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Human Needs Task Force

Human Needs Task Force

A Human Needs Task Force was implemented as part of the City’s Emergency Management Plan and emergency response to COVID-19 to ensure that we are responsive to the emerging needs of the community.

The task force is focused on responding to immediate, medium and long-term community needs on:

  • Food security
  • Homelessness and sheltering
  • Outreach and social services
    • Including coordinating volunteers, support to isolated residents and transportation for essential appointments

Task force partners

Contact information

Call 613-580-2424 ext. 26753

Please ask anyone facing difficulty to call 3-1-1. The City of Ottawa has many supports in place for residents in need and are expanding our capacity to meet local needs.


Cloth Masks

The City’s Human Needs Task Force is looking for donations of cloth masks for residents who do not have the means to buy or access one. They will be distributed through community partners to people in need throughout Ottawa.

The City is seeking cloth masks:

  • · Made with two or three layers of tightly woven but breathable cloth such as cotton, flannel or quilting cotton
  • · Without any seams over the mouth and nose through which air may leak
  • · Ideally with horizontal pleats to help fit a variety of faces

How to contact us

If you are interested in donating, send your offer of contribution to (link sends e-mail). Please indicate the item(s), quantity, and whether the donations are commercial-grade and contained in the original packaging and/or are cloth mask donations. Thank you in advance for your generosity.

For cloth mask donations, you will receive an email response from the City linking you to one of our community partner agencies and charities who are helping support our community with access to cloth masks.

Working with The Ottawa Hospital PPE donation efforts

The City is also in constant communication with The Ottawa Hospital, which is collecting, processing and storing all donated medical equipment, to help supply the many front-line healthcare staff across the Eastern Ontario region who are responding to the pandemic. You can contact The Ottawa Hospital at sends e-mail).

Community response

If you want to make a difference and have other items for donation – like food – or monetary contributions, contact the many agencies and charities helping support our community during the pandemic – especially vulnerable populations.

Thank you for your support

The City of Ottawa thanks you, in advance, for your assistance. While we have to keep our distances, we can still offer our hand to help and touch the lives of so many people in our community.

Donate blood

Canadian Blood Services are supporting patients’ on-going needs for blood and blood products. They have taken steps to comply with the Public Health Agency of Canada’s directive on physical distancing. They have added screening measures for the safety of donors and employees. To book a blood donation appointment, visit is external) or through the GiveBlood app.

An equity lens to COVID-19

Applying an equity lens to all stages of the COVID-19 pandemic response helps ensure everyone gets the support they need.

The City developed a series of documents that highlight the importance of applying an equity lens to COVID-19 supports. Differences in barriers and access to resources that people have based on their socio/cultural/economic reality and demographic identities need to be considered.

A Technical Note on Gendered Impact of COVID19 Pandemic   [ PDF - 271 KB ]

An Equity Lens on COVID19 Recovery [ PDF - 213 KB ]

For more information on an Equity and Inclusion lens to the COVID-19 response and recovery. email:

Wellness visits

The Human Needs Task Force and the Red Cross have partnered to complete community wellness visits. These visits are to see if residents are doing well, provide information about community resources, answer questions and drop off emergency supplies like a food hamper, if needed.


If you are looking to support your community during this critical time, you can help by checking in with neighbours and friends who may be vulnerable, overwhelmed, lonely or in need of help.

However, please do not do so if you have a fever, new onset of cough or difficulty breathing, or if you have been in close contact with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19.

The City of Ottawa is not looking for volunteers to help with the COVID-19 situation at this time. If you would like to offer your support, contact the many agencies and charities helping support our community. Volunteer Ottawa has established a pool of pre-screened volunteers and will continue to accept new applicants. If you have time to give, please contact Volunteer Ottawa.

Keeping Ottawa Clean

We are seeing an increase in disposable gloves and masks discarded on the ground in public, especially in grocery store parking lots.

Used gloves and masks are garbage and do not belong on the ground. Improper disposal of garbage is a safety risk and harmful to the environment. Residents should dispose of all garbage, including gloves and masks, in waste bins.

If you take your used gloves and masks home, throw them away in a garbage bin lined with a plastic bag, and be sure to wash your hands after.

Any person found depositing waste on any property can be charged with littering.