMs and the guidelines for how it can be allocated and spent. Within the funding formula provided by the Province, the City can set local priorities to ensure we’re responding to the needs of families and the sector at a local level.

7. Did the COVID-19 Pandemic effect the implementation of the 2019-2023 SSP?

Like all areas, the pandemic had large impacts on the child care and early years sector and the City was required to shift focus to the most urgent needs as described in the pandemic impacts report to Council in June 2021. While some of the strategic priorities defined in the Service System Plan needed to adapt to ensure the continued viability and sustainability of the sector, actions were successfully accomplished, and extensive supports were provided to the sector and to families.

8. How will the City be engaging with the community?

Children’s Services began SSP engagement activities with the child care and early years sector in the fall of 2023. This included:

  • Facilitated discussions with CCEY providers.
  • Launch of an Engage Ottawa website.
  • The work to engage on the SSP development will continue throughout Q1 and Q2 of 2024 and will include surveys, focus groups, focused media campaigns, and planning sessions with the CCEY System Planning Advisory Group, Indigenous Early Years Circle and Table Francophone.

More information on the timeline for the review can be found here.

9. How can families or service providers provide their feedback?

Children’s Services has launched a project website where families and the public can learn more about the Service System Plan: https://engage.ottawa.ca/childcarestrategy. This page will provide details on how the review will be completed and how feedback will be collected.

The project surveys will remain open until April 10, 2024. Child care and early years providers are also invited to provide their feedback and can reach out to childrensservices@ottawa.ca.

10. How do I know what child care and early years programs are available in my ward?

Licensed centres or home providers can be reviewed using the City’s Child Care Registry and Waitlist. The Ottawa Child Care Registry and Waitlist is an online tool that:

  • Shows home-based care, centre-based care, school care and or nursery/pre-school care.
  • Allows families to apply for full fee (Registry) or fee subsidy (Waitlist) by completing just one application.
  • Provides the list of providers that are participating in the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care (CWELCC) System.

11. How does Children’s Services ensure that an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion lens is applied to the SSP?

An Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) lens has been embedded in all aspects of the 2024-2028 Service System Plan development. This includes data collection, engagement planning and implementation, data analysis, and identifying actions to address disparities related to access and inclusion in child care and early years programs and services. The Children’s Services team is committed to applying an equity lens to the products and processes related to the SSP development.

For additional information, please reach out to Jason Sabourin, Director, Children’s Services at jason.sabourin@ottawa.ca.

Sincerely,
Clara Freire,
General Manager,
Community and Social Services

cc. Wendy Stephanson, City Manager
Senior Leadership Team

Community and Social Services Departmental Leadership Team

Memo: City of Ottawa named one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers (March 5, 2024)

To: Mayor and Members of Council
From: Clara Freire, General Manager, Community and Social Services Department, Cyril Rogers, Interim General Manager and Chief Financial Officer, Finance and Corporate Services Department
Subject: City of Ottawa named one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers (March 5, 2024)

I am very pleased to announce, in partnership with Cyril Rogers, Interim General Manager of the Finance and Corporate Services Department and Chief Financial Officer, that the City of Ottawa has once again been named one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers. The City Manager will be sharing this information with employees later today.

This award recognizes the City’s ongoing commitment to improving equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging in our service to residents, in our workforce and workplace. This year, the City was recognized for its efforts in focusing on employees’ psychological safety and well-being in the workplace, as well as offering various training and learning opportunities to help employees at all levels understand anti-racism principles and identify barriers.

Examples can be found in the Council approved Anti-Racism Strategy and Women and Gender Equity Strategy, the launching of several staff-led workplace Affinity Groups, and the development of wellness plans and strategies in response to staff input.

Equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging continue to be a priority for our City. We have come a long way and recognize that we still have much work to do. We are committed to this work and to fostering a thriving workforce where employees feel recognized and valued to bring their authentic selves, skills and experience to work each day.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact myself or Cyril Rogers.

Sincerely,
Clara Freire
General Manager
Community and Social Services

Cyril Rogers
Interim General Manager
Finance and Corporate Services Department and Chief Financial Officer
cc.
Wendy Stephanson, City Manager
Senior Leadership Team
Elizabeth Marland, Director, Human Resources
Community and Social Services Department Leadership Team

Memo: 2024 Provincial Guidelines and Funding Allocation Update (February 8, 2024)

Date: February 8, 2024
To: Mayor and Members of Council
From: Clara Freire, General Manager Community and Social Services Department

The purpose of this memorandum is to provide the Mayor and Members of Council with an update on the impact of the recently announced 2024 Child Care, Early ON Child and Family Centres, and Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care (CWELCC) Provincial Guidelines and funding allocations.

Background

The last few years have presented significant pressure on the early years and child care sector, navigating through a pandemic, workforce pressures and the phased approach of building a new and transformational public child care system. In alignment with the City’s Child Care and Early Years Service System plan’s vision to unite as a city and make progressive improvements, Ottawa’s sector has truly come together to adapt, often on short timelines, to deliver these essential services in Ottawa through many lingering challenges to support families and give children the best possible start in life.

In 2019, the province announced a phasing-in of program delivery funding reductions provided to municipalities as Consolidated Municipal Service Managers (CMSMs) responsible for the planning and management of programs and services. Specifically, the requirement was to cost share the majority of provincial CMSM program delivery funding at a rate of 50/50 with a plan to reduce the allowable funding threshold from 10% to 5% to be fully implemented by 2022. To support CMSMs while they found efficiencies and adjusted their cost structures, a one-time transitional grant was provided in 2020. The pandemic related responsibilities for service system managers drastically increased in 2020 (ACS2001-CSS-GEN-0009). While no additional funding was provided to reflect the increased responsibilities, the province continued to provide the one-time transitional funding through these challenging years. In March 2022, the province announced the implementation of the CWELCC system. (ACS2022-GEN-0013) In April 2022, the province advised through a memo that “Administrative funding will be restored, as we recognize this is not the time to implement the previously announced funding cuts.” Adjustments were immediately made in the 2023 budget to re-establish the funding and resources needed to navigate both the backlog from pandemic impacts and the increased responsibilities under the new CWELCC system.

Current Status

On Thursday, November 30, 2023, the province provided an update on the 2024 Child Care, EarlyON Child and Family Centres, and Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care Funding. Investments from the Government of Ontario and the Government of Canada in the child care and early years system will total more than $3.9B for 2024 and will continue to support the implementation of previously announced fee reductions, workforce support and other measures. Ottawa’s total allocation for 2024 is $308M. The following are key updates for 2024.

Expiry of the one-time transitional grant for Municipal Program Delivery

The province advised that after three years of funding to help stabilize the system during exceptional circumstances, the one-time transitional grant will be discontinued effective Monday, January 1, 2024 and funding reductions will proceed.

This represents a reduction of $4.7M or 37% of the total program delivery budget and will result in workforce implications and programming funds which have been pivotal in quickly implementing pandemic supports and the first phases of the CWELCC system. To mitigate the impact to CMSMs in 2024, any unused funds from previous years’ one-time transition grants can be used until Sunday, March 31, 2024. For Ottawa, it is anticipated this will allow staff to mitigate any immediate financial, workforce and service implications until a plan to adjust can be developed and implemented throughout 2024.

The combination of the continued system transformation, increased responsibilities required to build a public system and safeguard public funds, and limited program delivery funding are concerning at this pivotal time. The City continues to manage two parallel systems, will be implementing a new funding model, continued implementation of the directed growth and workforce strategies, a further planned fee reduction and a new provincial IT modernization initiative. Implementing the funding reductions now will risk the successful implementation of the national system and is expected to result in negative outcomes for families and service providers.
Staff will continue to advocate together with our partners at the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and the Ontario Municipal Social Services Association to request a delay of these funding decisions to provide the needed time and resources to fully implement system improvements / efficiencies while allowing the sector to stabilize through significant transformation.

Value for money audit

The province is requiring CMSMs who directly operate child care centres to do an independent value-for-money audit of their programs, with no additional program delivery funding to complete this work. Audits must determine whether provincial funding is being used efficiently and effectively by directly operated centres and whether the child care services could be offered by a third-party provider instead. The audit report, recommendations and management responses should be posted publicly.

The City completed a Municipal Child Care review in 2021 (ACS2021-CSS-GEN-0008) which included a full cost benefit analysis and ensuring the services align to the City’s mandate to serve families who face various barriers and systemic challenges in areas of the city where there is insufficient child care spaces to meet demand. The City is sharing this information with the Province and will comply with any audit requirements.

Cost Escalation & Emerging Issues funding

The province acknowledges that child care service providers may face unavoidable cost increases beyond their control. To support providers, an increase of 2.1% has been allocated. In 2023, the province provided an increase of 2.75% resulting in a total compounded increase of 4.91% from 2022 to 2024. Many providers find this insufficient and worry about the impact on their participation in the CWELCC system. To address this, the province has provided an extra $5.9M for emerging issues. The City will develop a fair and transparent process to allocate these funds to providers who demonstrate that their revenue for eligible spaces is insufficient to support the service provider’s non-discretionary costs. It’s uncertain if this funding will cover all needs and staff will continue to collaborate with the province and advocate if additional funding is needed.

Workforce Strategy

The province has increased the hourly wage maximum for the Wage Enhancement Grant (WEG) and Home Child Care Enhancement Grant (HCCEG) to help close the gap between Registered Early Childhood Educators (RECEs) in the education sector and eligible RECEs in licensed child care settings. To build on this initiative and as previously communicated to Council on Thursday, November 23, 2023 through a Memorandum, the province has also launched a Child Care Workforce Strategy to increase wages for RECEs along with a multipronged strategy to recruit and retain qualified educators.

The City awaits more details and funding allocations on Professional Development, Mental Health Support and the one-time innovation fund. Advocacy groups applaud these latest investments as an important step forward in addressing the workforce challenges, but some are still concerned that further measures will be needed to fully address the complexity of workforce issues. The sector emphasizes wages and benefits as the most important gap to be addressed in the system given its connection to quality and the need to increase spaces. Staff will continue to advocate for these essential services to benefit both the social and economic well-being of families and the community.

Upcoming CWELCC funding approach

To ensure CMSMs and service providers have the time they need to prepare for the new CWELCC funding approach and minimize disruption to the system the province has delayed implementation of the new funding approach until at least September 2024. Staff are awaiting further information and details on the new funding approach from the province.

Next steps

Children’s Services continues to play a critical role in the transformational work ahead. Staff will implement the above programs and services, prioritize provincial directions, and scale and scope initiatives based on available capacity and funding. Staff will develop a plan to align our program delivery budgets and service offerings to the updated provincial allocations including evaluating various mitigation options and include any impacts in the 2025 draft budget.

An update to the to the Child Care and Early Years Service System Plan is currently in development, with community engagement initiatives planned ahead of consideration by Council later this year. The updated service system plan for 2024-2028 will build on the work of the previous version, serving as a roadmap to assist the sector in navigating through a significant transformation and help identify priorities within available resources. Once the public engagement campaign is launched, additional information will be shared with the Mayor and Members of Council including details on how residents can participate.

The City remains committed to working collaboratively with all stakeholders to ensure the best possible outcomes for children and families in our community. This continues to be a period of transition across the province and staff remain committed to working with families and the child care sector in the next steps of this significant transformation. For more information, please reach out to Jason Sabourin at Jason.Sabourin@ottawa.ca.

Sincerely,
Clara Freire,
General Manager,
Community and Social Services

cc. Wendy Stephanson, City Manager
Senior Leadership Team
Dr. Vera Etches, Medical Officer of Health, Ottawa Public Health
Community and Social Services Departmental Leadership Team

Memo: Allocation of the Emerging Community Needs Fund (January 4, 2024)

Date: January 4, 2024

To: Mayor and Members of Council
From: Clara Freire, General Manager Community and Social Services Department

The purpose of this memo is to provide the Mayor and Members of Council with an update on the allocation of the $670K Emerging Community Needs Fund. Seventeen applications were approved through the one-time funding.

Background
The City Council approved Community Funding Framework includes funding for Emerging Community Needs, which is intended to address a specific need in a community (local neighborhood, or community of common bond) and contribute to community capacity building, well-being, and resiliency. This funding is not intended to support ongoing operations, address a funding gap, or budget shortfall.

In November 2023, the Emerging Community Needs funding stream launched an allocation of $670,000 from a combination of funds in the Community Funding and Community Safety and Well-Being Envelopes.

Call for Proposals and Assessment Process
Funding for the Emerging Community Needs Fund was allocated through an open call for proposals for one-time funding. The City of Ottawa Allocations Committee had an opportunity to review all the applications and provide ratings based on a set assessment process aligned to the funding criteria. Assessments were based on the organization’s profile, target community, target demographic, emerging community need, alignment of the request to the objectives of the Fund, budget, proposed outcome, initiative sustainability, and support/partners.

The Emerging Community Needs Fund City Allocation Committee included staff and management from the Community Safety and Well-Being and Social Development and Funding teams.

Results
Eighty-one agencies requested $4.7M through the open call for proposals launched on November 16, 2023. Following the allocation committee process, 17 applications were recommended for onetime funding, totalling $670,019.

The Allocations Committee recommended that successful applicants:

  • Requesting under $20K to receive the full amount requested.
  • Requesting over $20K to receive 90% of their requested amount.
  • Receiving sustainability funding had their administrative costs omitted from consideration (already covered through sustainability funding).

Once the Emerging Community Needs Funding Allocation Committee finalized their recommendations and decisions, they were reviewed and approved by the Acting Director, Gender and Race Equity, Inclusion, Indigenous Relations and Social Development and the General Manager, Community and Social Services Department.

Next steps
All applicants have been notified of the results of the allocation process. Should you have any questions about the process or results, please contact Clara Freire at Clara.Freire@ottawa.ca or Shanna Culhane at Shanna.Culhane@ottawa.ca (after Jan. 8, 2024).

Sincerely,
Clara Freire
General Manager
Community and Social Services

cc. Wendy Stephanson, City Manager
Senior Leadership Team
Community and Social Services Departmental Leadership team

Emerging Community Needs – November 2023 Funded Projects
Number Organization name Project name or brief description Ward where project is taking place
1 Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre Intake assessment process and training 12
2 Parkdale Food Centre Increasing Food Accessibility 15
3 South- East Ottawa Community Health Centre Community Development approach to mental health 18
4 The Door Youth Ottawa Prevention-oriented programs and activities for higher-risk youth within the community. 14
5 Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre Expansion of services to vulnerable community members in Richmond 23
6 CALACS francophone d’Ottawa Services to victims of sex trafficking 12
7 Centre de ressources communautaires de la Basse- Ville Relocation and redesign of foodbank services to better respond to community need 12
8 Incorporated Synod of the Diocese of Ottawa: Belong Ottawa – Centre 454 location Community Clean-up 12
9 Britannia Woods Community House FCA Program for culturally adapted preventative support 7
10 Counselling and Family Service Ottawa / Service familial et counseling Ottawa & Résilience Active des Familles Immigrantes en Ontario (RAFIO) Equitable access to community-based mental health services for Black Francophone newcomers 12
11 St. Joe's Women's Centre (OMI, St. Peter's Province, St. Joseph's Parish, St. Joe's Women's Centre) Part-time client advocate and support worker 12
12 Orléans-Cumberland Community Resource Centre Intake services to ensure more consistent connections 1
13 Elizabeth Fry Society of Ottawa (E Fry Ottawa) Staff training to support clients using toxic substances 14
14 Meals on Wheels/La Popote roulante (Ottawa) Community Outreach Coordinator position from May 1, to Dec. 31, 2024 14
15 Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre on behalf of the Coalition of Community Health and Resource Centres Post-Incident Neighbourhood Support (PINS) 13
16 Unsafe at Home Ottawa/Interval House of Ottawa Immediate, trauma -informed care and service coordination for survivors of violence against women 10
17 Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa (BGC Ottawa) Youth Program Support 7
 

Memo: Safer Alternate Response for Mental Health and Substance Use Crises Prototype Allocation (December 15, 2023)

Date: December 15, 2023
To: Mayor and Members of Council
From: Clara Freire General Manager Community and Social Services

The purpose of this memo is to provide an update to Mayor and Members of Council on the next key milestone of the Safer Alternate Response for Mental Health and Substance Use Crises Prototype.

Upon completion of the Request for Proposal for the community-based response team Centertown Community Health Centre, in collaboration with Somerset West Community Health Centre, were selected to lead the Response Service Delivery of the Prototype.

In addition and upon completion of a separate procurement process, Community Navigation of Eastern Ontario (CNEO/211 East) will take the lead in the Call diversion (non-911 number) function of the Prototype.

Background
Through a community-led process by the Ottawa Guiding Council on Mental Health and Addictions (the Guiding Council), Ottawa City Council approved the Safer Alternate Response for Mental Health and Substance Use Crises Response (ACS2023-CSSGEN-010) in July 2023. The first phase has three key components:

1. Call diversion (non-911 number): An alternate call intake, triage and dispatch system for mental health and substance use calls. This provides an option to
community members seeking mental health and substance use crisis support to call a non-911 number directly.

2. Response team: Community-based, civilian-led, multi-disciplinary and mobile crisis response teams that offer 24 hours a day, seven days a week, traumainformed and culturally appropriate crisis response services in Centretown. Each crisis response team will have a peer support worker. The team can provide individuals with wrap-around supports providing a continuum of care with pathways to services.

3. Peer support and wrap-around system: Establishment of a network of supporting community agencies that operate within the geographic area that can support clients on an ongoing basis to provide stability, system navigation and follow-up support.

In July 2023, approximately $3 million in municipal funding annually for three years was approved to implement the first phase of the initiative. City staff were directed to select a community partner to lead the Response team and wrap-around support system, referred to as the Response Service Delivery of the Prototype, through a competitive process in accordance with the Council-approved Community Funding Framework (ACS2019-CSS-GEN-0012).

