Thursday, February 5, 2015

Aboriginal Homeless Centre to Close after City of Ottawa Cuts All Funding (Part I)

Shawenjeagamik Drop-In Centre is the ONLY shelter serving Ottawa's homeless Aboriginal population


February 3, 2015 - After 10 years of serving the most vulnerable homeless population in Ottawa, the City of Ottawa has cut all funding to the Odawa Homeless Drop-In Centre (510 Rideau). The impact of these cuts will be devastating to the Aboriginal homeless population leaving the entire Ottawa indigenous community and homeless shelters bracing for crisis.

"The closure of the Drop-In Centre would bring chaos to the homeless community,” said Odawa’s Executive Director Morgan Hare. "510 Rideau is vital to the healing of First Nations, M├ętis and Inuit people who are at-risk or in transition into homes of their own."

Open seven days a week, the Centre sees 60 to 100 people each day, providing three meals, laundry, crisis counselling and transition services. Aboriginal homeless clients from across the city are referred to 510 Rideau for culturally appropriate support based on trust, friendship and mutual respect.

“By cutting all funding for 510 Rideau, many of the clients who are survivors of trauma like residential schools, the Sixties Scoop, violence and abuse will be re-victimized. These most vulnerable members of society need healing and support, not more neglect,” says Odawa board president Neal Freeland.

The Odawa Native Friendship Centre is requesting that the City of Ottawa re-establish funding to the Homeless Drop-in Centre at 510 Rideau. The Odawa Native Friendship Centre also calls upon the people of Ottawa to demand that Mayor Jim Watson and Ward 12 Rideau-Vanier Councillor Mathieu Fleury, make ending Aboriginal Homelessness a priority for the Ottawa region.

Morgan Hare
Executive Director
Odawa Native Friendship Centre

Gabrielle Fayant
Odawa Native Friendship Centre



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