Community Outreach Framework

The CCSAC Board of Directors recently approved a community outreach framework that focuses on four priority areas identified as urgent in Central Ottawa: lack of affordable housing, food insecurity, income insecurity and social isolation. Our outreach activities will include research and education in areas of social injustice, networking with other organizations that share our goals and funding specific projects.

GUEST SPEAKER SERIES

To help our board members inform their congregations about important social issues, the Outreach Committee is organizing a series of talks by experts and organizations working in our priority areas of housing, food security, income security and community inclusion. In June, Michael Hatfield, a former economist with Employment and Social Development Canada spoke on how poverty is measured in Canada and how governments might ensure income support programs are fair and effective. To see Michael’s presentation, go to the Events section of the website.

In October, our guest speaker will be Danielle Rolfe, a documentary filmmaker and a community-based health and social services consultant. Danielle will be speaking about a new project to provide support and care for front-line workers in areas such as harm reduction and street nursing.

ADVOCACY

CCSAC continues to urge the City of Ottawa to make adequate provision for vulnerable populations living in the central part of the city, especially during the pandemic-related lockdown when so many public buildings and private businesses have limited access. In particular, we noted the lack of accessible hygiene facilities and the need for respite and cooling centres during heat waves and warm accommodation during severe cold spells.

PARTNERSHIPS

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PLANNING TABLE

CCSAC is a member of the Centretown Neighbourhood Community Development Planning Table that brings together organizations based in Ottawa’s core to work on building a healthier community. The Planning Table has kept active during the pandemic lockdown to ensure basic services are offered to the vulnerable population living in Centretown.

Meal programs were expanded, and shelter hours extended to give area residents a safe and cool place to rest. As Ottawa begins to emerge from extended lockdown, the Planning Table members are working toward a phased restoration of established services and new medium-to-longer term projects for community development.

Member organizations of the Planning Table include: Centretown Community Health Centre, Bank Street BIA, Ottawa Community Housing, Operation Come Home, Ottawa Police Services, Centre 507 drop-in centre, and The Haven and Glebe shelters for youth. For further information, contact: Centretown Community Health Centre (www. https://www.centretownchc.org/)

COMMUNITY FRIDGE MOVEMENT

CCSAC Board member Susan Palmai made a recent trip to inspect the community refrigerator newly installed at the Parkdale Food Centre. Susan and a group from the Glebe St. James United congregation are spearheading an effort to install a similar community fridge in the downtown core. The community fridge movement is spreading throughout North America as a way to reduce waste while helping neighbours extend their grocery budgets and add fresh, nutritious food to their diets. At present, there are six community fridges in Ottawa, but the Parkdale project is the first to install a fridge, food cupboard and children’s cupboard at street level.

FRESH PRODUCE PROJECT SUPPORTS THE EMERGENCY FOOD CENTRE

Ottawa East Community Gardeners have been making regular deliveries of beautiful fresh produce to the Centretown Emergency Good Centre. The vegetables, already cleaned and packaged when delivered, offer CEFC clients a nutritious addition to their diet. CCSAC thanks these dedicated gardeners!

 

 

 

COMMUNITY GARDEN AT CENTRE 507

For several years, gardeners grew vegetables at Centretown United Church and supplied Centre 507 with fresh produce for their soups, sandwiches and salads – that was until the Pandemic of 2020! Given stringent health regulations, it was decided to plant flowers and forgo vegetables for 2020.

In 2021, volunteers from the Central Ottawa Cluster of the United Church (Centretown UC, Glebe St. James UC, First United, Kitchissippi UC, St. Paul’s Eastern UC and Dominion Chalmers UC), and CCSAC brought back the vegetables. A roster of volunteers weed and water daily. Work is co-ordinated with the cooks of Centre 507 so that bi-weekly harvesting is donated at a time when the cooks can use the bounty. There were actually more volunteers than could be accommodated – a lovely problem to have! This prompted a sister garden on the grounds of Glebe St. James United Church to enhance donations to Centre 507.

Neighbours stop by and ask questions about the garden and signs welcome them to go into Centre 507 to share the bounty. Although it was a challenge to operate during COVID, it is hoped to continue in the future.

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS

HEALTH AND HYGIENE PROJECT

Following up on last winter’s project to provide sleeping bags to drop-in centres for distribution to those in need, CCSAC began the summer supplying health and hygiene products to The Haven Too youth shelter and Centre 507 and Ottawa Innercity Ministries. During the pandemic lockdown, many public spaces are closed, and people who are inadequately housed have few places to shelter from Ottawa’s sweltering summers. We are pleased to work with organizations that offer respite and hospitality to vulnerable populations

CCSAC SLEEPING BAG PROJECT

Winter is a difficult time for unsheltered individuals living in the downtown core. The winter of 2020-2021 was especially tough as the public spaces where people might rest and get warm were closed. For this reason, the CCSAC Board was happy to join in a project to provide new and gently-used sleeping bags to Centre 507 and Ottawa Innercity Ministries for distribution to their clients. A sleeping bag serves many purposes: as a cushion for sitting on cold sidewalks, as a wrap to supplement an overcoat, as bedding while couch surfing or when sleeping in a shelter, and for essential warmth when sleeping rough. The demand for sleeping bags is usually high, so CCSAC also encouraged its member congregations to participate in this worthwhile project.

Experience The Benefits of Volunteering:

Create Positive ChangeMeet New PeopleLearn Leadership SkillsGrow Your Appreciation

Are you ready to create a win-win from volunteering? CCSAC is a wonderful organization in which to find opportunities for yourself and others. We sometimes need help with fund raising, food drives, marketing and administration.  In non-COVID years, we need volunteers to help with our in-person Walk for the Centre walkathon.  Fill out our quick and easy application and we will get back to you if we need your help. 

APPLY TO VOLUNTEER TODAY

A Difference You Can Count!

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