Response Service Delivery – Evaluation Process and Results
Selection of the community partner to lead the Response Service Delivery of the Prototype was completed through an open public request for proposals. An Allocation Committee reviewed all applications applying an equity and inclusion lens. Decisions were based on the proposal’s overall alignment with the community-established Prototype structure, service delivery requirements, population served, budget feasibility and expected outcomes.

Once the Allocation Committee completed their review and provided a final score for each application, the highest scoring agencies were invited for an interview. The interview provided an opportunity for the Allocation Committee and applicant to discuss the application and Prototype implementation in greater details. Upon completion of the interview process, the Allocation Committee provided their final recommendation

The Safer Alternate Response Allocation Committee included four community experts with in-depth knowledge of community needs, the Directors of the Guiding Council Secretariat as well as City staff. The Guiding Council nominated community experts and people with lived and living experience.

Centertown Community Health Centre (CCHC) and Somerset West Community Health Centre (SWCHC) both have extensive experience in implementing and designing programs and services responding to mental health and substance use interventions and actively work to ensure trauma-informed and culturally appropriate practices are included in the crisis management and follow-up support they provide. They will be working with a broad range of community partners to carry out this work.

Call Intake, Triage and Dispatch
Also integral to the Prototype is the partnership with Community Navigation of Eastern Ontario (CNEO/211 East), an existing service that provides information and referrals for community and social services 24/7 in Ottawa.

Following a market assessment, staff launched an Advance Notification Award Notice (ACAN) to support the transparency of the process. An ACAN is a public notice, open for three weeks, of the intent to award the contract to CNEO/211 East. The ACAN is an opportunity for other organizations to express their interest in bidding on the contract by submitting a statement of capabilities. No responses were received for the ACAN from other organizations. Staff are now working with CNEO/211 to finalize a contract. Under this agreement, CNEO/211 will take the lead in the Call diversion (non-911 number) function of the Prototype, specifically in managing the triage and dispatch of calls to the mobile teams and connecting callers to follow-up supports.

Next Steps
Community agencies have been notified of the results of the allocation process and City staff will continue to work with Centertown Community Health Centre, Sommerset West Community Health Centre, and CNEO/211 East to finalize agreements and issue funding. In response to direction received at Community Services Committee on June 27, 2023, the information below outlines key milestones and a schedule of updates to City Council.

Date Activity
Q1 – Q3 2024 Prototype development/planning
Q3 2024 Memo to Council – Notification of launch of Prototype
Q3 2024 Prototype is live – Program delivery

Should you have additional questions regarding the content of this memo, please do not hesitate to reach out to me or Sarah Taylor, Director (A), Community Safety, Well-Being, Policy, and Analytics at sarah.taylor@ottawa.ca directly.

Sincerely,
Clara Freire
General Manager
Community and Social Services

cc. Wendy Stephanson, City Manager
Senior Leadership Team
Community and Social Services Departmental Leadership Team

Memo: Update on the Performance Measurement Framework of the Community Safety and Well-Being Plan (November 23, 2023)

Date: November 23, 2023
To: Mayor and Members of Council
From: Clara Freire General Manager Community and Social Services

On December 14, 2022, City Council passed motion No.2022 - 04/06 directing staff to report back annually on the evaluation of the program results for the Community Safety and Well-Being Funded programs.

The purpose of this memo is to provide an update of the Performance Measurement Framework of the Community Safety and Well-Being Plan, specifically including the Community Safety and Well-Being Fund year one evaluation findings and the Canadian Housing Survey Dashboard.

Performance Measurement Framework of the Community Safety and Well-Being Plan
On July 12, 2023, City Council received an update on the Community Safety and Well-Being Plan (ACS2023-CSS-GEN-009). The report included an overview of the Community Safety and Well-Being Performance Measurement Framework. The Performance Measurement Framework will measure success, guide actions based on data, and provide an understanding of how the plan and its priorities are making progress over time.

The framework is divided into three pillars to measure progress:

  • Pillar 1: Ottawa population-level indicators look at key information about safety and well-being in Ottawa.
  • Pillar 2: CSWB stakeholder-level indicators keep track of the CSWB Office’s operations related to stakeholder partnership and community engagement, such as meetings, funding contributions and partnerships, and evaluate their effectiveness.
  • Pillar 3: Program intervention-level indicators evaluate specific projects led by the City in each priority area, such as the Community Safety and Well-Being Fund.

Additional details can be found on the Community Safety and Well-Being Performance Measurement page on Ottawa.ca: Data for a Healthy and Safe City for Everyone. One of the goals in addition to sharing the results of the CSWB measurement framework is to provide connections to other valuable related data sources.

Community Safety and Well-Being Fund Evaluation
On December 8, 2021, City Council approved $2.1 million dollars to support the Community Safety and Well-Being Plan through the Community Funding Framework. In  accordance with Ottawa City Council Motion No. 67/6, the funding agreement aims to enhance existing community-based programs that have previously demonstrated their success in one or more of the following areas:

  • Culturally appropriate programs for racialized youth with the aim of increasing employment, mentorship opportunities and skillsets.
  • Programs that promote mental health and offer crisis support and outreach services in ways that are culturally appropriate to clients.
  • Culturally safe programs that focus on mental health services for the Indigenous population in Ottawa and incorporate actions to prevent violence against Indigenous women and girls.

This Community Safety and Well-Being (CSWB) Fund is a 3-year agreement that began in July 2022. A total of 19 applications from 18 agencies were approved (see Supplementary file containing details for each program). In reference to the Community Safety and Well-Being provincial framework, the focus of these programs is to reduce the risk of harm through social development with some also addressing prevention and risk interventions.

The purpose of the Community Safety and Well-Being Fund evaluation was to document the way in which the funding contributed to:

  • Increasing the capacity of funded organizations to reach target groups in priority areas
  • Building and strengthening community resources
  • Generating positive impacts for clients; and,
  • Promoting social development through reducing risks of harm

The evaluation results provide positive outcomes that the funding achieved its desired results through the expansion of capacity and culturally appropriate service. In addition, participants reported the programs offered supported the reduction of risks of harm. They felt more connected to the community, experienced less stress, and observed a positive impact on their mental wellbeing.

The evaluation also reinforced the need for local interventions in highly impacted
neighbourhoods, where services are accessible and familiar to the targeted populations. For example, working with youth and families to identify and address their needs not only increases individual capacities but also builds trust and community cohesion. This approach is proven to reduce calls for emergency and police response.

A high-level summary of the evaluation results can be found on the Community Safety and Well-Being Performance Measurement webpage, Data for a Healthy and Safe City for Everyone. This includes three qualitative impact stories describing the impacts of the funding on the programs, individuals, and communities it supports. Canadian Housing Survey Dashboard Reporting information about how Ottawa residents feel about their safety and well-being is an integral part of the Community Safety and Well-Being (CSWB) Plan to support evidence-based decision-making in the plan’s priorities. In addition to routine reporting on safety and well-being indicators, thematic reports are produced under the CSWB Plan to cover specific topics in more depth. The Canadian Housing Survey Dashboard is the first report published.

The Canadian Housing Survey Dashboard presents results from the Canadian Housing Survey (CHS), conducted by Statistics Canada every two to three years, to collect information about housing needs, economic hardship, neighbourhood satisfaction, trust, and perceived safety. The CHS is a cross-sectional survey with new households randomly selected to participate at the time of a new survey cycle. The dashboard includes data from two CHS survey cycles (2018 and 2021). A summary of the Canadian Housing Survey results is found on Ottawa.ca.

Next Steps
The Community Safety and Well-Being Office will continue reporting against the Performance Measurement Framework, including the Community Safety and Well-Being Fund evaluation, through its annual report to Council.

For questions, please contact Sarah Taylor, Director (A) of Community Safety, Well-Being, Policy and Analytics at sarah.taylor@ottawa.ca.

Sincerely,
Clara Freire
General Manager
Community and Social Services

cc. Wendy Stephanson, City Manager
Senior Leadership Team
Community and Social Services Department Leadership Team

Memo: Response to Extreme Cold Weather (November 23, 2023)

Date: November 23, 2023
To: Mayor and Members of Council
From: Dr. Vera Etches, Medical Officer of Health Ottawa Public Health Clara Freire, General Manager Community and Social Services, Kim Ayotte, General Manager Emergency and Protective Services

Purpose
The purpose of this memo is to provide an update outlining the City’s actions when an extreme cold weather event is forecasted for the City of Ottawa.

Background
Extreme cold weather events can result in significant adverse health impacts. To address these impacts, a City of Ottawa Extreme Heat, Cold and Smog Plan (the Plan) was developed to address extreme heat, extreme cold and poor outdoor air quality events. The plan outlines the actions the City of Ottawa and community partners will take to prepare and respond to these events.

The City’s Heat, Cold and Smog Planning Committee meets regularly and updates the Plan and information for partners and residents in preparation for the cold weather season. Cold weather response is a shared responsibility involving multiple City departments and community partners working collaboratively to lead actions in their respective areas. Committee members include representatives from Emergency and Protective Services; Community and Social Services; Recreation, Culture and Facility Services; Finance and Corporate Services; Ottawa Public Health, 3-1-1 Client Services, The Salvation Army Outreach Services; the Canadian Red Cross Ottawa Branch; Ottawa Community Housing, and 2-1-1 Community Navigation of Eastern Ontario.

The extreme cold component of the Plan is activated when Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) forecasts windchill or temperature values that pose an increased risk of frostbite. The Plan provides the basis to guide preventative strategies for the City and service providers. For people experiencing homelessness, this includes ensuring access to warm indoor spaces, programming and services.

Preparing for an extreme cold weather event
Service providers who assist people at risk of experiencing adverse health impacts related to extreme cold receive pre-season information about services, resources and prevention strategies, and are encouraged to subscribe to the ECCC WeatherCAN app to receive weather alerts. This pre-season information is also shared with the Board of Health and City Council. OPH shares health messaging and ECCC extreme cold warnings (temperature or wind chill –35° C) via social media to alert the public and community agencies that assist people at risk.

1. Communications
OPH is responsible for communications to raise awareness of actions to prevent cold weather-related illness, injuries and deaths. These communications are disseminated to the public, to Council and to service providers who support priority populations.

OPH recommends that individuals subscribe to the ECCC WeatherCAN app to receive weather alerts directly. The OPH Cold Weather website is updated regularly with current information and resources.

The City’s Community and Social Services (CSSD), OC Transpo, and other City Services may also communicate specific information related to their services. Public Information and Media Relations (PIMR) shares OPH messaging and coordinates any joint communication required from specific City services. PIMR can amplify the reach of the other departments/services by posting messaging on the corporate social media channels.

2. Cold Weather Assistance to People Experiencing Homelessness
The Community and Social Services Department (CSSD) and community partners work together to ensure that those experiencing homelessness have access to safe and warm shelters during an extreme cold weather event. Within the shelter system and overflow facilities, space is available for those in need. Anyone who is unsheltered can access services 24/7 by calling 3-1-1 or presenting themselves at a shelter. If a member of the public identifies someone who requires assistance to get out of the cold, they can call 3-1-1, or 9-1-1 if it is a medical emergency. City staff will work with community shelter partners to secure a placement.

CSSD’s Housing Services currently operates temporary Physical Distancing – Overflow Centres to support the single adult community shelter system and works closely with partners to ensure adequate space is available as part of their winter response plan. CSSD is also working to enhance and expand services to support residents experiencing homelessness through the Integrated Transitions to Housing Plan. The plan will be updated on an ongoing basis as new supports are added to respond to the emerging needs.

Due to the current homelessness crisis, Mayor Sutcliffe and Chair of Community Services Committee, Laura Dudas, recently launched an Emergency Shelter Crisis Task Force. Through this work, the City is accelerating responses and planning for additional shelter or warming spaces across the city. As part of this winter response, the City regularly reviews emergency shelter accommodation needs and capacity to ensure space is available. Those who are unsheltered during winter are provided with winter gear, including sleeping bags suitable for -30 weather, additional blankets, clothing, and handwarmers. Outreach services and other partners stock extra supplies to ensure residents who choose to remain outside during an extreme cold weather event can stay warm.

During extreme cold weather events, outreach services operate on a 24-hour basis to connect with unsheltered individuals and bring them to safe shelter. The Office of Emergency Management works closely with OPH, CSSD and other City services to ensure that conditions that could warrant an enhanced response are identified and escalated quickly. OPH monitors epidemiological data during extreme cold events to determine how many people are seeking care at local emergency departments for cold temperature related injuries. Should there be a need for an enhanced response (e.g., extreme cold for an extended duration or in combination with a power outage or other emergency), the City is prepared to mobilize the Emergency Operations Centre.

3. Resources for all residents
The OPH Cold Weather webpage provides information about preventing cold related injuries, such as frostbite, as well as medical emergencies such as hypothermia, and includes links to resources in our community to help people access winter clothing, hot meals and other food, obtain assistance with home heating costs, and find emergency shelter (including transportation to shelter). The webpage also has an interactive map of places to warm up, including City of Ottawa operated community centres. These are places throughout the city where people are welcome to go to warm up during the cold. They are open during business hours throughout the year and access is free of charge. Locations included on the map are validated at the beginning of the season.

Based on recent feedback, OPH has updated the Cold Weather webpage to make it easier to navigate.

Residents can call 2-1-1, the Community Navigation of Eastern Ontario, to obtain information about services and locations of drop-in centres, community and health resource centres, food banks and community food programs, and where to obtain winter clothing, and financial assistance for their utilities.

Procedures for 3-1-1 staff related to extreme cold weather are regularly reviewed by OPH subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and consistency in 3-1-1 messaging. In addition to existing procedures, 3-1-1 staff receive up-to-date information via media advisories and public service announcements related to extreme weather to relay to concerned residents.

Next Steps
The City of Ottawa and partners will continue to plan, monitor, and respond to needs related to extreme cold over the winter.

Thank you for your ongoing support and cooperation during this time.

Respectfully,

Dr. Vera Etches, Medical Officer of Health,
Ottawa Public Health

Clara Freire, General Manager,
Community and Social Services

Kim Ayotte, General Manager,
Emergency and Protective Services

cc. Wendy Stephanson, City Manager
Senior Leadership Team

Memo: Ontario Child Care Workforce Strategy (November 23, 2023)

To: Mayor and Members of Council
From: Jason Sabourin, Director, Children’s Services, Community and Social Services Department
Subject: Ontario Child Care Workforce Strategy (November 23, 2023)

The purpose of this memorandum is to provide the Mayor and Members of Council with a key update on the investments being made under the Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care (CWELCC) system. The Province is launching a Child Care Workforce Strategy to deliver increased wages to Registered Early Childhood Educators (RECEs) along with a multipronged strategy to recruit and retain qualified educators, building on existing initiatives. Additionally, action is being taken to further protect the safety of children in care with the implementation of a Safe Arrival and Dismissal Policy by Monday, January 1, 2024.

Background
Child care services are essential and benefit both the social and economic well-being of families and our community, highlighted by the current rising costs due to inflation and pressures on household incomes. Child care services have been included within the City’s Term of Council Priority in the 2023-2026 City Strategic Plan that sees a city that is more liveable for all. As identified in the Council approved Child Care and Early Years Service System Plan (2019-2023), having an experienced and stable workforce, supported through ongoing training and good wages and working conditions is important to the quality of child care and early years services in Ottawa. These essential services are only possible with a stable workforce. For years, the sector across the province has faced ongoing challenges related to its workforce - especially around retention and recruitment, salaries and benefits and professional development. These challenges have been compounded by pandemic pressures and the 2022 introduction of the CWELCC system and growing demand with the need for additional child care services to support families with high-quality and affordable child care.

Children’s Services together with Council, our System Planning Advisory Group and local partners have continued to advocate for a well-compensated and valued early childhood workforce, which must go hand in hand when building a national system of early learning and child care on behalf of children and families. The workforce challenges present a significant barrier to the successful growth and implementation of the CWELCC system and its intended impacts on affordable, accessible, responsive and quality child care. An underfunded and precarious workforce means that families can't plan for and rely on care being available,
parents won't have the choice to work outside the home and child care will be harder to find.

Current status

On Thursday, November 16, 2023, the Province announced the launch of a Child Care Workforce Strategy to deliver increased wages to Registered Early Childhood Educators (RECEs) along with a multipronged strategy to recruit and retain qualified educators, building on existing initiatives. Additionally, action is being taken to further protect the safety of children in care with the implementation of a Safe Arrival and Dismissal Policy by Monday, January 1, 2024. The Provincial government’s Workforce Strategy is outlined below.

Compensation

The strategy sets out new compensation structures for Registered Early Childhood Educators (RECEs), as well as Supervisors/RECE Home Child Care Visitors. In 2024, the wage floor will increase from $20 per hour to $23.86 per hour for eligible RECE program staff and from $22 per hour to $24.86 per hour for Supervisors and RECE Home Child Care Visitors. The wage floor will then increase by $1 per hour each year up to 2026.

Wage Floor (per hour)
  RECEs Supervisors/RECE HCC Visitors
2024 $20.00 to $23.86 $22.00 to $24.86
2025 $21.00 to $24.86 $23.00 to $25.86
2026 $22.00 to $25.86 $24.00 to $26.86

In 2024, eligibility ceiling for the annual $1 increase will increase for eligible RECE program staff to $26 per hour and $29 per hour for Supervisors and RECE Home Child Care Visitors. The eligibility ceiling will then increase by $1 per hour each year up to 2026. The eligibility ceiling is not a wage cap and employers can choose to pay RECE wages above the eligibility ceiling.

Wage Ceiling for Annual Wage Increase (Per Hour)
  RECEs Supervisors/RECE HCC Visitors
2024 $25.00 to $26.00 $25.00 to $29.00
2025 $25.00 to $27.00 $25.00 to $30.00
2026 $25.00 to $28.00 $25.00 to $31.00
 

Professional Development and Mental Health Support
The strategy describes investments in professional development and mental health supports for the Child Care and Early Years (CCEY) sector. Access to ongoing professional learning opportunities can enhance staff engagement, foster growth, acknowledge achievements, boost professional efficacy and enhance overall job satisfaction. Starting in 2024, funding will be provided for up to one paid Professional Development day for all staff working in licensed centre and home-based care and EarlyON Child and Family Centres.

