Community Outreach

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PLANNING TABLE

The Centretown Neighbourhood Community Development Planning table (CDPT), formed in 2017, brings together organizations based in Ottawa’s core that focus on building a healthier community.

CDPT is an outgrowth of an innovative project begun in 2017 to address tensions between youth at risk and Bank Street business owners. Businesses complained that aggressive panhandling and petty theft imposed costs on them and discouraged customers from visiting their premises. Youth pointed out that they were being labelled and marginalized by the bad behaviour of a few, and that they lacked services and welcoming places to spend their day. Operation Come Home, the Bank Street BIA and Ottawa Police Services implemented a program of events, including Food with Friends breakfasts and picnics, art-based activities and life-skills resources and training, all designed to foster more positive interactions.

Under the guidance of the Centretown Community Health Centre, the Planning Table was expanded in 2018 to include a range of organizations that deliver programs and services and that offer information about aspects of community well-being. At regular meetings (now held on Zoom), Planning Table members share information about neighbourhood health and social concerns, identify service and development gaps, share resources, advocate on urgent problems such as housing and food insecurity, and work together to develop new community-based initiatives.  The Centretown Churches Social Action Committee (CCSAC) joined the Planning Table in 2019.

Since March 2020, Planning Table discussions have focussed on providing services during the city-wide lockdown to the vulnerable population living in Centretown. The Bank Street BIA worked with the City of Ottawa and Operation Come Home to ensure there were basic toilet facilities in the core. Ottawa Community Housing and the Red Cross carried out a series of phone calls and home visits to ensure those confined to their homes were managing during the lockdown. Individual members of CCSAC expanded their meal programs, and Restoring Hope’s shelter, The Haven, extended its hours into the afternoon to give youth a safe and cool place to rest.

As Ottawa continues to struggle with the pandemic, the Planning Table members are thinking about a phased restoration of services and medium and longer term projects for community development.

 

For further information,  contact:
Centretown Community Health Centre (https://www.centretownchc.org/)

CCSAC SLEEPING BAG PROJECT

CCSAC SLEEPING BAG PROJECT

Winter is a difficult time for unsheltered individuals living in the downtown core. This year is especially tough as the public spaces where people might rest and get warm are 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 high this year, so CCSAC is also encouraging its member congregations to participate in this worthwhile project.