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Housing services


The City continues to support residents experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless through emergency shelters, support services and outreach. Funding for homelessness programs continues. Some agencies are closed, but staff are available by phone. Agencies that are open have reduced staffing, are physical (social) distancing and are following strict hygiene procedures.

Housing providers are checking in with vulnerable tenants over the phone.

Ottawa Inner City Health, an organization that provides health care to the homeless and street communities, is visiting shelters with a mobile assessment van. A nurse is in on call during evenings and weekends.

Isolation centre for single homeless people

Routhier Community Centre

172 Guigues Avenue

  • Temporary isolation centre for single homeless people that need to self-isolate. This will help mitigate the spread of the virus within the shelter environment.
  • The City will consult with Ottawa Public Health to implement best practices for cleaning and maintaining the centre, both as its use as an isolation centre and before it is returned to the City for community use.

Physical distancing centre for men

Dempsey Community Centre

1895 Russell Road

  • Temporary physical distancing centre for single men 18 years and older who require little to no supports.
  • The facility offers food, bathrooms, showers, common sleeping areas, access to computers, Wi-Fi and television.
  • For placement, call 3-1-1 or the Dempsey Community Centre at 613-247-4846.

Shelters for singles and families remain open and are accepting clients. Call 3-1-1 to complete a homelessness assessment.Note, the City’s physical distancing centre for men was moved from the Jim Durrell Recreation Centre to the Dempsey Community Centre in September.

Note, the City’s physical distancing centre for men was moved from the Jim Durrell Recreation Centre to the Dempsey Community Centre in September.

Shower and washroom facilities

Select sites have been reopened throughout the city to provide showers and washroom facilities to people experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic.

McNabb Arena – showers and washroom facility

180 Percy Street

  • Monday to Saturday 9:30 am to 4 pm
  • Offers showers and washrooms (towels and toiletries provided), information on available social programs and services, crisis intervention, harm reduction support and small clothing cupboard. 

Vanier Community Service Centre – washroom facility

290 Dupuis Street

  • Monday to Friday 8:30 am to 4pm
  • Washrooms

Portable toilets

18 portable toilets were temporarily installed throughout the city to provide washroom facilities for those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. The locations of the portable toilets are subject to change based on the needs of the area.

Using shared laundry facilities

Research suggests that CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can live for hours to days on hard surfaces. Laundry machines, countertops, and furniture need to be sanitized often. Check out this poster for using shared laundry facilities.

Using shared laundry facilities - (English) [ PDF – 452 KB ]

Allowances and rent supplements

Households and landlords will get housing allowances and rent supplements one week early to help cash flow.

There will be no evictions from social housing during this time. The Social Housing Registry continues to take calls from residents. People fleeing domestic violence can continue to apply for priority housing.