Recruitment and Retention
The strategy initiates a one-time Innovation Fund for local solutions to support workforce recruitment and retention and develops partnerships between municipalities and providers to address RECE workforce issues. The funds will also foster the development of local solutions to support students and address RECE workforce issues, including easing the transition among RECEs from school to work.

Expansion of Early Childhood Education Qualifications Upgrade Program
The strategy also expands the Early Childhood Education Qualifications Upgrade Program to support workforce recruitment and retention in the CCEY sector. The Province funds the Early Childhood Education Qualifications Upgrade Program (ECE QUP) which supports individuals working within the early years sector who have been accepted to an Ontario College of Applied Arts and Technology program to pursue their Early Childhood Education (ECE) diploma and become eligible to apply for membership with the College of Early Childhood Educators (CECE). As of 2024, the ministry will enhance the base funding to support workforce recruitment and retention in the CCEY sector. The program includes a Francophone and First Nations, Métis and Inuit program component to prioritize these applicants.

The Provincial strategy also includes additional supports, such as removing barriers to allow more flexibility for qualified individuals to work in the CCEY sector, expanding post-secondary credit acceptance processes, as well as clarifying that student placements can be completed at a candidate’s place of work if the candidate is already working in licensed child care.

Safe Arrival and Dismissal
Action is also being taken to further protect the safety of children by requiring all licensed child care operators to implement a Safe Arrival and Dismissal Policy by Monday January 1, 2024. This will ensure that when a child does not arrive at the licensed child care program or is not picked up as expected, parents will be informed in line with existing protocols within Ontario’s publicly funded schools. This closes a gap that will protect children from exceptional and preventable tragedies.

Municipal Child Care Centres
As a result of continued municipal investments, the City’s Municipal Child Care centre staff are already above the eligibility ceiling for the compensation funding. The municipal investments enable attractive compensation for qualified staff, resulting in an experienced and stable workforce which fosters strong relationships and familiarity with individual children and family members, providing positive influence on children’s social development. It also results in increased labour force participation aligning to Council‘s Women and Gender Equity Strategy as the staffing complement is predominately women. This establishes the Municipal Centres
as a leading model. The City will be updating the current Safe Arrival and Dismissal procedure in accordance with the legislative changes.

Next steps
Children’s Services anticipates receiving the Ontario Child Care Workforce Strategy guidelines sometime in early 2024 which will include further details and requirements on these new initiatives and associated funding for Ottawa. Once additional information is received, Children’s Services will prioritize these aspects to help essential front-line workers and provide updates to licensed child care service providers with anticipated timelines and associated supports to complete this new initiative as soon as possible. Children’s Services looks forward to assessing how these Provincial announcements can compliment and enhance our ongoing workforce development efforts and our local workforce strategy initiated with past one-time Federal/Provincial Child Care and Early Years Workforce Funding.

Many advocacy groups are praising these latest investments as an important step forward in addressing the workforce challenges, but some are still concerned that further measures will be needed to fully address the complexity of workforce issues. The sector has continually outlined wages and benefits as the most important gap to be addressed in the system given its connection to quality and the need to increase spaces. Additional Provincial investments would be required to align community partners to the leading model established by the City’s Municipal Child Care centres. Children’s Services will continue to advocate for these aspects
to the Province knowing how essential these services are to both the social and economic well-being of families and the community.

This continues to be a period of transition across the province and staff remain committed to working with families and the child care sector in the next steps of this significant transformation.

Sincerely,
Jason Sabourin
Director, Children’s Services
Community and Social Services

cc. Wendy Stephanson, City Manager
Senior Leadership Team
Dr. Vera Etches, Medical Officer of Health, Ottawa Public Health
Community and Social Services Departmental Leadership Team

Memo: Director of Employment and Social Services confirmed (November 22, 2023)

Date: November 22, 2023
To: Mayor and Members of Council
From: Clara Freire, General Manager Community and Social Services

The purpose of this memo is to advise Council that the Director of Employment and Social Services has been confirmed.

It is my pleasure to announce that Stephanie Bordage, who has been serving as Interim Director of Employment and Social Services since April, was the successful candidate in the competition.

Before taking on the Interim Director position, Stephanie was a Manager in Employment and Social Services since 2017. Stephanie oversaw the delivery of employment and financial assistance programs and services, and led innovative changes in service delivery such as the Catherine Street Community Services Hub.

Stephanie, who is fluently bilingual in English and French, has worked closely with the social services sector for many years and has built strong relationships with the community and the Community and Social Services team.

Through Stephanie’s leadership, I am confident that the Employment and Social Services Team will be well supported as they continue to make great strides in advancing Social Assistance Modernization.

Sincerely,
Clara Freire
General Manager
Community and Social Services

cc.
Wendy Stephanson, Interim City Manager
Senior Leadership Team
Community and Social Services Department Leadership Team

Memo: Emerging Community Needs application is now open (November 16, 2023)

Date: November 16, 2023
To: Mayor and Members of Council
From: Sawsan Al-Refaei, Interim Director, Gender and Race Equity, Inclusion, Indigenous Relations, and Social Development

This memo is to inform Council that the Emerging Community Needs funding stream of Community Funding is now open for applications.

Emerging Community Needs funding provides one-time funding for initiatives or activities that address a specific emerging need in a community (local priority neighbourhoods or community of common bond) and contribute to community capacity building, well-being, and resiliency. For the purpose of this funding, emerging needs are defined as newly formed or prominent.

• Deadline for application: Thursday, December 7th, 2023
• Funding available: $500,000
• Applicants will be advised of the results no later than December 20th, 2023

For more information and to apply, please email communityfunding@ottawa.ca.

All applications will be assessed through an allocation process. An applicant’s success in obtaining funding depends on the allocation committee’s final evaluation and the funding available in the envelope.

Should you have any further questions about the application or allocation process, please contact Cinthia Pagé at cinthia.page@ottawa.ca.

Sincerely,
Sawsan Al-Refaei
Director (Acting), Gender and Race Equity, Inclusion, Indigenous Relations, and Social Development

Memo: Extension and Expansion of Physical Distancing Centres (November 1, 2023)

Date: November 1, 2023
To: Mayor and Members of Council
From: Clara Freire, General Manager, Community and Social Services Department

PURPOSE
This memo will provide an update on the Community and Social Services Department’s existing Physical Distancing - Emergency Overflow Centres measures in response to the increasing demands for emergency shelter services for single adults experiencing or at risk of homelessness through the winter 2023-2024.

CURRENT STATE
Demand for emergency shelter is outpacing supply. City staff continue to focus on helping clients transition to permanent housing. Since July, 118 people from the existing Physical Distancing - Emergency Overflow Centres having moved to permanent housing. However, the new requests for shelter placement are outpacing the rate at which people can be housed.

The emergency shelter system has been facing unprecedented demand. The shelter system was at full capacity for most of the summer, which is unusual for the sector. All community shelters, and the existing Physical Distancing - Emergency Overflow Centres and overflow mechanisms are full.

The demand on the system has grown exponentially, driven in large part by a significant and unprecedented impact of global migration. Approximately half of the clients in the shelter system serving singles have arrived in Canada in the last year, and this trend can be partially attributed to policy decisions at the provincial and federal levels, as well as in other municipal jurisdictions. Staff continue to work with newcomer serving organizations to identify alternative placement options and pathways.

Additionally, there are over 250 people currently living unsheltered, a large portion of whom will seek to access shelter services through the winter. It is projected that the system may need up to 187 additional beds.

To respond to this crisis, Mayor Sutcliffe and Councillor Dudas, Chair of Community Services Committee, convened an Emergency Shelter Crisis Taskforce. This temporary body will work on developing short term solutions and actions required to address the current crisis facing Ottawa's emergency shelter system, and support the providers and their staff, who everyday are going above and beyond to serve their clients.
 

MITIGATION STRATEGIES
Due to the fact that the shelter system is already overwhelmed, together with the projected shelter need over the winter, the decision has been made to open a third City operated Physical Distancing - Emergency Overflow Centre. This is required to ensure no one goes unsheltered during the cold winter months.

The Heron Community Centre will open as an additional Physical Distancing - Emergency Overflow Centre as of the end of November 2023. This site is expected to accommodate up to 200 individuals.

At the same time, the current Physical Distancing - Emergency Overflow Centres will continue to operate out of the Dempsey Community Centre and the Bernard Grandmaître Arena, for the foreseeable future. Staff are also exploring the possibility of further enhancing capacity at these locations.

Staff also continue exploring other solutions to address the emergency shelter crisis when temperatures drop through the winter as there is significant unmet demand and people outside are at risk. This work is being undertaken at the same time as staff continue to work with the community to implement the Integrated Transition to Housing Strategy and its short-, medium- and long-term measures to move people to permanent housing and housing with supports.

These mitigation strategies will ensure our system can offer much needed space and shelter services while operations transition out of the emergency service response to longer term alternatives.

We acknowledge our emergency housing response has impacted local programming in the community and want to express our gratitude for the community’s adaptability and support. We are committed and continue to work towards exiting City community centres as soon as possible.

In the interim, staff continue to work with the Emergency Shelter Crisis Taskforce and specific affected Councillors through dedicated inquiry and issues management, and meetings with community groups and stakeholders. We are actively engaging with our community partners in affected neighbourhoods and exploring additional programming spaces to address potential gaps.
 

NEXT STEPS
Staff will continue to work with impacted Ward Councillors, community groups and residents to address any issues that arise. There continues to be a dedicated point of contact for any concerns or enquiries related to the City operated Physical Distancing - Emergency Overflow Centres which can be directed to housinglogement@ottawa.ca.

The Integrated Transition to Housing Strategy, adopted by Council in July 2023 outlined strategies to assist single adults experiencing homelessness to transition to housing while addressing immediate pressures in the single shelter system, and working towards exiting the operation of Physical Distancing-Emergency Overflow Centres in City owned recreation facilities.

Staff continue to implement the short- medium- and long-term initiatives outlined in the report.

Sincerely,
Clara Freire
General Manager
Community and Social Services

cc. Wendy Stephanson, City Manager
Senior Leadership Team
Community and Social Services Departmental Leadership Team

Memo: Outcome of the Investigation – Municipal Child Care Centre (September 29, 2023)

Date: September 29, 2023
To: Mayor and Members of Council
From: Clara Freire, General Manager, Community and Social Services Department

This memorandum serves as an update to the Tuesday, September 12 communication to the Mayor and Members of Council and to provide an update on the investigation by the Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa and the Ottawa Police Service, related to an allegation of abuse that involved the Dr. Ernest Couture Child Care Centre.

The allegation of abuse was made directly to the Ottawa Police Service and the City was not provided with any other details. On Tuesday, September 26, they informed the City that their investigation concluded and the allegation of abuse was deemed unfounded. In addition, the City was advised late in the day on Thursday, September 28 that the Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa had closed their investigation and the allegation was deemed not verified.

Throughout this investigation, the City fully cooperated with both the Children’s Aid Society and the Ottawa Police Service on this matter. The City also follows strict policies and procedures, employee code of conduct and Ministry licensing requirements to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of all children in its care. The City continues to follow all appropriate labour relations policies and as a result of the unfounded allegations, the employee in question is no longer on investigatory leave.

We recognize this investigatory process has been difficult on those impacted and communications have been provided to staff and family members today, which includes direct City contacts for additional questions or support. In addition, the Employee Assistance Program and Community and Social Services Departmental Peer Support Network resources have been made available to staff.

Sincerely,
Clara Freire
General Manager
Community and Social Services

cc. Wendy Stephanson, City Manager
Senior Leadership Team
Dr. Vera Etches, Medical Officer of Health, Ottawa Public Health
Community and Social Services Departmental Leadership Team

Memo: Update – Safer Alternate Response for Mental Health and Substance Use Crises Prototype (September 26, 2023)

Date: September 26, 2023

To: Mayor and Members of Council
From: Clara Freire, General Manager, Community and Social Services Department

Purpose
The purpose of this memo is to provide an update on the Safer Alternate Response for Mental Health and Substance Use Crises first phase program, including the selection of the geographic area – Centretown, and upcoming key milestones for implementation.

Background
The Ottawa Guiding Council on Mental Health and Addictions was established in 2021 to provide an opportunity for the city of Ottawa to examine responses to community members experiencing a mental health or substance use crisis with particular focus on
models that do not engage the police. The work initiated from the Ottawa Police Service who worked with several networks representing community agencies and organizations to establish an arms-length community-led group, the Guiding Council.

The Guiding Council is made up of eleven networks that represent 150 organizations
throughout Ottawa. The starting point of the Guiding Council’s work was the convergence of a number of situations that magnified some of the weaknesses in the current mental health and substance use systems and recognized the need to place a diversity, race, and inclusion lens on all Ottawa’s mental health and substance use systems.

Concurrent with the efforts of the Guiding Council, City Council approved Ottawa’s first Community Safety and Well-Being Plan in October 2021 (ACS2021-EPSPPD-0003). The Plan includes six priorities identified through comprehensive community engagement, one of which is Mental Well-Being. One of the strategies within the Mental Well-Being priority is to “work with partners to explore safer alternates for mental health crises response.”

In March 2022, the Guiding Council started working on a strategy to establish a safer
alternate response to mental health and substance use crises. Throughout 2022 it undertook a thorough approach to inclusive and equitable engagement and consultations culminating in the “Transforming Mental Health and Substance Use Crisis Response in Ottawa: The Report.

As a result of the Guiding Council’s work, in July 2023, Ottawa City Council approved the Safer Alternate Response for Mental Health and Substance Use Crises Response (ACS2023-CSS-GEN-010). The first phase focuses on a holistic view to individuals’ wellness through prioritizing prevention, pre-distress, post-distress and when required, crisis intervention.

The first phase has three key components:

1. Call diversion (non-911 number): An alternate call intake, triage and dispatch system for mental health and substance use calls. This provides an option to community members seeking mental health and substance use crisis support to call a non-911 number directly.

2. Response team: Community-based, civilian-led, multi-disciplinary and mobile crisis response teams that offer 24 hours a day, seven days a week, trauma-informed and culturally appropriate crisis response services in the Prototype’s geography. Each crisis response team will have a peer support worker. The team can provide individuals with wrap-around supports providing a continuum of care with pathways to services.

3. Peer support and wrap-around system: Establishment of a network of supporting community agencies that operate within the geographic area that can support clients on an ongoing basis to provide stability, system navigation and follow up support.

The report approved $3 million in funding annually for three years to implement the first phase in one geographic area of the city.

Geographic Location Selection

To determine the geographic location, the Guiding Council established an Implementation Working Group, that included members representing the Guiding Council Secretariat, KidsComeFirst Network, Ottawa Black Mental Health Coalition, Community Development Framework, Coalition of Community Health and Resource Centres, the City’s Community Safety and Well-Being Office, Ottawa Public Health, Ottawa Paramedic Services, and Ottawa Police Services. The Implementation Working Group’s mandate is to collaborate on various aspects of the first phase’s implementation, with one key focus being the selection of the specific geographic area where the crises response team will be launched.

Through a detailed, evidence informed, and data driven process the Ottawa Neighbourhood Study boundary of Centretown was unanimously selected by the implementation Working Group then endorsed by the Guiding Council as the first phase geographic area (Appendix A). The rationale for the geographic location includes:

  • High Community Need: data on mental health and substance use-related police involvement and emergency department visits underscored a significant need in the chosen geography.
  • Geographic Equity Lens - Existing Social Services: leveraging data from the Neighborhood Equity Index’s Socio Economic and Equity Indicators as well as sociodemographic Census data from Statistics Canada. Then identifying the presence of a high concentration of other human and social services within the selected geography provides an opportunity for comprehensive support. This approach addresses not only mental health or substance use crises but also compounding stressors, including housing support, social inclusion, employment support, and basic needs.
  • Urban Accessibility: geography allows for the crisis response team to connect with clients on foot or using a van for more discrete intervention.
  • Central Location: the central location of the geography offers the advantage of adding adjacent streets which are also identified as high needs areas as the response team’s capacity and effectiveness are established.
  • Best Practice Alignment: this approach aligns with best practice advice from municipalities who have implemented similar community-based response models. Starting in a small but densely populated area and expanding as the team demonstrates impact is a recommended strategy.

Service Delivery Phase - Request for Proposal
A Request for Proposal (RFP) will be launched on October 3, 2023, to select a not-for-profit social service organization to lead the Response Service Delivery phase of the Safer Alternate Response for Mental Health and Substance Use Crises. Applicants will be encouraged to collaborate with other not-for-profit organizations to execute various aspects of the prototype, and they will be encouraged to incorporate details about these partnerships within their application.

The RFP process will be governed according to the following schedule:
Date Activity
October 3, 2023 Launch of the Request for Proposals (RFP) application process
October 10, 2023 at 2 pm Guiding Council Secretariat and City online information session for agencies interested in applying
October 27, 2023 at 5 pm Deadline for the RFP applications
November 7 to November 9, 2023 Interview period
November 14, 2023 Notification of application decisions to applicants and City Council

Next Steps –Key Milestones
Staff will continue to prioritize the launch of the first phase, taking steps to streamline allocation processes by utilizing the Community Funding Framework as an effective and transparent vehicle for allocating most funds as well as ensuring outcome measures through the geographic selection reflect the needs of the Centretown community. In response to direction received at Community Services Committee on June 27, 2023, the information below outlines key milestones and a schedule of updates to Committee.

Key milestones and a schedule of updates to Committee
Date Activity
Q3 – Q4 2024 Funding allocation and contribution agreement with a not-for-profit social service organization
Q4 2023 Memo to Council – Notification of the results of the procurement and allocation process
Q4 2023 – Q2 2024 Prototype development/planning
Q3 2024 Memo to Council – Notification of launch of Prototype
Q3 2024 Prototype is live – Program delivery

Should you have additional questions regarding the content of this memo, please do not hesitate to reach out to me or Sarah Taylor, Director (A), Community Safety, Well-Being, Policy, and Analytics at sarah.taylor@ottawa.ca directly.

