Where can you turn during your toughest times?
Hopefully our members will never have the need to apply for the assistance programs listed below. However, you just never know when a serious illness may hit or some other life events may make them unable to work for a short or extended period of time. It can take weeks for Employment Insurance applications to be processed and there could be a waiting period with no coverage and Sun Life will take at least 12 weeks. If members find themselves in crisis, without any sick leave left and with no source of income, they could find relief in programs such as these. Members need only contact their union representative who can share more information on options and resources that are available in our area.
1) The United Way – Turning Lives Around Program that deals with homelessness, helping people with mental health and addictions get the support they need, and providing support and treatment for people and families in crisis (http://www.unitedwayottawa.ca/English/About%20us/turning%20lives%20around.php)
The following is an excerpt from the United Way’s website about how they are helping to turn lives around:
TURNING LIVES AROUND
IMPROVE CONDITIONS FOR THE CHRONICALLY HOMELESS, FOR YOUTH FACING ADDICTIONS, AND FOR PEOPLE AND FAMILIES DEALING WITH POVERTY, MENTAL ILLNESS AND VIOLENCE.
For many in our community, just getting through the day can present serious challenges. Poverty, mental illness, homelessness, family violence and crime all take their toll.
To help turn lives around, we are focusing our efforts in three areas:
• Helping get homeless people off the streets through housing first initiatives;
• Helping people with mental health and addictions issues get access to the support they need; and
• Providing support and treatment for people and families in crisis.
Helping get homeless people off the streets
Why are we focusing here?
• It costs $100,000/yr to keep someone on the street in health, social service and justice costs. For $18,000/yr you could permanently housing a homeless person.
• By helping get homeless people off the street you’re providing security, quality of life and the chance to address the root causes that led to their initial homelessness.”
Our Community Goal
• Help homeless people get off the streets and turn their lives around.
United Way Ottawa is working with government, stakeholders, community agencies and partners to finalize the measurement that will be used to show progress in this area.
Together, we are…
• Partnering with service providers to deliver supports through a ‘housing-first’ model.
2) Destination: Home (http://www.destinationhome.ca/index.php?page=progress&hl=en)
Destination: Home is a collaborative program that identifies housing and supports for more than 200 chronically homeless people – hitting the targets set by the Leadership Table on Homelessness in its 10-year plan.
The following is an excerpt from Destination: Home’s website about how they are helping to find homes for homeless people:
2009/2010 saw many successes for the chronically homeless, for the service agencies whose missions are to help the most vulnerable and for our entire community. The Leadership Table on Homelessness is proud to have played a part.
Here’s how the numbers break down:
100 housing units committed by Ottawa Community Housing and Centretown Citizens of Ottawa Corporation (CCOC) for housing the chronically homeless.
$1.0 million in annual funding committed by the City of Ottawa through the Supports in Social Housing Program that will provide supports to 100 chronically homeless individuals.
8 social service and housing providers have partnered to provide the housing and supports to the first 100 people. They are: Ottawa Community Housing, CCOC, CMHA Ottawa, Horizons Renaissance, John Howard Society, Options Bytown, Ottawa Salus and the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Care Centre.
5 Post-Secondary Institutions – University of Ottawa, Saint Paul University, Carleton University, Algonquin College, La Cité Collégiale – have joined together to create our community’s first ever Project Homeless Connect event, held on the grounds of University of Ottawa on May 14th, 2010.
More than 120 individuals, organizations, private companies, community service agencies, schools, faith groups, media and government representatives have joined in our community’s effort to end chronic homelessness.
3) Ontario Works program sponsored by the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services:
http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/social/odsp/income_support/what.aspx This program can provide temporary financial assistance for necessities such as food and housing and in some cases other services like medical care.
4) Compensation Program for Recipients of Last-resort Financial Assistance Who Are Homeless
2011: individuals and single-parent families who were homeless and received last-resort financial assistance on October 1, 2011, are entitled to compensation under the program.
2012: individuals and single-parent families who are homeless and receive last-resort financial assistance on June 1, 2012, are entitled to compensation under the program.
Individuals and families are considered to be homeless if they find themselves in at least one of the following situations:
They have no stable shelter for the next 60 days;
They are sheltered by a community organization that provides services or shelter for persons who are homeless;
They have no fixed address.
Note: Social assistance recipients with refugee claimant status are not eligible for the program.