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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.


Urgent call out for donations 

The Human Needs Task Force is looking for donations for men who are using the showers and washrooms at McNabb Arena.

We need men’s clothing in all sizes (small, medium and large):

  • Underwear (new only)
  • Socks (new only)
  • Cotton t-shirts
  • Shorts

We also welcome more toiletries:

  • Deodorant
  • Sunscreen
  • Shaving cream
  • Razors

To donate, email to set up an appointment for drop-off. Remember to follow physical distancing when dropping off donations. Thank you in advance for your generosity.

Donations of masks for people in need

The Human Needs Task Force is looking for donations of cloth (non-medical) masks to distribute to vulnerable residents. These masks will be distributed throughout the city to community partners who will connect with people who have no other means of accessing a cloth mask.

The City is asking for cloth masks that are:

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

Wearing a cloth mask does not replace physical distancing, hand washing and monitoring your health. Staying two metres away from people you don’t live with is important but isn’t always possible in public spaces. Wearing a mask adds an extra layer of protection, especially for others in case you have COVID-19. It may also help reduce your risk in case others have COVID-19.

To donate cloth (non-medical) masks, email to set up an appointment for drop-off. Remember to follow physical distancing when dropping off donations.  

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.


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.

The City of Ottawa and the Human Needs Task Force are working with United Way to solidify a community approach to receive and place volunteers.