Sincerely,
Clara Freire
General Manager
Community and Social Services

cc. Wendy Stephanson, City Manager
Senior Leadership Team
Community and Social Services Departmental Leadership Team

Appendix A: Selection – Centretown Boundaries
 
Ottawa Neighborhood Study Centretown
Ottawa Wards Somerset (Ward 14)
Boundaries North: Ottawa River East: Rideau Canal South: Trans-Canada Hwy/ON-417 West: Bronson Ave

Map of Boundaries
The image highlighted in blue below shows the location catchment area of first phase prototype.

ottawa centre map

Memo: Investigation – Municipal Child Care Centre (September 12, 2023)

Date: September 12, 2023

To: Mayor and Members of Council
From: Clara Freire, General Manager, Community and Social Services Department

The purpose of this memo is to advise members of Council that the Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa will be investigating an allegation of abuse that involves the City of Ottawa’s Dr. Ernest Couture Child Care Centre.

The allegation of abuse, which the City has been advised is sexual in nature, was shared directly with the Ottawa Police Service and the City has not been provided with any further details. The City is fully cooperating with the Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa on this matter and remains committed to ensuring the ongoing safety of children at the Centre. The City is following all appropriate labour relations policies and the employee in question was immediately removed and is currently on investigatory leave.

Communications have been provided to staff and family members today, which included a direct City contact for additional support. The City is also fulfilling its legislative duty by submitting a Serious Occurrence Report with the Ministry of Education. The City remains committed to the health, safety and wellbeing of all children in its care and takes abuse allegations very seriously.

We will await the results of the investigation and advise on further actions.

Sincerely,
Clara Freire
General Manager
Community and Social Services

cc. Wendy Stephanson, City Manager
Senior Leadership Team
Dr. Vera Etches, Medical Officer of Health, Ottawa Public Health
Community and Social Services Departmental Leadership Team
 

Memo: Update on Safer Alternatives for Mental Health and Substance Use Crises Response Report Timelines (July 11, 2023)

Date: July 11, 2023

To: Mayor and Members of Council
From: Clara Freire, Interim General Manager, Community and Social Services

Purpose

The purpose of this memo is to provide the Mayor and Members of Council with the timeline, key milestones, and reporting plan for the implementation of the first phase of the safer alternative response program for mental health and substance use crises, as described in the report “Community Safety and Well-Being Mental Well-Being Priority Progress Update: Safer Alternatives for Mental Health and Substance Use Crises Response” (ACS2023-CSS-GEN-010) to be discussed at City Council on Wednesday, July 12.

Background

The Guiding Council for Mental Health and Addictions includes the membership of 11 networks who represent over 150 community organizations and institutions. Membership includes all those who have a mandate within Ottawa to respond to mental health and substance use crises, representing community, health and service networks as well as public institutions including: Ottawa Police Services, Ottawa Public Health, Ottawa Paramedic Service, and Community and Social Services.

On May 26, 2021, Ottawa City Council approved Motion No. 54/4 directing the City Manager to develop a recommended path forward to coordinate the City’s future efforts related to mental health. Aligning those within the Community Safety and Well-Being Plan with those being led by the Ottawa Police Services Board while ensuring no duplication of efforts. To this end, the Guiding Council was approached by the City Manager to expand its mandate to encompass the Mental Well-being priority under the Community Safety and Well-Being Plan. The Guiding Council agreed, with the condition that its primary focus remain the alternate crises response.

In March 2022, the Guiding Council began the process to develop an evidence-informed approach for a Mental Health and Substance Use Crisis Response Strategy with a focus on a culturally-informed alternate response, prioritizing Black and racialized individuals and communities.

The Guiding Council has identified that both the issues and the potential solutions for addressing mental health, substance use and addiction issues in our community are complex. As a result, any work and solutions must be managed collaboratively with all stakeholders in a coordinated way to ensure there is a continuum of care to meet the needs of the people experiencing mental health and substance use issues in Ottawa. This uniquely positions the Guiding Council as subject matter leaders in driving the implementation of the alternate response for mental health and substance use crises.

Implementation Timeline

The implementation of the alternate response for mental health crises is a system-change adding a fourth 24/7 emergency response option into the Ottawa community. Based on consultations with other municipalities as well as Ottawa based partners, there is approximately one year of implementation work to complete prior to service launch.

The project needs to be sustainable ensuring community voice is central so that those who are prioritized service users will want to access the service. As a consent-based service, it is critical that the service users see themselves in the response and continue to be engaged in its delivery. This requires a continued commitment to a thoughtful and inclusive process. Work is also needed to ensure the coordination of clinical services and community agencies so that there is somewhere people can go for help.

An initial timeline with key milestones is below. The work that requires completion involves program design, procurement, legal, hiring, training, public education and communication, as well as development of a performance measurement and evaluation framework.

Staff will be reporting to Council via memo following key milestones. Each memo will include an update on upcoming key milestones as well as general implementation status updates.

Staff and the Guiding Council understand the urgency of launching this new prototype for mental health and substance use crises response service. Areas where time may be saved include working with community partners and other municipalities to leverage existing work, such as: existing job descriptions; contracting agencies with existing subject matter expertise; and leveraging the scale of the Guiding Council for capacity such as building dedicated hiring panels.

Internal partners have agreed to prioritize and support implementation. This includes Supply, Finance, and Legal Services.

Initial timeline with key milestones
Phase Timeline Key Milestones Memos to Council
Initiate the Implementation Q3-Q4 2023
  • Develop detailed project plan aligned to City’s Business Case and Project Management Policy
  • Define and implement a procurement plan in accordance with the Procurement Bylaw for any goods and services required.
  1. Following determination of geographic area and solidified procurement dates.
  2. Following the procurement completion. Confirmation of service design and dates.
Legal Q3-Q4 2023
  • Develop required agreements
Same as above
Implementation Design Q3-Q4 2023 Develop:
  • training programs
  • triage protocols, call scripts, business process flow for alternate number
  • evaluation framework and data collection model
  • communication and community engagement strategy
  • project identity and branding
Same as above
Alternate phone number and 24/7 community-based agency Q3-Q4 2023
  • Confirm vendor
  • Begin process for hiring and set-up
Same as above
Agency Set-up Q1-Q2 2024
  • Staffing, set-up office, technology, operational requirements
  • Identify and procure necessary equipment
  1. In advance of service launch, outlining branding and identification guidelines and communication strategy.
Implement program design Q1-Q2 2024 Implement:
  • training programs
  • triage protocols, call scripts, business process flow for alternate number
  • evaluation framework and data collection
  • communication and community engagement strategy
  • project identity and branding
Same as above
Prepare for Service Launch Q1-Q2 2024
  • Complete training and testing
  • Community engagement and awareness raising
  • Press launch and public awareness campaign
Same as above
 

For additional information or questions please contact Sarah Taylor, Acting Director, Community Safety, Well-Being, Policy and Analytics at sarah.taylor@ottawa.ca.

Regards,

Clara Freire
Interim General Manager
Community and Social Services

cc. Wendy Stephanson, City Manager
Senior Leadership Team
Community and Social Services Departmental Leadership team

Memo: Community and Social Service ByWard Market Update (June 30, 2023)

Date: June 30, 2023

To: Mayor and Members of Council
From: Clara Freire, Interim General Manager, Community and Social Services

PURPOSE

The purpose of this memo is to provide a summary of the actions taken by the Community and Social Services Department (CSSD) specific to social services provided in the ByWard Market and Lowertown’s communities.

BACKGROUND

Since the onset of the COVID 19 pandemic, there has been a significant increase in the number of people seeking homelessness and other community services, an increase in the use of toxic illicit drugs in the community and a general deterioration in mental health among people who are experiencing homelessness or other barriers.

In January 2023, Mayor Sutcliffe held a Mental Health Task Force meeting with a focus on the ByWard Market where solutions, themes and strategies were discussed. As part of the follow up from that task force meeting, an assigned action item for the CSSD included that the $365K approved in the 2023 City Budget to enhance services in the Market, Lowertown and Centretown communities be used to advance ideas from the task force meeting.

As the City continues to prioritize coordinated service delivery in the ByWard Market and surrounding areas, the CSSD continues to explore innovative service delivery options, better coordination of outreach and city services in collaboration with our community partners, as well as strengthened communication strategies.

SUMMARY OF ACTIONS TAKEN:

  • Community Leadership Table meeting held on May 9th. The meeting was an opportunity to share information on enhanced services and plans to support the ByWard Market, Lowertown and Sandy Hill area in 2023. Information shared included updates on Public Works enhanced cleaning strategies, ByWard Market Strategic Alignment, Ottawa Police Services (OPS) Neighbourhood Resource Team initiatives, and CSSD Housing Services and Community Engagement Team updates.
  • A dedicated staff resource, expected to be in place by mid-July, to help advance social service coordination, navigation, to support access for residents and services and provide strategic leadership in this designated area. This includes supporting initiatives through partners to ensure the voice of lived experience. In addition, participating in community-led discussions such as through the Balanced Community Working Group.
  • The Community Engagement Team continues to operate Monday- Friday, 8:00am to 4:00pm, providing residents and business with support and information to better understand concerns and assist with coordination of services. This includes facilitating referrals to service providers, expanding residents circle of care, and reducing barriers of access to care and treatment services.
  • In addition, their Operational Advisory Group with membership that includes community outreach service partners will be expanding its mandate to include improved service coordination in the community.
  • CSSD and Ottawa Police Services Integrated ByWard Market Pilot is a formalized collaboration between the Community Engagement Team and the OPS Neighbourhood Resource Team with the goal to enhance community safety and well-being. This initiative will utilize an integrated approach to intervene in identified areas that have been to the subject of problematic behaviours and social disorder.
  • Service enhancements in the ByWard Market, Lowertown and Centretown areas that include expanding hours of services (e.g. day programs) to include evenings and weekends as well as additional outreach services with an Indigenous service provider. This enhancement will increase accessibility for unhoused residents to safe spaces to access basic needs and referrals to other services, such as mental health and addictions services. Summary of community service program enhancements include:

 

Service program enhancements
Agency Address Description
Kind Space 400 Cooper St Extension of weekday hours. Additional 20 hours per week. (June to December 2023)
Centre 507 507 Bank St Extension of evening and weekend hours. Additional 20 weekly hours per week. (June to December 2023)
We Belong, Anglican Day Program 454 King Edward, 70 James St Expanded service to include Saturday and Sunday at Centre 454 and St. Barnabas. Additional 22.5 hours per week. (June to December 2023)
Operation Come Home (Youth) 150 Gloucester Expanded service to include Saturday and Sunday. Additional 9 hours per week (June to December 2023)
St. Joe’s Women Centre 151 Laurier Ave E Extension of weekday hours. Additional 3 hours per week (June to December 2023)
Minwaashin STORM outreach van 2323 St. Laurent Blvd Additional outreach services of 10 hours per week (July to December 2023)
Salvation Army Market Project Enhancement 171 George St. Expanded security guard presence providing proactive services and interventions. Additional 56 hours per week. (July to mid October)
 

NEXT STEPS

CSSD will continue to collaborate and coordinate service delivery with community and business partners in order to address the various challenges and concerns in the ByWard Market area.

Should you have any questions or concerns about the CSSD strategies, please contact Chris Tuck at christopher.tuck@ottawa.ca.

Sincerely,
Clara Freire
Interim General Manager Community and Social Services

cc. Wendy Stephanson, City Manager
Senior Leadership Team
Community and Social Services Departmental Leadership team

Memo: Update on the 2023 Older Adult Plan Allocation (June 30, 2023)

Date: June 30, 2023

To: Mayor and Members of Council
From: Clara Freire, Interim General Manager, Community and Social Services

PURPOSE

The purpose of this memo is to provide the Mayor and Members of Council with an update on the 2023 Older Adult Plan (OAP) allocation of $350K to internal City initiatives and the next steps on the OAP evaluation.

BACKGROUND

The City of Ottawa has been implementing an Older Adult Plan (OAP) since 2012 (2012 – 2014, 2015 – 2018 and 2020 – 2022). The Older Adult Plan is included under the Strategic Initiative: Thriving Communities in the Term of Council Strategic Priorities (2019-2022) and supports the Strategic Action to continue to engage community stakeholders in responding to the complex and diverse needs of vulnerable members of the community.

In 2020, City Council approved $350K in the Community and Social Services Department annual operating budget for the implementation of Corporate-wide Older Adult Plan initiatives. This funding is subject to annual budget approval.

As the latest iteration of the City’s OAP ended in December 2022, staff are currently evaluating the progress achieved in this last term and consulting with members from the Seniors Roundtable, partners, and community stakeholders to determine a future direction to engage older adults in Ottawa on issues of importance within this community.

With the evaluation underway, there was no call for proposals for funding allocation to departments in 2023. However, in order to ensure Ottawa continues to be an age-friendly and caring community that values the contributions of older adults, the initiatives and funding amounts approved from the 2022 OAP allocation process have been renewed for 2023.

For more information on the background of the OAP please see May 4, 2023, Memo to the Mayor and Members of Council, “Update on the City’s Older Adult Plan”.

CURRENT STATUS:

Staff worked with City departments to ensure that all approved 2022 projects could be repeated in 2023 and to ensure they could spend their full allocated amount.

One project was unable to spend their full 2022 approved amount which resulted in $21.5K in unallocated funding for 2023.To ensure the full $350K OAP budget was allocated in full, City staff created a reinvestment strategy to redistribute unallocated funds for 2023.

Recommendations for the 2023 reinvestment strategy was informed by the 2022 OAP Allocation Committee notes, feedback from staff and members of the Seniors Roundtable.

As a result, the following projects were reallocated funding in 2023:

  1. $5,000 to “Accessible Benches” managed by Infrastructure and Water Services Department (IWSD) approved for $55,000 in 2022 to continue installation of accessible benches in various wards. For 2023, IWSD requested an additional $5,000 to deal with inflationary increases to repeat what was completed in 2022 (installation of 10-14 accessible benches). With the additional $5,000 this initiative will be allocated $60,000 for accessible benches in 2023.
  2. $16,580 to the “Access to Recreation Facilities for Older Adults from Priority Groups” managed by Recreation Culture and Facility Services (RCFS) which was approved for $5,000 in 2022 to facilitate access to recreation facilities for Older Adults groups within priority groups by offsetting rental costs. With the additional $16,580 this initiative will be allocated $21,580 for access to recreational facilities for Older Adults groups in 2023.

A virtual meeting with the Seniors Roundtable was held on Monday, June 12, 2023, to update and receive feedback from members on the OAP review, the 2023 Spending Plan and reinvestment strategy. Please see Appendix B for a list of Seniors Roundtable members.

Next Steps OAP Allocation:

  • Departments will begin implementation of the funded OAP actions
  • Staff will continue to monitor the status of the plan throughout 2023

Next Steps OAP Evaluation:

The OAP 2020-2022 evaluation will record and report on the accomplishments and lessons learned during the iteration of the most recent OAP, through a review of the planning, implementation/delivery, and outcomes/impact of OAP 2020-2022. A longer-term goal is to inform the future direction of older adult planning at the City beyond the 2020-2022 OAP. The evaluation will proceed in two stages:

  • An internal review of the impact of OAP with respect to mainstreaming an age-friendly lens in City planning and operations
  • An external review of the OAP accomplishments and lessons learned during the last three years

Engagement with partners and members of the Seniors Roundtable will begin in August 2023.

Should you have any questions or concerns about the process or results, please contact Shanna Culhane at shanna.culhane@ottawa.ca.

Sincerely,
Clara Freire
Interim General Manager Community and Social Services

cc. Wendy Stephanson, City Manager
Senior Leadership Team
Community and Social Services Departmental Leadership team

Appendix A: 2023 Older Adult Plan Allocation
# Initiative Lead Funding Allocated Description
1 Accessible Benches IWSD $60,000 IWSD will install benches to continue the increased rest stops and assist with improved mobility of older adults.
2 Accessible Features Retrofit & Upgrades RCFS $80,000 This initiative provides retrofits, upgrades and installation of accessible features in a number of City-owned facilities. Removing and/or addressing barriers allows greater access to public spaces.
3 Access to transportation for Older Adults and their caregivers CSS $25,856 This initiative started in 2021 to provide transportation for low-income seniors and older adults with disabilities to COVID vaccine clinics. The initiative has since expanded to include additional services such as transportation to additional vaccine clinics, medical appointments, and food delivery.
4 Access to recreation facilities for older adults from priority groups RCFS $21,580 This initiative will facilitate access to recreation facilities for Older Adults groups within priority groups: multicultural, ethno-cultural, francophone, low-income and rural communities, primarily during daytime/non-primetime hours, through funding allocated to RCFS that will offset room-booking costs.
5 Cumberland Heritage Village Museum Accessible People Wagon RCFS $40,000 This application is to design and construct an “accessible people wagon” for on-site transportation at Cumberland Heritage Village Museum to improve access to museum resources for Older Adults and people with disabilities.
6 Culture Days - Memories of childhood RCFS $16,300 This two-day program offered in partnership with MASC (Multicultural Arts for Schools and Communities) will provide Older Adults with a range of interactive experiences and performances that will explore creative processes at Cumberland Heritage Village Museum.
7 Foster Farm Multicultural Seniors and Social Club RCFS $17,000 The Foster Farm Community Centre Seniors 55+ initiative will provide an outlet for older adults in the community by offering a variety of programs two times per week. This free of charge drop-in provides seniors a means to interact with others while participating in arts and crafts, fitness, cooking, information seminars, and more.
8 Historical theatre performances RCFS $9,250 City of Ottawa museums staff will coordinate a series of historical theatre performances with reduced barriers for low-income seniors living in isolation. The series will create free opportunities for the participants to socialize with one another while learning more about regional history.
9 Inclusive social recreation programming RCFS $19,594 RCFS’ Social Recreation (SR) program will pilot a new English language program for Ottawa’s older adult population (55+) with developmental and/or cognitive disabilities. The pilot will support this community to keep active, creative, and socially engaged.
10 Older Adult New Fitness Initiatives RSFC $23,464 Targeting older adults (50+) and people with disabilities from priority groups to provide new fitness programs as well as expand existing ones. The goal is to engage with and provide activities for older adults in our RCFS facilities.
11 Shenkman Arts Centre Artists Live and Streaming RCFS $22,000 This project will offer a diversity of live and live-streaming concerts and meet-ups between artists and older adults. Older adults will have the opportunity to attend the live performances at the Shenkman Arts Centre or watch the concerts from their residence, home or centre via Facebook live or zoom.
12 Virtual Creative Arts Programs RCFS $15,000 This project will offer free live creative arts courses. Professional instructors will provide our communities with art lessons in a variety of accessible art forms that will enable the participants to build skills and continue to explore creative practices even after the end of the formal lessons.
  TOTAL   $350,000  
 
Appendix B: City of Ottawa Seniors Roundtable – Membership List
# Agency
1 Accessibility Advocates
2 Centre Pauline-Charron
3 City of Ottawa Accessibility Advisory Committee
4 Coalition of Community Health and Resource Centres of Ottawa
5 Council on Aging of Ottawa
6 Fédération des ainés et des retraités francophones de l’Ontario (FARFO) Régionale d’Ottawa
7 Gloucester 50+ Centre
8 Good Companions Senior Centre
9 Kanata Seniors Council
10 Montfort Renaissance
11 Mouvement d'implication francophone d'Orléans (MIFO)
12 Meals on Wheels
13 National Association of Federal Retirees, Ottawa Branch
14 Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization (OCISO)
15 Ottawa Senior Pride Network
16 Rendez-vous des Aînés Francophones d’Ottawa (RAFO)
17 Rural Ottawa South Support Services
18 Ottawa Grassroots Ethno-Cultural Seniors Network (Social Planning Council of Ottawa)
 

Memo: Update on the Directed Growth Strategy for the Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care System (June 29, 2023)

Date: June 29, 2023

To: Mayor and Members of Council
From: Jason Sabourin- Director, Children’s Services, Community and Social Services Department

PURPOSE

This memorandum serves as an update to the Monday, May 1 communication to the Mayor and Members of Council, which provided information on Children’s Services’ implementation of a directed growth strategy and process for expanding the Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care (CWELCC) system in Ottawa.

The purpose of this memorandum is to advise that the Province has increased Ottawa’s allocation of new, CWELCC-funded child care spaces from 1,545 to 2,903 as part of their directed growth strategy. This was in response to Children’s Services’ evidence-based and data informed submission demonstrating the need for additional spaces in Ottawa.

This is welcome news to support more children and families and will result in meeting the 40 per cent access target in priority neighbourhoods for Indigenous, Francophone and general populations. This aligns with the commitments set out in the Council-approved Child Care and Early Years Service System Plan (2019-2023) to improve access to inclusive, high-quality and affordable licensed child care for Ottawa families.

BACKGROUND

On March 28, 2022, the Province and federal government reached an agreement to include Ontario in a National Child Care Plan, called the Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care (CWELCC) system. The new system establishes the path forward in providing a national system of high-quality, affordable and inclusive early learning and child care services for families. The City of Ottawa, in the role as service system manager, is following Provincial guidelines and is implementing the new system in phases, based on ongoing Provincial direction.

Since the announcement of the launch of the CWELCC system in Ontario, the Province has shifted from open eligibility in 2022 – where all licensed providers could opt-in to the CWELCC system, to directed growth beginning in 2023 and beyond – where a limited number of new, funded spaces would be allocated annually to each service system manager to be allotted in accordance with the Provincial Access and Inclusion Framework.

New CWELCC-funded spaces are to be allocated to communities across Ontario using a model that incorporates demographics, socio-economic indicators, and existing licensed child care capacity at both not-for-profit and for-profit centres, schools and homes. The Provincial allocation of new spaces aims to ensure that each region has one space for every three children while also providing directed spaces for equity deserving groups. In their framework, the Province is prioritizing the needs of families who face various systemic barriers, including Indigenous Peoples, Francophones, Black and other racialized residents, newcomers, sole support parents, families living in low income and children with special needs.

Growth in CWELCC-funded spaces will be gradual between now and 2026 and will supplement the existing 29,488 licensed spaces to further support children and families. The Province’s original allocation to Ottawa was 1,545 total new spaces. Of those, 713 spaces were to be located in new schools with the remaining 832 spaces for community-based spaces with the City of Ottawa providing oversight on the allocation, based on Provincial direction.

Children’s Services created a directed growth strategy and launched a Request for Expression of Interest (REOI) process to identify service providers interested in creating new or expanding their current offering of CWELCC-funded, licensed, community-based child care spaces between 2023 and 2026. All interested service providers were encouraged to apply through the REOI process by Friday, June 16. Local service providers have expressed a strong interest in local expansion.

CURRENT STATUS

Children’s Services, in collaboration with our local sector partners and the Early Years System Planning Advisory Group, submitted evidence-based and data informed feedback to the Province regarding the original allocation demonstrating the need for additional spaces in Ottawa.

In response, the Province has increased Ottawa’s allocation of new CWELCC-funded child care spaces as part of their directed growth strategy from 1,545 to 2,903. The increase now results in 2,190 community-based spaces, which represents more than a tripling of Ottawa’s original allocation.

Directed Growth Strategy – Updated space allocations

Using the Council-approved Child Care and Early Years Service System Plan (2019-2023) and Provincial priorities, Children’s Services used an equity and inclusion lens and an evidence-based approach to identify: 1) Priority populations and 2) Priority areas of the city where the new, CWELCC-funded spaces will be allocated between 2023 and 2026.

  1. Priority Populations: The approach prioritizes Indigenous and Francophone children by protecting a portion of the new spaces for these populations, as per the priorities outlined in our Council approved Service Plan. Remaining spaces will be allocated to support families who face various systemic barriers including Black and other racialized residents, newcomers, sole support parents, families living with low income and children with special needs.
  2. Priority Areas: The approach also aims to increase access to affordable child care in neighbourhoods that are both underserved and experiencing lower socio-economic status.*

*Table 1 illustrates where the newly allocated (June 2023), CWELCC-funded school-based and community-based spaces will be distributed in Ottawa. These new CWELCC-funded spaces will ensure that Ottawa achieves the child care access target of 40 per cent in each priority neighbourhood and for each population group (Indigenous, Francophone, and general). This aligns with the commitments set out in the Council-approved Child Care and Early Years Service System Plan (2019-2023) to improve access to inclusive, high-quality, and affordable licensed child care for Ottawa families. Additional notes about Table 1: 

  • School-based spaces and community-based space allocation by population group and Service Area. Service Areas and Neighbourhoods are aligned to the geography of the Child Care and Early Years Service System Plan.
  • Neighbourhoods with a score of 96 or above on the Canadian Neighbourhoods and Early Child Development socio-economic status index (CanNECD).
  • For the Indigenous population, the information is presented at the service area level due to the low number of Indigenous children and existing Indigenous-led child care spaces in neighbourhoods across the city.
School-based spaces and community-based space allocation by population group and Service Area
Service Area School-Based Spaces Indigenous Population Community-Based Spaces Francophone Population Community-Based Spaces & Neighborhoods General Population Community-Based Spaces & Neighborhoods
West 122 25 19 - Glencairn 0 - N/A
South 191 35 13 - Chapman Mills/Rideau Crest 144 - Chapman Mills /Rideau Crest
Central West 78 63 61 - Nepean East, Carlington, Bayshore/ Crystal Bay, Bells Corners 88 - Bayshore/ Crystal Bay
Central 0 16 32 - Centretown, Carleton Heights 0 - N/A
Central East 39 42 0 - N/A 257 - Vanier, Cyrville
Central South 156 81 0 - N/A 527 - Carlsbad Springs/ Findlay Creek, Blossom Park, Alta Vista, Hunt Club West, Hawthorne Meadows/ Riverview
East 127 18 0 - N/A 72- Chatelaine / Convent Glen
Total 713 280 125 1,088
 

The City reserves the right to make adjustments to the allocation of child care spaces across service streams and geographical areas in support of priority populations, subject to the availability of spaces, the applications received through the REOI process and community need.

Any such adjustments will continue to align with the Province’s Access and Inclusion Framework. The remaining spaces not identified in Table 1 will be allocated to licensees who had previously enrolled in the CWELCC system and had received Provincial floor plan approval prior to January 1, 2023, so they can increase their CWELCC-funded spaces (as per the Provincial direction) and provide some additional flexibility to the directed growth strategy.

NEXT STEPS

Children’s Services is currently in the process of carefully assessing all the submissions received as part of the Request for Expression of Interest (REOI) process and service providers will be determined in accordance with the directed growth strategy outlined above. Children’s Services will notify applicants regarding the outcome of their submissions by the fall 2023 and will provide further updates for Council upon completion of the REOI process.

Continued supports for families

Children’s Services acknowledges that many families continue to experience challenges finding licensed child care as a result of the higher demand and limited spaces of the CWELCC system. As the City continues working towards an average of $10/day child care by 2025/26, staff will continue to prioritize activities to ensure families are supported and will benefit from more affordable child care. Updates continue to be made to the Child Care Registry and Waitlist to inform and help families navigate the system to find licensed child care service providers who are participating in the CWELCC system.

In addition, the City of Ottawa administers the Child Care Fee Subsidy program for families living with a low income. More information on this program and help with child care costs can be found on ottawa.ca/childcare. EarlyON Child and Family Centres also continue to offer free, high-quality programs for families and children from birth to six years old.

As service system manager, Children’s Services will continue to play a key role, in consultation with valued sector partners and local families, in the phased transformational work ahead. This includes working directly with the Province and the Early Years System Planning Advisory Group to support the implementation of future CWELCC phases. During this period of transition across the province, Children’s Services will continue to engage with our sector partners to support high-quality, inclusive, and affordable services in all licensed locations including home, schools and centre-based to give children in Ottawa the best possible start in life.

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact me directly.

Sincerely,

Jason Sabourin
Director, Children’s Services
Community and Social Services Department

cc. Wendy Stephanson, Interim City Manager
Senior Leadership Team
Dr. Vera Etches, Medical Officer of Health, Ottawa Public Health

    Memo: Direction to Staff – Drug Paraphernalia (June 29, 2023)

    Date: June 29, 2023

    To: Councillor Stéphanie Plante
    From: Clara Freire, Interim General Manager, Community and Social Services

    PURPOSE

    The purpose of this memo is to provide a response to Motion # CSC 2023-02-01 from Community Service Committee meeting on March 28, 2023: “be it resolved that the General Manager of Community and Social Services Department (CSSD) be directed to continue to work with Ottawa Public Health (OPH) on the processes used to gather any available data on drug paraphernalia from relevant sources, by leveraging existing systems, and report back to Community Services Committee with the results of those discussions.”

    RESPONSE

    • Collaboration with Ottawa Public Health (OPH)
    • Gathering various data sources: CSSD Community Engagement Team (CET), OPH Community Needle Retrieval Program (CNPR)

    In response, the below chart lists each data source and the systems to share information regarding drug paraphernalia. For additional information, the 2022 Needle Distribution/Retrieval Summary is provided in Appendix A.

    Data source and the systems to share information regarding drug paraphernalia
    Data Source System Shared Notes
    CSSD Community Engagement Team phone application (Lowertown, ByWard Market and Sandy Hill) Internal data collection tool used by staff to track interactions, interventions, and street hazards in their daily activities. Data is shared with OPH and entered into the CNRP map-based data management system. Street Hazards includes, but not limited to, time stamped data on the collection of drug paraphernalia with geo mapping. Information is used to support team activities related to identifying trends, potential service gaps, and to plan interventions.
    The Needle Hunters (Vanier, Lowertown, Byward Market, Sandy Hill, Centretown, Somerset, Hintonburg, Carlington) Needle Hunters record their collections within an excel workbook shared with the Community Needle Retrieval Program (CNRP) monthly. Needle Hunter data is entered into the CNRP map-based data management system. Ongoing data analyses assists the CNRP with operational planning and service level adjustments CNRP data is publicly available on the OPH website
    311 Requests to appropriate City Department (Public Works, OC Transpo, RCFS, Bylaw) Upon initiating a service request from 311, City staff attend and report the details of the items they retrieve to CNRP through an internal webform each time they are dispatched. City staff from all departments also report to CNRP by way of an internal webform when they retrieve items during their regular duties. City staff reported data is entered into the CNRP map-based data management system. Ongoing data analyses assists the CNRP with operational planning and service level adjustments
    Community Member Retrieval/Disposal: Including Residents, Groups, and Businesses When a resident, group, or business retrieves and disposes of an item themselves, they are requested to report the details of their retrieval to CNRP through a publicly available webform. Community member data is entered into the CNRP map-based data management system. Ongoing data analysis assists the CNRP with operational planning and service level adjustments Promotion of OPH’s new public reporting webform is in progress and can be found on the OPH website. Disposed community retrievals not reported to our program through the webform are largely captured in needle drop box data.
    Needle Drop Boxes A third-party courier collects contents of the needle drop boxes and submits a report to OPH on the content retrieved through a webform upon each scheduled visit. Needle drop box data is entered into the CNRP map-based data management system. Ongoing data analyses assists the CNRP with operational planning and service level adjustments
    Household Hazardous Waste Discarded needles and drug paraphernalia returned to Household Hazardous Waste is reported to the CNRP quarterly and entered into the CNRP map-based data management system.  
    Harm Reduction and Partner Agencies Partners collect used needle/harm reduction supplies from clients and report the quantity to Ottawa Public Health (either directly through the Ontario Harm Reduction Data Base or email reporting form). Ottawa Public Health tracks all needle returns from partners in the Provincial Ontario Harm Reduction Data Base- NEO360. This data is publicly available on the OPH website.
    Pharmacies Some pharmacies participate in the Health Products Stewardship Association's free take-it-back program. A list of participating pharmacies can be found at OPH
    Physicians/primary care offices, healthcare settings Primary care offices and specific health care settings may also accept discarded needles/drug paraphernalia OPH currently has needle drop boxes located outside entrances at all hospitals in the Ottawa area
     

    NEXT STEPS:

    CSSD and OPH will explore opportunities to further enhance and promote data sources and the systems to share information in the community.

    OPH is presently engaging with University of Ottawa and the National Capital Commission (NCC) to discuss their current discarded needle collection practices and their capacity to track collection data and share with the CNRP.

    For questions related to needle retrieval, please contact OPHStakeholderRelations@ottawa.ca

    Appendix A- City of Ottawa 2022 Needle Distribution/Retrieval Summary
    Total Needles Distributed  
    Community Harm Reduction Partners 1,800,000*
       
    Safely Disposed Needle Retrieval Streams  
    Needle Drop Boxes 1,070,000
    Household Hazardous Waste 206,000
    Harm Reduction Partners 1,100,000
    Total 2,376,000**
       
    Improperly Discarded Needle Retrieval Streams  
    City Staff & Residents 8,700
    Needle Hunters 33,000
    Total 41,700
    Total Needles Retrieved 2,417,700
     

    *Does not include needles distributed for home medical care uses
    ** Does not include properly discarded needles returned to Pharmacies Take It Back Programs

    Sincerely,
    Clara Freire
    Interim General Manager Community and Social Services

    cc. Wendy Stephanson, City Manager Senior Leadership Team
    Community and Social Services Departmental Leadership Team

    Memo: Allocation of Community Project Funding (June 1, 2023)

    Date: June 1, 2023

    To: Mayor and Members of Council
    From: Clara Freire, Interim General Manager, Community and Social Services

    The purpose of this memo is to provide the Mayor and Members of Council with information on the allocation of the $505K Community Project Fund for which 25 applications were approved.

    Background
    On September 25, 2019, Ottawa City Council approved the new Community Funding Framework.

    Included under this framework is $250k of funding for one-year and three-year Community Project Funding, which will be used to build the capacity of the non-profit social services sector to respond to unmet, complex and/or emerging community needs and pressures.

    • One-year project funding is allocated to time-limited or defined pilot projects that build sector service capacity or address an emerging need.
    • Three-year project funding is allocated to organizations not receiving Sustainability Funding.

    Due to the large request for funding, it was decided that a portion of unallocated funds from the Sustainability funding envelope would be used to temporarily increase the Community Project Funding envelope, increasing the funding envelope from 250K to $505K.

    For 2023 Community Project Funding, priority was placed on programs and services for children, youth, seniors, and programs that address racial equity and inclusion.

    Call for proposals and evaluation process
    Funding for Community Project Funding was allocated through an open call for proposals for one-year or three-year project funding.

    The City of Ottawa Allocations Committee, using an equity lens, had an opportunity to review the applications and provided a rating based on project information and strategy (alignment with funding priorities, the efficiency of collaborations, impact of requested funding on the project), population served, viability and reasonableness of the budget, and outcomes.

    Once the ranking was complete, further adjustments to rankings were made to reflect the equity lens which includes, but was not limited to, priority groups, impact areas, and whether resources are being targeted and aligned to areas of the city facing the greatest needs or greatest inequities.

    The Community Project Funding City Allocation Committee includes:

    • Community Funding Consultants, Social Development and Funding
    • Manager, Homelessness Program and Shelters
    • Community Development Coordinator, Social Development and Funding

    For more specific information on the allocation process, please see the 2023 Community Project Funding Process.

    Results
    A total of $4.95M was requested from 102 agencies through the open call for proposals launched on March 15, 2023.

    The City Allocation Committee approved a total of 25 applications for a total allocation amount of $505K.

    To ensure an equitable distribution of funds, some agencies will not be receiving the full funding requested. An assessment of viability was conducted when deciding the distribution of funding amounts. Agencies will be provided with flexibility to decide how best to redistribute their budgets based on the amount of funding they have received.

    Next steps
    Community agencies have been notified of the results of the allocation process. A complete list of successful agencies is available online. Should you have any questions or concerns about the process or results, please contact Shanna Culhane at shanna.culhane@ottawa.ca.

    Sincerely,
    Clara Freire
    Interim General Manager Community and Social Services

    cc. Wendy Stephanson, City Manager Senior Leadership Team
    Community and Social Services Departmental Leadership Team

    Memo: Launch of Public Socialization Campaign of the Anti-Racism Strategy (May 15, 2023)

    Date: May 15, 2023

    To: Mayor and Members of Council
    From: Shanna Culhane, Acting Director, Gender and Race Equity, Inclusion, Indigenous Relations and Social Development Community and Social Services

    PURPOSE
    This memo provides information on the public-facing socialization campaign of the Anti-Racism Strategy, which Ottawa City Council approved in June 2022 (ACS2022-CSS-GEN-012).

    BACKGROUND
    The City’s first Anti-Racism Strategy strives for a municipality where everyone feels safe, and each person regardless of their ethnic or racial background can access resources and opportunities to realize their full potential. This is a call to action to all people of Ottawa to work together to understand and confront systemic racism to achieve a vision of Ottawa as an anti-racist city.

    Through the Anti-Racism Strategy, the City will work to achieve seven priorities: Governance, Economic Development, Housing, Health Outcomes, Children and Youth Development, Achieving Racial Equity in the Workplace and Institutional Practice. These priorities were based on a wide-spectrum community and City staff engagement process that took place in the period of 2021-2022.

    The Strategy has committed to implementing 28 recommendations and 132 actions over the next 5 years (2023-2028) involving all departments and service areas as well as, includes actions that require collaboration in our community along with our community stakeholders.

    During the first phase of the Strategy’s implementation (2023-2025), the City will implement action items related to all seven priority areas. The Anti-Racism Secretariat will work closely with City departments and the community to develop a Strategic Accountability Framework (SAF) for Phase 1 (2023-2025) which will include detailed strategic actions, annual targets and key performance indicators. The SAF will align all three strategies, including the Anti-Racism strategy as well as, the Women and Gender Equity (WGE) Strategy and the Corporate Diversity and Inclusion Plan (CDIP).

    The second phase of the Anti-Racism Strategy (2025-2028) will commence following a mid-term review on the progress made through the implementation of phase one.

    LAUNCH OF PUBLIC SOCIALIZATION CAMPAIGN
    A socialization campaign of the Anti-Racism Strategy will be kick off on May 15th, 2023. This socialization campaign marks the continuation of the City’s efforts to communicate with the community its commitment to anti-racism and the journey ahead to integrate racial equity into all City operations.

    As part of this launch, there will be several community-facing engagement activities to achieve the following objectives:

    • Allow community representatives and residents who do not engage with City’s digital platforms to be informed of the City’s Anti-Racism Strategy.
    • Demonstrate the City’s intention for collaboration and co-creation, which is key in equity practice.
    • Partner with community leaders and organizations in planning engagement activities that will offer Ottawa residents choices and opportunities to participate in discussions from an environment where they feel safe.
    • Explore potential partnerships in the community as part of the Strategy’s implementation.

    The socialization of the City’s first ARS which will continue until the end of 2023, is intended to set a solid understanding of the Strategy and building collective ownership of anti-racism work with the community.

    EQUITY AND INCLUSION INTER-DEPARTMENTAL TEAM
    An Equity and Inclusion Inter-Departmental Team has been established with the participation of all City Departments to design, monitor and implement the SAF of the Anti-Racism Strategy, and serve as a platform for collective ownership of its Strategic Actions.

    NEXT STEPS
    The Anti-Racism Secretariat will:

    • Engage with City staff, community stakeholders and residents on the Anti-Racism Strategy and create spaces of dialogue and collaboration, through the implementation of an in-depth socialization plan starting in June 2023 and extending until end of the year.
    • Design the SAF for the Anti-Racism Strategy’s first phase (2023-2025) with the Equity and Inclusion Inter-Departmental Team.
    • Continue to implement awareness raising and learning opportunities for City staff on issues related to anti-racism.

    Sincerely,
    Shanna Culhane
    Acting Director, Gender and Race, Equity, Inclusion, Indigenous Relations and Social Development Community and Social Services

    cc. Wendy Stephanson, Interim City Manager
    Senior Leadership Team
    Community and Social Services Departmental Leadership Team

    Memo: Update on City's Older Adult Plan 2020-2022 (May 4, 2023)

    Date: May 4, 2023

    To: Mayor and Members of Council
    From: Clara Freire, Interim General Manager, Community and Social Services

    PURPOSE
    This memo provides an update on the City’s Older Adult Plan 2020-2022 and the Seniors Roundtable.

    BACKGROUND
    The City of Ottawa has been implementing an Older Adult Plan (OAP) since 2012 (2012-2014 and 2015-2018). The Older Adult Plan is included under the Strategic Initiative: Thriving Communities in the Term of Council Strategic Priorities (2019-2022) and supports the Strategic Action to continue to engage community stakeholders in responding to the complex and diverse needs of vulnerable members of the community.

    The Older Adult Plan 2020-2022 has committed to 24 actions organized around four main strategic areas: Aging with Choice, Transportation and Mobility, Wellbeing, and Communication. The OAP assigns responsibility for each action to a City department, which commits to its implementation within the stated timeline.

    Vision and Values:
    The vision of the Ottawa Adult Plan is that Ottawa is an age-friendly and caring community that values the contributions of older adults, offers a broad range of opportunities for active living, and provides supports that are responsive to the diverse needs and choices of older adults.

    This vision is achieved through a Seniors Roundtable whose mandate is to provide feedback to City staff on the implementation of the City of Ottawa Older Adult Plan. The Seniors Roundtable is also the City’s primary mechanism for engaging residents on issues affecting older adults.

    Values:
    The values of the plan include:

    • A recognition that older adults are contributors to our community and that all regardless of cultural and religious background, language, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, abilities, financial situation, or geographic location must be respected and included.
    • A belief that older adults must have access to services that are people-centred, accessible, affordable, equitable, and appropriate to individual needs and abilities.
    • A belief that vulnerable older adults must be and feel supported and protected.
    • A recognition that most older adults prefer to age in place, in their familiar neighbourhood.
    • A belief that older adults must be involved in deciding priorities, shaping actions and bringing about change.
    • An awareness that age-friendly environments and communities benefit all age groups

    CURRENT STATE
    With the approval of the OAP 2020-2022, the Seniors Roundtable was re-constituted, with membership consisting of Ottawa residents 50+ years, including participants from key community organizations serving older adults in Ottawa. The Roundtable met quarterly to provide feedback on the OAP implementation; provide input related to corporate and departmental programs, services, and infrastructure at the City; and identify and share emerging issues of concern of older adults. The Seniors Roundtable held bilingual meetings and received communications in French and English. The Seniors Roundtable held its last meeting in late 2022.

    An Interdepartmental Staff Working Group was responsible for implementing the OAP and included representatives from City departments who produced quarterly updates on the progress of the plan. The Community and Social Services Department (CSSD) has been providing the overall coordination and monitoring function for the OAP.
    As the latest iteration of the City’s OAP ended in December 2022, staff are currently evaluating the progress achieved in this last term and consulting with members, partners and community stakeholders to determine a future direction to engage older adults in Ottawa on issues of importance within this community.

    The evaluation will include engagement with Seniors Roundtable members and interdepartmental City staff to assess successes and gather recommendations for the way forward, and recommendations will be provided to Council in Q4 2023.

    Considering the review underway, there will be no call for proposals for funding allocation to departments in 2023. A financial plan will be established for the allocation of the $350K annual budget as part of the evaluation.

    CONSIDERATIONS

    • Recently released figures from the 2021 Census show that 19% of Ottawa’s population is over the age of 65, and the population aged 85 and older is one of the fastest-growing age groups across the country. Compared to other age groups, a higher percentage of people 85+ live in the downtown core of large urban centres to be close to services and amenities.
    • An aging population means a constantly growing need for targeted and accessible services and amenities, including accessible infrastructure and adequate support to age in place. This will require sustained attention to older adult issues in all City planning, budgeting, services, and programs.
    • Ottawa’s population of older adults is also becoming increasingly more diverse, and needs vary greatly among seniors. While seniors face many challenges as they age, some contributing factors such as income and living alone are most commonly associated with an increase in vulnerability and, in turn, a heightened risk of poor health outcomes.
    • The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on seniors, resulting in an increased mortality rate, increased health risks, social isolation, and food insecurity. These impacts are magnified for seniors who are racialized or Indigenous, live in poverty, identify as 2SLGBTQIA+, and/or live with disabilities.
    • Some groups, such as Black, Indigenous and other racialized seniors, older women, 2SLGBTQQIA seniors, newcomer seniors and seniors with disabilities, are more isolated and vulnerable to poor health outcomes due to inequities within the social and health systems, in comparison to the general population.
    • Like many large municipalities in Canada, the City of Ottawa is responding to these demographic changes and has been implementing an Older Adult Plan with the goal of taking coordinated and concrete actions to contribute to making Ottawa an Age-Friendly community through services, facilities and programs that are accessible and responsive to the needs of older adults now and in the future.
    • Additionally, post-pandemic issues like rising inflation, labour shortages and supply chain disruptions are creating new challenges and uncertainty.

    NEXT STEPS
    Staff will complete a review of the 2020-2022 term, consulting with key partners and stakeholders to assess the success and impact of the current OAP model and provide Council with recommendations for moving forward for consideration and approval in Q4 2023. If you have any questions, please contact Maria Penton, Program Manager, Social Development and Funding at maria.penton@ottawa.ca.

    Sincerely,
    Clara Freire
    Interim General Manager Community and Social Services

    cc. Wendy Stephanson, Interim City Manager
    Senior Leadership Team
    Community and Social Services Departmental Leadership Team
     

    Memo: Directed Growth Strategy and Process for the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care System (May 1, 2023)

    Date: May 1, 2023

    To: Mayor and Members of Council
    From: Jason Sabourin, Director- Children’s Services, Community and Social Services Department

    Purpose
    The purpose of this memorandum is to provide the Mayor and Members of Council with a status update on progress and investments made under the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care system and advise on the Provincial direction and local approach to developing a directed growth and inclusion framework to support the expansion of Canada-Wide funded licensed child care spaces in Ottawa until 2026.

    Background
    On March 28, 2022, the Province and federal government reached an agreement on a National Child Care Plan for Ontario called the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care system. The new Canada-Wide system establishes the path forward in providing a national system of high-quality, affordable and inclusive early learning and child care services for families. The City of Ottawa is following Provincial guidelines and implementing the new system in phases, based on ongoing Provincial direction to us, in our role as the service system manager.

    Children’s Services has continued to proactively adapt our service delivery approach to meet the evolving needs and changing landscape of child care and early years services and to better serve our clients with increased service access, affordability, quality, and responsiveness. As a result of this foundational work, Children’s Services has been well positioned to welcome a new system of change, within a phased approach, which will advance our own strategic priorities while supporting social and economic prosperity, as well as residents who face various systemic barriers, especially women and families who have been disproportionately affected throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Current status
    As of November 1, 2022, 94 per cent of existing local licensed child care sites opted-in to the new Canada-Wide system in Ottawa, making child care significantly more affordable for eligible families who attend licensed child care service providers. The City’s Municipal Child Care Centres have opted-in to the new system further to Council direction, and families have seen significant savings.

    In alignment with the City’s Child Care and Early Years Service System Plan’s vision to unite as a city and make progressive improvements, Ottawa’s child care sector has truly come together for this historic opportunity to support parents and families as we continue to collaboratively build and strengthen the child care system in Ottawa to give children the best possible start in life. A few of the significant early accomplishments include:

    • In 2022, approximately 21,000 children have benefited from a fee reduction of up to 25 per cent, retroactive to Friday, April 1, 2022
    • For 2023, funding has been provided to reduce parent fees by a further 37 per cent to a floor of $12 per day equating to an average of 50 per cent fee reduction based on 2020 average fees
    • Additional funding of 2.75 per cent is also being provided for licensed child care service providers to support cost increases and funding for workforce compensation for eligible Registered Early Childhood Educators to receive an annual increase of $1 per hour, to a maximum of $25 per hour. Funding to support the retention and recruitment of a high-quality child care and early years workforce is also being provided
    • A Professional Learning Pilot was launched in 2022 providing Ottawa’s child care and early years workforce with learning opportunities in four priority areas: anti-racism and inclusive practices; incorporating Indigenous perspectives and pedagogies; mental health and well-being for children, families, and staff; and, supporting children with special needs through inclusive approaches. As part of a broader Workforce Program, the pilot has provided learning opportunities to over 2450 staff and home child care providers.

    The pandemic has highlighted how essential child care services are for the social and economic well-being of families and community. Given current rising costs due to inflation and pressures on household incomes, the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care system affordability benefits are potentially life-changing for families. For example, a family who once paid $62 per day in child care fees for their 18 month old, saw a refund of approximately $3,023, retroactive to April 1, 2022 and additionally for 2023, will have an annual savings of $8,503 on their child care fees. Staff continue to prioritize the development of this new system to ensure more families are supported in the next phase and will benefit from affordable child care.

    Directed Growth Strategy
    On December 19, the Province announced the first steps towards allocating funding to create limited new Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care system funded child care spaces using a directed growth approach from 2022 through 2026. Subsequently in 2023, the Province changed the Canada-Wide eligible enrollment process for licensed child care programs. The Province has introduced new regulations and changes to the licensing process as part of the transition from last year’s Canada-Wide eligible, open enrolment to a directed growth for the limited new Canada-Wide funded spaces going forward. The Province’s action plan includes providing capital start up grants to support the creation of new spaces in targeted regions, and for underserviced communities and populations.

    New spaces will be allocated to communities across Ontario using a model that incorporates demographics, socio-economic indicators, and existing licensed child care capacity and will be part of the Canada-Wide system, which includes a mix of not-for-profit and for-profit centres. To simplify the Provincial allocation of new spaces, they are ensuring each region has one space for every three children while also providing directed spaces for equity deserving groups. The Province is prioritizing the needs of families who face various systemic barriers including, Indigenous, Francophone, Black and other racialized residents, newcomers, sole support parents, families living in low income and children with special needs.

    The growth in Canada-Wide child care spaces will be limited and gradual between now and 2026, based on Provincial direction. With rising demand from families, many in the community will want to see more of a universal approach to growth. The Province plans to consult on additional priorities to inform the future implementation of the Canada-Wide system and staff will continue to advocate for increased access for families knowing how essential these services are to both the social and economic well-being of families and the community.

    For Ottawa, the Provincial allocation includes 1,545 new Canada-Wide spaces from 2022 to 2026. Of these, 713 spaces are in new school-based locations, allocated by the Province under their schools-first approach and according to pre-approved new school locations. There are 832 spaces for community-based allocation in Ottawa and within the City’s control.

    Our Council-approved Child Care and Early Years Service System Plan (2019-2023) aligns well with the Provincial approach for space allocation. As noted in the Service Plan, the overall licensed child care capacity in Ottawa for younger children is more or less achieving the Provincial allocation of one space for every three children, however it varies across neighbourhoods and service areas.

    Using the Council-approved Service Plan and the Provincial priorities, Children’s Services used an equity and inclusion lens and an evidenced-based approach to identify: 1) Priority populations and 2) Priority areas of the city where the limited new spaces will be allocated between 2023 and 2026.

    1. Priority Populations: The approach prioritizes Indigenous and Francophone children by protecting a portion of the new spaces to these populations, as per the priorities outlined in our Council approved Service Plan. Remaining spaces will be allocated to support families who face various systemic barriers including Black and other racialized residents, newcomers, sole support parents, families living in low income and children with special needs.
    2. Priority Areas: The approach also aims to increase access to affordable child care in neighbourhoods that are both underserved and experiencing lower socio-economic status. Neighbourhoods with a score of 96 or above on the Canadian Neighbourhoods and Early Child Development socio-economic status index (CanNECD).

    Table 1 shows the approximate community-based space allocations by population group and service area. Priority neighbourhoods are also highlighted for the Francophone and general populations.

    Table 1. Approximate space allocation by population group and Service Area. Service Areas and Neighbourhoods are aligned to the geography of the Child Care and Early Years Service System Plan (2019-2023). Total does not add up to 832 as some spaces were allocated in 2022. The protected Indigenous and Francophone spaces represent the number of spaces required to reach a child care access target of 40% for Indigenous and Francophone children 0-6 years old living in neighbourhoods experiencing lower socio-economic status. For the Indigenous population, the information is presented at the service area level due to the low number of Indigenous children and existing Indigenous-led child care spaces in neighbourhoods across the city.

    Indigenous Population
    Service Area Spaces
    West 25
    South 35
    Central West 63
    Central 16
    Central East 42
    Central South 81
    East 18
    Total 280
     
    Francophone Population
    Service Area Spaces Neighbourhoods
    West 19 Glencairn
    South 13 Chapman Mills/Rideau Crest
    Central West 61 Nepean East, Carlington, Bayshore/Crystal Bay, Bells Corners
    Central 32 Centretown, Carleton Heights
    Central East 0  
    Central South 0  
    East 0  
    Total 125  
     
    General population
    Service Area Spaces Neighbourhoods
    West 0  
    South 33 Chapman Mills/Rideau Crest
    Central West 20 Bayshore/Crystal Bay
    Central 0  
    Central East 59 Vanier, Cyrville
    Central South 121 Carlsbad Springs/Findlay Creek Blossom Park, Alta Vista, Hunt Club West, Hawthorne Meadows/Riverview
    East 17 Chatelaine/ Convent Glen
    Total 250  
     

    Request for Expression of Interest Process
    In order to implement the growth strategy, Children’s Services is launching a Request for Expression of Interest (REOI) process to identify licensed child care service providers that are interested in offering or expanding their offer of child care services within community-based growth, in prioritized communities between 2023 and 2026. The REOI includes three application streams: Main, Francophone and Indigenous. It is important to note that all new Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care community-based spaces will be allocated through this REOI process.

    Children’s Services will notify all licensed child care service providers in Ottawa of the REOI process this week, along with information about the directed growth strategy and how to apply. Interested licensed child care service providers will have until Friday, June 16 to express their interest in the new Canada-Wide funded growth through this REOI process.

    Next steps
    The City is waiting for Provincial approvals on our notional targets and funding associated with the Canada-Wide growth strategy. Staff have also requested additional spaces in accordance with the Provincial approach. Once approval is received, the City will work through the REOI process to determine licensed child care service providers in accordance with the directed growth strategy. Further updates for Council will be provided upon the completion of the REOI process.

    As a Consolidated Service System Manager, Children’s Services will continue to play a key role, in consultation with valued sector partners and local families on the phased transformational work ahead. This includes working directly with the Province and our Early Years System
    Planning Advisory Group to support the development of future phases. This is a period of transition across the province, and staff remain committed to working with families and the child care sector in the next steps of this significant transformation.

    Continued supports for families
    Children’s Services acknowledges that many families will be challenged in finding licensed child care as a result of the higher demand and limited growth of the Canada-Wide system. As the City continues working towards an average of $10/day child care by 2025/26, staff will continue to prioritize activities to ensure families are supported and will benefit from more affordable child care. Updates continue to be made to the Child Care Registry and Waitlist to inform and help families navigate the system in finding licensed child care service providers who are participating in the Canada-Wide system.

    In addition, the City of Ottawa administers the Child Care Fee Subsidy program for families living with a low income. More information on this program and help with child care costs can be found on ottawa.ca/childcare. Lastly, EarlyON Child and Family Centres continue to offer free, high-quality programs for families and children from birth to six years old.
    Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact me directly.

    Sincerely,
    Jason Sabourin
    Director, Children’s Services
    Community and Social Services

    cc. Wendy Stephanson, Interim City Manager
    Senior Leadership Team
    Dr. Vera Etches, Medical Officer of Health, Ottawa Public Health
    Community and Social Services Department Leadership Team

    Memo: Allocation of the Civic Events Fund (April 24, 2023)

    Date: April 24, 2023

    To: Mayor and Members of Council
    From: Clara Freire, Interim General Manager, Community and Social Services

    The purpose of this memo is to provide the Mayor and Members of Council with information on the allocation of the $59K Civic Events Fund. Forty-two applications were approved through the one-time event funding.

    The purpose of this memo is to provide the Mayor and Members of Council with information on the allocation of the $59K Civic Events Fund. Forty-two applications were approved through the one-time event funding.

    Background
    On September 25, 2019, Ottawa City Council approved the new Community Funding Framework.

    Included under this framework is funding for Civic Events, which will be used to deliver family-friendly events in local Ottawa communities and neighbourhoods. This funding envelope includes $59K of annual funding, allocated to a maximum of $3K per event.

    The purpose of Civic Events, as approved by Council, funding is to fund events that:
    • Promote neighbours meeting neighbours in their local, geographic community;
    • Include multiple activities, family entertainment and attractions;
    • Appeal to residents in a specific geographic neighbourhood/district or ward;
    • Promote community well-being by welcoming all community members; and
    • Promote equity and inclusion.

    Call for proposals and evaluation process
    Funding for the Civic Events Fund was allocated through an open call for proposals for one-time event funding. The call for proposals was directed towards small community organizations hosting community events that build relationships among neighbours.

    The City of Ottawa Allocations Committee reviewed every application and provided a rating based on the organization’s alignment with the goals of community funding, the goals and objective of the event, the financial position of the organization, and the viability of the event budget.

    Once the ranking was complete, further adjustments to rankings were made to reflect the equity lens which includes, but was not limited to, priority groups, priority neighbourhoods, wards, and whether resources are being targeted and aligned to areas of the city facing the greatest needs or greatest inequities.

    The Civic Events Fund City Allocation Committee includes:
    • Program Manager, Social Development and Funding
    • Consultants, Social Development and Funding
    • Financial Services Technician, Social Development and Funding
    • Administrative Support Clerk, Social Development and Funding

    For more specific information on the allocation process, please see the 2023 Civic Events Funding Process.

    Results
    A total of $211K was requested from 79 agencies through the open call for proposals launched on February 6, 2023.

    The City Allocation Committees approved a total of 42 applications for a total allocation amount of $58,875.

    To ensure an equitable distribution of funds, some agencies will not be receiving the full funding requested. Agencies can decide how best to redistribute their budgets based on the amount of funding they have received.

    Next steps
    Community agencies have been notified of the results of the allocation process. A full list of successful agencies is available online. Should you have any questions or concerns about the process or results, please contact Shanna Culhane at shanna.culhane@ottawa.ca.

    Sincerely,
    Clara Freire
    Interim General Manager Community and Social Services

    cc. Wendy Stephanson, Interim City Manager
    Senior Leadership Team
    Community and Social Services Departmental Leadership Team

    Memo: Building Safer Communities Fund, funded by Public Safety Canada (April 11, 2023)

    Date: April 11, 2023

    To: Mayor and Members of Council
    From: Clara Freire, Acting General Manager, Community and Social Services

    Purpose

    This memo provides information on the Building Safer Communities Fund (BSCF) allocated to the City of Ottawa from April 01, 2023, to March 31, 2026, by Public Safety Canada. The City of Ottawa has been identified as a recipient and will receive $6.7M in funding from April 01, 2023, to March 31, 2026. The oversight for the program rests within the Community and Social Services Department.

    Background

    Public Safety Canada is working to build a safe and resilient Canada through the Building Safer Communities Fund (BSCF), a targeted, time-limited contribution program that will provide $250 million to municipalities and Indigenous communities to develop community-based prevention and intervention strategies to tackle gun and gang activities.

    Public Safety officials developed a methodology to ensure that the funding was equitably distributed to large, small, rural, and Indigenous communities across Canada. Communities demonstrating an acute history of gun and gang-related harm have been identified to receive funding directly to develop custom community driven initiatives to address gun and gang activities. The City of Ottawa has been identified as a recipient.

    The BSCF has three principal objectives:

    1. Support municipalities and Indigenous communities to develop community-based prevention and intervention strategies and initiatives to tackle gun and gang activities.
    2. Increase the knowledge of the nature, scope, and challenges of the identified recipients to tackle gun and gang activities.
    3. Support recipients to develop a plan to sustain successful prevention and intervention activities upon completion of the five-year program.

    Municipality recipients are eligible to redistribute their funding to organizations running programs aimed at engaging children, youth and young adults in skill-based activities, trauma-recovery, and/or focusing on departure from gangs.

    Note: funds cannot replace or displace existing federal or provincial funding and cannot be used to fund ongoing core activities, which includes costs already supported through existing police service agreements.

    City of Ottawa strategy 

    The City of Ottawa has been identified as a recipient and will receive $6.7M in funding from April 01, 2023, to March 31, 2026.
    This funding will support ongoing engagement with at risk youth, through place based, crime prevention activities in Ottawa’s priority neighbourhoods, offering community protective interventions against street violence, violence using guns and activities related to gang activity.

    This strategy will support the:

    • development and delivery of culturally relevant and responsive prevention intervention initiatives addressing risk factors associated with gun and street violence, including mentoring, counselling, skills development and recreational opportunities
    • outreach and recruitment of preventative initiatives and intervention participants
    • development of a plan to sustain successful preventative initiatives and interventions
    • alignment with Anti-Racism Strategy and Community & Safety Well-Being Plan

    The City of Ottawa will invest in the following initiatives that emphasize the importance of mental health interventions and wrap around supports through community and social services; by applying a multi-sectoral approach in promoting neighbourhood level support that reduces gun violence. These proposed interventions offer community-based services that are responsive to the traumas youth have experienced and offer practical tools to help youth overcome these challenges and deter interest in crime related activities.

    1. Culturally Based Social Programs by and for Racialized Families, Children and Youth, led by the Social Planning Council of Ottawa

    The overall objective of the program is to facilitate access to services that improve mental well-being, support healthy development, and facilitate community engagement. The program will increase resiliency and protective factors related to healthy outcomes and positive youth development among racialized and low-income youth aged 16 to 30. The specific objectives of the program:

    • To implement community-based recreation and youth leadership programming aligned with literature on what works to prevent crime and improve mental health, particularly, engaging youth and young adults in recreational opportunities, mentoring, skill-based activities, service navigation and employment supports
    • To increase knowledge about promising and best practices among grassroots groups and other organizations providing community-based recreation and youth leadership programming
    • To undertake awareness-building among parents of racialized and low-income youth of good practices in strategies to support the healthy development and resilience of their children, and reduce the risk of their involvement in crime or risky behaviours

    2. Neighbourhood Ambassadors Program, led by BGCO (formerly Boys and Girls Club Ottawa)

    The Neighbourhood Ambassador Program (NAP) is a youth-to-youth program that uses an equity-driven and grassroots approach. The NAP staff is comprised of predominantly racialized youth with lived experience in these local neighbourhoods and possess intrinsic knowledge regarding the needs and barriers faced by residents of our priority communities.

    The NAP is a collaborative effort between Ottawa Public Health, the City’s Integrated Neighbourhood Services Team (INST) and BGC Ottawa (formerly the Boys and Girl Club of Ottawa). The program will expand to 30 priority neighbourhoods with the objectives to:

    • Engage with youth to understand concerns that can impact their well-being and to learn what is important to them.
    • Support youth developmental activities by leveraging municipal and community agency services.
    • Provide youth with development opportunities in leadership training, personal & professional development, volunteering, and employment.

    3. Youth Outreach and Community Engagement Initiative, led by the Centre for Resilience and Social Development

    This is a city-wide project that offers a holistic prevention and intervention program that provides culturally responsive, trauma informed outreach programs such as mentorship, peer support, emotional intelligence training, Black youth advocacy, academic support, and employment navigation to reduce systemic barriers for racialized youth.

    The work will occur in homes, community, and schools. Teams will help youth navigate school conflicts as an alternative to policing. Outreach workers provide emotional intelligence workshops to help racialized youth understand their traumatic stressors and cope with any dysregulation. In addition, outreach workers will assist with employment training and enroll youth into an organizational employment program that offers paid job training and 12-week paid placement. All of which are documented interventions that deter youth from pursuing gun, street violence and criminal activities.

    4. Coordination, Evaluation, and Sustainability, led by the City

    Bold steps and direct visible actions are required to address the complex issues around street violence, including the root causes such as poverty, anti-black racism, lack of stable and affordable housing, police-community relations, and the equitable distribution of resources to ensure prevention and intervention.

    The effectiveness of a coordinated approach to adequately address the multiple facets associated with street violence and building safer communities in Ottawa is reliant on the collective impact of community agencies, partners, organizations, and neighbourhood residents.

    As part of this strategy, the City will hire a team to oversee the management of the program and build capacity to better understand the nature, scope and impacts of the prevention and intervention initiatives implemented. The City will work with youth serving community agencies receiving this funding to establish a data collection and sustainability plan, evaluation, and outcome measurement framework.

    Next steps

    • Building Safer Communities Fund Program to be launched in April 2023 in conjunction with partner agencies, including the initiation of the initiatives outlined in this document
    • Formal Federal announcement to occur at a later date, as confirmed with Public Safety Canada

    cc.
    Wendy Stephanson, Interim City Manager
    Senior Leadership Team
    Community and Social Services Department Leadership Team

    Memo: New Director of Housing Services appointed (April 3, 2023)

    Date: April 3, 2023

    To: Mayor and Members of Council
    From: Clara Freire, Interim General Manager Community and Social Services

    The purpose of this memo is to advise Council that the Director of Housing Services has been appointed.

    It is my pleasure to announce that Paul Lavigne, who has been serving as Interim Director of Housing Services since January, was the successful candidate in the competition.

    Before taking on the Interim Director position, Paul has been working with the Housing team since 2011 in strategic roles, and for the last six years, in management roles, including Manager of Homelessness Programs and Shelters.

    Paul, who is fluently bilingual in English and French, has worked closely with the housing and homelessness sector for many years and has built strong relationships with the community, provincial and federal stakeholders as well as with members of Council.

    Through Paul’s leadership, I am confident that the Housing Services Team will be well supported as they continue to make great strides advancing the priorities of the 10-Year
    Housing and Homelessness Plan.

    Sincerely,
    Clara Freire
    Interim General Manager
    Community and Social Services

    cc.
    Wendy Stephanson, Interim City Manager
    Senior Leadership Team
    Community and Social Services Department Leadership Team

    Memo: Community project funding application now open (March 16, 2023)

    Date: March 16, 2023

    To: Mayor and Members of Council
    From: Donna Gray, General Manager, Community and Social Services Department

    This memo is to inform Council that the project funding stream of Community Funding is now open for applications. Project funding will be allocated as one-year or three-year project funding. This is the first time that this funding stream opens, as part of the new Community Funding Framework.

    One-year project funding is allocated to time-limited or defined pilot-projects that build sector service capacity or address an emerging need. This fund is available to all agencies that meet eligibility criteria.

    Three-year project funding is allocated to organizations not receiving Sustainability Funding. Funding will allow organizations to build their agency capacity, establish a track record and demonstrate their ability to respond to emerging needs.

    For more information and to apply, please visit ottawa.ca, and select One-time non- renewable community project funding

    • Deadline for application: Thursday April 13, 2023, at 5 pm
    • Maximum funding per agency: $30,000 for One-Year Project and $90,000 for Three- Year Project
    • Funding available: $250,000
    • Applicants are advised of the results: June 1, 2023

    All applications will be assessed through an allocation process. An applicant’s success in obtaining funding depends on the allocation committee’s final evaluation and the funding available in the envelope.

    Should you have any further questions about the application or allocation process, please contact Cinthia Pagé at cinthia.page@ottawa.ca.

    Sincerely,

    Donna Gray
    General Manager 

    Community and Social Services

    cc.
    Wendy Stephanson, Interim City Manager Senior Leadership Team
    Departmental Leadership Team, Community and Social Services

    Memo: City of Ottawa named one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers (March 7, 2023)

    Date:  March 7, 2023

    To: Mayor and Members of Council
    From: Donna Gray, General Manager, Community and Social Services

    I am very pleased to announce, in partnership with Cyril Rogers, Acting General Manager of the Finance and Corporate Services Department and Chief Financial Officer, that the City of Ottawa has been named one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers (pages 58 and 59) for the eleventh time. The Interim City Manager will be sharing this information with employees later today.

    This award recognizes the City’s commitment to improving equity and inclusion in our service to residents, in our workforce and workplace. This year, the City was recognized for its efforts in advancing anti-racism work by helping to remove bias in the hiring processes, creating spaces for productive dialogue to advance the representation of Indigenous, Black and other racialized City staff, reviewing existing policies to ensure they are inclusive, and celebrating diversity within our workforce. The City is also recognized for its mental wellness initiatives, trauma-informed approaches, as well as the various staff-led affinity groups.

    In June of 2022, Council approved the City’s first Anti-Racism Strategy, which is a five-year plan to proactively identify and remove systemic barriers from City policies, programs and services. The strategy provides 28 recommendations and 132 actions to address racial inequity in governance, housing, economic development, health, child and youth development, the workplace and institutional practices.

    The Anti-Racism Strategy, alongside the Women and Gender Equity Strategy and the Equity and Inclusion Handbook, are foundational pieces that will further guide the City towards reaching a place where everyone in our city can feel safe and have a sense of belonging.

    Diversity and inclusion continue to be a priority for our City. We are committed to fostering a thriving workforce where employees feel recognized and valued to bring their authentic selves, skills and experience to work each day.

    If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact myself or Cyril Rogers.

    Sincerely,
    Donna Gray General Manager
    Community and Social Services

    Cyril Rogers
    Acting General Manager   
    Finance and Corporate Services Department and Chief Financial Officer

    cc.
    Wendy Stephanson
    Interim City Manager Senior Leadership Team
    Shanna Culhane, Acting Director, Gender & Race Equity, Inclusion, Indigenous Relations and Social Development
    Elizabeth Marland, Director, Human Resources Community and Social Services Department Leadership Team

    Memo: Housing Services 2023 Budget: Strategic Planning and Funding Sources (February 28, 2023)

    Date: February 28, 2023

    To: Mayor and Members of Council
    From: Donna Gray, General Manager, Community and Social Services Department

    Purpose

    The purpose of this memo is to provide a summary of strategic planning and municipal, Provincial and Federal funding sources that inform the Housing Services Budget for 2023.

    Strategic Planning

    This section provides an overview of the strategic plans that inform the Housing Services Budget for 2023.

    10-Year Housing and Homelessness Plan

    In July 2020, Council approved the refreshed 10-Year Housing and Homelessness Plan 2020-2030. The following outcomes have been established for the Plan for the period 2020-2030:

    1. Everyone has a home

    • Create between 5,700-8,500 housing options (new units and housing subsidies) targeted to both low to moderate income households
      • New supportive housing – 10% of all new units created
      • New accessible housing – 10% of all new units created
    • Preserve the existing affordable housing supply – no net loss of community housing

    2. People get the support they need

    • Unsheltered homelessness is eliminated
    • Chronic homelessness (incl. Indigenous) and Veteran’s homelessness is reduced by 100%
    • Overall homelessness is reduced by 25%
    • Indigenous homelessness is reduced by 25%
    • New people entering homelessness (inflows) is reduced by 25%
    • People returning to homelessness is reduced by 25%

    3. We work together

    • Client experience across the housing system is improved (client experience surveys)
    • The system works more efficiently for clients, front-line staff and administrators (examining the per capita cost of serving people at various levels of need)

    Ottawa’s housing system provides a range of options from emergency shelters, supportive, transitional, and affordable housing to market rental housing and home ownership. The total investments in Housing and Homelessness in 2023 is $215.3M. The breakdown by level of government with the related programs and services are explained in the table below.

    Housing Services 2023 Budget: Municipal, Provincial and Federal Funding Sources

    Community Services Committee
    Expenditures Municipal Funding Provincial Funding Federal Funding Total Summary
    Manager's Office 585   - -   595 Staffing for director’s office
    Housing Programs 91,635 2,694 10,136 104,465 Operating subsidy for community housing; centralized waitlist administration; public housing; program administration; rent geared to income; rent supplements
    Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative 17,622 39,802 - 57,424 Funding for homelessness services; supportive housing; shelters; outreach; homelessness prevention; housing related benefits; supportive housing
    Home for Good - 4,732 - 4,732 Housing First; supportive housing; housing allowances
    Housing and Homelessness Investment Plan 15,296 - - 15,296 Wide range of homelessness services and supports; social housing repairs; housing benefits programs; youth leadership program
    Reaching Home - - 16,934 16,934 Supportive housing; diversion; case management; coordinated access and housing loss prevention services
    COVID-19 6,630 - - 6,630 Pandemic response
    Subtotal 131,183 47,228 27,070 206,076  

    Note: The table above includes base budget only and does not include 2023-24 funding for the Provincial Ontario Priorities Housing Initiative ($5.9M), Canada-Ontario Community Housing Initiative ($15.3M), Canada-Ontario Housing Benefit ($2.5M) and Round 3 of the Federal Rapid Housing Initiative ($18.3M). The inclusion of these Federal and Provincial sources brings the total funding amount to $257.3M.

    Planning and Housing Committee
    Expenditures Municipal Funding Provincial Funding Federal Funding Total Summary
    Affordable Housing 9,218 - - 9,218 Capital; Program administration funding for affordable housing
    Subtotal 9,218 - - 9,218  

    Note: The table above includes base budget only and does not include 2023-24 funding for the Provincial Ontario Priorities Housing Initiative ($5.9M), Canada-Ontario Community Housing Initiative ($15.3M), Canada-Ontario Housing Benefit ($2.5M) and Round 3 of the Federal Rapid Housing Initiative ($18.3M). The inclusion of these Federal and Provincial sources brings the total funding amount to $257.3M.

    Grand Totals
    Expenditures Municipal Funding Provincial Funding Federal Funding Total
    Community Services Committee Subtotal 131,183 47,228 27,070 206,076
    Planning and Housing Committee Subtotal 9,218 - - 9,218
    Grand Total 140,401 47,228 27,070 215,294

    Note: The table above includes base budget only and does not include 2023-24 funding for the Provincial Ontario Priorities Housing Initiative ($5.9M), Canada-Ontario Community Housing Initiative ($15.3M), Canada-Ontario Housing Benefit ($2.5M) and Round 3 of the Federal Rapid Housing Initiative ($18.3M). The inclusion of these Federal and Provincial sources brings the total funding amount to $257.3M.

    Housing Services Capital Strategy for 2023

    Housing Services will present its 2023 Affordable Housing Capital Plan to the Planning and Housing Committee at its meeting on June 7th to seek authority to allocate funding to certain affordable and supportive housing projects. The 2023 capital funding envelope is $39.4M and consists of $15M in City capital, $5.9M in provincial OPHI funding, and $18.5M in Federal Rapid Housing Initiative-3 (RHI-3) funds. Staff have authority under the 2022 Capital Plan to allocate the RHI-3 funds, which must be submitted to CMHC by March 15, 2023. The City hopes to be able to use the RHI-3 funds to advance supportive housing options as part of the transition plan for the Physical distancing Centres.

    The 2023 Capital Strategy report is expected to take a “Term of Council” approach to allocating the known funding of $60M in City capital and a total of $11,643,800 in provincial OPHI (2023-24 and 2024-25).

    Housing Services Long Range Financial Plan

    The Housing Services Long Range Financial Plan (LRFP) provides a funding and advocacy strategy to fulfill the objectives of the 10-Year Plan. The LRFP plans for a total investment of $565.1M and commits $198.4 million in municipal funding over 10 years, the LRFP enables the City to fund its one-third share of the capital requirement to build 500 new affordable housing units per year and two new transitional housing facilities. However, the 10-Year Plan cannot be achieved without significant support from the Provincial and Federal governments.

    Accordingly, the City requires $283.1 million from the Provincial and Federal governments to fund two-thirds of the capital requirement and $93.4 million annually to add new housing subsidies, provide enhanced support services, increase emergency shelter funding, and provide operating funding for new supportive and transitional housing. The estimated total funding requirement from upper levels of government is approximately $1.2 billion. However, in light of the exponential rise in inflation, including high construction costs, the LRFP will be refreshed in time to inform the 2024 Budget.

    Next Steps

    Housing Services will continue to engage key partners, including the federal and provincial governments for additional capital and operating funding that is required to achieve the goals of the 10-Year Housing and Homelessness Plan and the LRFP.

    cc. Wendy Stephanson, Interim City Manager
    Senior Leadership Team
    Community and Social Services Department Leadership Team

    Memo: Spring COVID-19 response to support single adults experiencing homelessness (February 14, 2023)

    Date: February 14, 2023

    To: Mayor and Council
    From: Donna Gray, General Manager, Community and Social Services Department

    Purpose

    The purpose of this memo is to provide Council with an update on the Community and

    Social Services Department’s transition plan to support the single adult community shelter system and single adults experiencing or at-risk of homelessness through spring and summer 2023.

    Background

    Per the Council Memo “Winter COVID-19 Response to Support Single Adults Experiencing Homelessness” issued December 1, 2022, Physical Distancing Centres increased operations to support the single adult community shelter system which was and continues to operate over capacity.

    In March and April, existing Physical Distancing Centres located at the Jim Durrell Recreational Facility and 75 Nicholas Street will no longer be available. As a result, Community and Social Services and community shelter partners require short-term temporary solutions to support our most at-risk residents. Staff continues to develop transition and mitigation strategies that are required to address system demands over the next six months. In addition, the City and partners continue to seek more sustainable medium and long-term solutions. A report will be brought forward to Committee and Council in Q2 2023 with the recommended approach.

    Community and Social Services is currently collaborating with Recreation, Cultural and Facilities Staff and the Integrated Neighbourhood Services Team to explore options to help mitigate and offset impacts on programming provided at the facilities to be used over the spring-summer including ongoing engagement with community stakeholders.

    On February 13, 2023 the federal government announced over $18.5 million in funding for Ottawa for the third round of the Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) which will help create 48 new affordable housing units and support the City’s goal of increasing the stock of permanent affordable housing options. The Council report brought forward in Q2 2023 will outline the project(s) that this funding was allocated towards.

     Current Status

    1. Enhanced Housing Supports

    Over the spring/summer months, several new permanent transitional and supportive housing options will be available to serve single adults experiencing homelessness. These options represent 107 units for single adults including:

    • Shepherds of Good Hope Supportive Housing (58 units co-ed)
    • John Howard Society Supportive Housing (29 units for women)
    • YMCA Transitional Housing Program for Women (20 units)

    The City and partners continue with efforts to help clients transition to long-term housing, including 72 housing-based case managers who are supporting over 1,100 people to transition to and remain housed.

    1. Physical Distancing Centres Locations

    Temporary Physical Distancing Centres (PDCs) have been operating out of recreational and private market facilities and the relocation of PDCs is due to the changing availability of existing facilities. As a result, two key Physical Distancing Centres locations will no longer be operational. The City’s lease of space at 75 Nicholas Street is set to end in March and the Jim Durrell Recreation Centre will undergo a planned infrastructure renewal construction project in April.

    Housing Services, in consultation with Recreation Culture and Facility Services and Planning, Real Estate and Economic Development Department completed an intensive internal and external search to identify options for a temporary space to meet the continued need to accommodate approximately 150 single adults experiencing homelessness. As such, two of the three Physical Distancing Centres which are currently in operation will be moving to alternate facilities to sustain operations.

    1. Mitigation Strategy

    The following recreational facilities have been identified as the temporary solution to help Housing Services address the gap until medium- and long-term strategies can be realized:

    • Heron Community Centre will open as a temporary Physical Distancing Centre and operate from March to the end of April 2023. This site is expected to accommodate 100 individuals.
    • Bernard Grandmaître Arena will open as a temporary Physical Distancing Centre in April and operate until mid-August 2023. This site can accommodate 74 individuals.
    • Dempsey Physical Distancing Centre will continue operations until mid-August 2023. This facility will continue to support 57 women.

    These mitigation strategies will ensure our system can offer much-needed shelter services while Housing Services can thoughtfully and incrementally transition out of the emergency service response to longer term alternatives. A report with medium term / private market options to support physical distancing services will be brought to Council in Q2 2023. Staff continue to support Councillors with PDCs in their wards through dedicated inquiry and issues management, and engagement meetings with community groups and stakeholders.

    We acknowledge our emergency housing response has impacted local programming in the community and want to express our gratitude for their adaptability and support. We are actively engaging with our community partners in affected neighbourhoods and exploring additional programming spaces to address potential gaps in the upcoming months.

    We welcome the feedback, direction and insight from Members of Council as we develop a recommended approach to support the single adult community shelter system over the medium and long term.

    Next Steps

    Staff and partners continue to explore strategies to address gaps for single adults experiencing homelessness through:

    • Supports and initiatives that help individuals to transition to permanent housing;
    • Exploring opportunities to mitigate the impacts of facility use for this purpose on recreational programming delivery;
    • A report and recommended approach to support the single adult community shelter system over the medium and long term presented to Committee and Council in Q2 2023.

    Sincerely, Donna Gray
    General Manager
    Community and Social Services

    cc. Wendy Stephanson, Acting City Manager Senior Leadership Team

    Community and Social Services Departmental Leadership Team Dr. Vera Etches

    Memo: Civic and Commemorative Events Funding now open (February 13, 2023)

    Date:  February 13, 2023

    To: Mayor and Members of Council
    From: Donna Gray, General Manager, Community and Social Services

    The purpose of this memo is to inform you that the Community Funding Civic Events Funding stream is now open for applications. Civic Events Funding is open to all local not-for-profit organizations, such as community groups and associations. This funding is used to deliver family-friendly events in local Ottawa communities and neighbourhoods that:

    • Promote neighbours meeting neighbours in their local, geographic community;
    • Include multiple activities, family entertainment and attractions designed to appeal to residents in a specific geographic neighbourhood/district or ward;
    • Promote community well-being by welcoming all community members; and
    • Promote equity and inclusion.

    For more information, please visit ottawa.ca.

    • Deadline for application: March 10, 2023
    • Maximum funding per agency: $3,000
    • Applicants are advised of results: April 24, 2023

    All applications will be assessed through an allocation process. An applicant’s success in obtaining funding depends on the allocation committee’s final evaluation and the funding available in the envelope. Please note that funding allocation is subject to approval of the 2023 Budget.

    Should you have any questions about the application or allocation process, please contact Cinthia Pagé at cinthia.page@ottawa.ca.

    Sincerely,

    Donna Gray,
    General Manager
    Community and Social Services Department

    Cc: Wendy Stephanson
    Interim City Manager

    Senior Leadership Team
    Community and Social Services Departmental Leadership Team

     

    Memo: Status Update: Community Safety and Well-Being Plan – mental well-being priority (January 26, 2023)

    Date: January 26, 2023

    To: Mayor and Members of Council
    From: Donna Gray, General Manager, Community and Social Services

    Purpose
    During the 2022 City of Ottawa budget process, funding was allocated to the base budget of the Community and Social Services Department in support of specific Council-directed initiatives to improve community safety and well-being. The purpose of this memo is to provide Members of Council with an overview of how the funding was allocated and information on implementation strategies and next steps.

    Background
    Council approved the City’s Community Safety and Well-Being Plan (ACS2021-EPS-PPD-0003) on October 27, 2021, which includes goals, strategies, and actions to address key local priorities: discrimination, marginalization, and racism; financial security and poverty reduction; gender-based violence and violence against women; housing; integrated and simpler systems; and mental well-being. For more information on the purpose of the Community Safety and Well-Being Plan, please refer to supporting document 1

    In April 2022, a progress update (ACS 2022-CSS-GEN-004) was provided announcing an Advisory Committee would be established as part of the new governance structure to provide guidance and strategic direction to the CSWBP. In September 2022, the selection committee announced the members of the Advisory Committee, who are listed on the Community Safety and Well-Being website.

    In addition, the Community Safety and Well-Being Office launched a communications strategy to increase awareness - among key stakeholders and residents - of the current status and progress of the plan and make information on services and programs more understandable and accessible to the community. Accomplishments to-date against the communications strategy include the launch of the Community Safety and Well-Being Plan’s Website, and in January 2023 the addition of a video summarizing the plan’s objectives, progress to date and community partners’ contributions.

    Funding Allocation Overview
    With the approval of the 2022 Budget on December 8, 2021, Council allocated three specific funding sources to the Community and Social Services Department (CSSD) in support of the Community Safety and Well-Being Plan. These three amounts were allocated in addition to compensation and non-compensation funds provided for the development, implementation and evaluation of the Plan.

    1.  $435,000: Neighborhood-based Integrated Treatment Program for People Living with Complex PTSD in the ByWard Market and Lowertown

    As outlined in the 2022 Budget transmittal report and approved by Council on December 8, 2021, “The Ottawa Police Service’s tax increase was tabled at a 2.86 per cent tax increase, not 3 per cent. This yielded capacity in the Citywide tax increase of 0.04 per cent in the amount of $435 thousand which will be allocated to the Community and Safety Well Being Plan toward the mental health pillar with a focus on mental health crisis response. COVID-19 has exacerbated the community impacts of problematic substance use and has exposed some gaps in mental health services for residents in need. This has been particularly evident in our City’s downtown core and Lowertown. Funding will support a pilot program specific to the Lowertown area. This program will provide services which focus on preventing harms to individuals and the surrounding community related to substance use and will facilitate low-barrier access to a wide range of treatment options. The model of care that will be developed will be rooted in data, best practices and local evidence. The pilot will be spearheaded by Ottawa Inner City Health in collaboration with City staff and Ottawa Public Health. This pilot also aligns with Council’s recently approved Community Safety and Well-Being Plan, specifically the objectives to address mental well-being and integration of services.”

    This pilot program design is completed with support from the Ottawa Hospital, CSSD, Ottawa Public Health, Ottawa Inner City Health, and members of the Lowertown and Byward Market Mental Health Working Group. The proposal is under active discussion with the Ottawa Hospital and Bruyère to be finalized. It includes $1.14 million request to the Ottawa Health Team/ESO structure with The Ottawa Hospital assuming financial and clinical leadership.

    In 2022, this funding contributed to the creation and piloting of the Community Engagement Team (CET). The CET launched in January 2022 as a pilot project in Centertown, Lowertown, the Byward Market, and Sandy Hill. Its main responsibility is to conduct outreach activities and connect with housed and non-housed residents, local businesses, and community partners to better understand their issues and concerns. From April to October 2022, this team took part in nearly 6,000 engagements with residents to identify needs and connect them to community and City services. The work of CET includes innovative tools allowing team members to collect data (related to interaction with residents and actions taken) through a Power App on their mobile phones.

    Residents expressed their appreciation for the work of the CET through a recent survey. They valued the CET’s capacity to address their urgent needs and were impressed with their ability to coordinate services across departments, social service agencies, and community partner organizations. Residents noted improved access to services and an improved relationship between themselves and City staff because of the CET’s actions.

    2. $2,100,000: Community Safety and Well-Being Fund

    As outlined in MOTION NO 67/6, the Ottawa Police Services Board approved and referred to Council a draft 2022 Budget estimate based on a two per cent police tax levy increase, resulting in $2.65 million in unallocated funds. Through MOTION NO 67/6, $2.1 million of those funds were directed to funding for community agencies in support of the Community Safety and Well-Being Plan: Interventions to support racialized youth, prevent gender-based violence against women and girls, improve community-based access to mental health programs.

    Funding has been allocated to 18 community agencies to deliver on 19 projects over three years. For more information on criteria and process, please refer to supporting document 2.

    3. $550,000: Culturally-appropriate, trauma-informed, enhanced or new mental health and addiction crisis response system

    As outlined in MOTION NO 67/5, the Ottawa Police Services Board approved and referred to Council a draft 2022 Budget estimate based on a two per cent police tax levy increase, resulting in $2.65 million in unallocated funds. Through MOTION NO 67/5, $550,000 of those funds were directed to the Community and Social Services Department to work with the Guiding Council on the development of [a culturally-appropriate, trauma-informed, enhanced or new mental health and addiction crisis response system, and specifically on the development of an alternative call referral program identifying how and to whom low-risk, low-acuity 911 calls should be re-directed, including a feasibility study, business case, and a monitoring and evaluation plan.

    By way of background, in October 2021, the Guiding Council Council agreed to take leadership of the mental well-being priority of the Community Safety and Well-Being Plan and their priority from 2021 onwards remains the development of an alternative call referral program for low-risk and low-acuity calls. The Guiding Council is an alliance of local community, health and service networks.

    Work to develop an alternate call referral model is underway; community and stakeholder engagement activities have been completed, data and literature analysis are in progress with the full analysis anticipated by the end of Q1 2023. For more information on the development of the culturally-appropriate trauma-informed, enhanced or new mental health and addiction crisis response system, please refer to document 3. For more information on the Guiding Council, please visit: Home | Ottawa Guiding Council for Mental Health and Addictions.

    Next Steps
    Community and Social Services staff will report back to Council annually the outputs and outcomes of each of the projects funded through the $2.1 million in sustained base budget funding allocation through the Community Safety and Well-Being Fund starting by the end of Q3 2023 annually for a period of 3 years.

    In Q2 2023, following a staff review of the work of the Guiding Council, Community and Social Services staff will report to Committee and Council on the culturally-appropriate, trauma-informed, enhanced or new mental health and addiction crisis response system as well as the implementation of the Neighborhood-based Integrated Treatment Program for People Living with Complex PTSD in the ByWard Market and Lowertown. Following the Q2 report, a business case will be brought to Council prior to the 2024 budget process, outlining the financial implications to proceed with the alternate response model.
    The reporting timelines outlined above align with the direction given to staff through a Motion approved by Council at its meeting on December 14, 2022.

    Should you have additional questions regarding the content of this memo, please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly.

    Sincerely,
    Donna Gray
    General Manager
    Community and Social Services

    cc. Wendy Stephanson, Interim City Manager

    Senior Leadership Team
    Community and Social Services Department Leadership Team