Initiatives

Initiatives

CCSAC has initiated and been involved in many social action and advocacy projects over its 50-year history. Over time, the responsibility for most of these initiatives has been assumed by municipal and provincial authorities.

1967 – CCSAC is founded; opens Headstart Nursery at St. John the Evangelist Anglican.

1960s & 1970s – CCSAC initiates and operates: – Interfaith Friendly Visiting of Shut-ins – English as a Second Language classes at First Baptist – Interfaith Committee to welcome newcomers – Breakfast Club at Elgin Street School – Monday Group drop-in at Dominion-Chalmers United.

1978 – CCSAC opens the Emergency Food & Clothing Centre at McLeod-Stewarton (Centretown) United Church, which continues today as the Centretown Emergency Food Centre (CEFC) and serves on average 900 people per month.

1990s – CCSAC operates the Centretown Employment Support Programme. In 1990, regional school breakfast programs were consolidated by the United Way, the Community Foundation of Ottawa, and Ottawa Network for Education.  In 2005, the City of Ottawa opened a Social Services Centre on Catherine Street, prompting the closure of the Employment Support Programme.

2010s and ongoing – CCSAC members participate in CPJ’s nation-wide campaigns to mark the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

2013 – CCSAC makes submissions advocating for social justice issues to the Commission for the Review of Social Assistance in Ontario, and the Minimum Wage Advisory Panel.

2017 – CCSAC prepares a submission to the panel working on a National Poverty Strategy.  In the report, CCSAC identifies the lack of affordable housing as the single most important factor contributing to poverty for those living in the central urban core.

2017 and 2018 – CCSAC writes letters supporting the findings of the Centretown and Somerset West Community Health Centres’ reports on rooming houses.  Both reports emphasize the need to improve the quality of existing rooming house accommodation, as well as ensuring enforcement of current standards, in central Ottawa.

2020 – CCSAC writes letter on anti-poverty topics to all three levels of government, and endorses the City of Ottawa’s efforts to locate cool places of refuge for street people during summer heat waves.  CCSAC offers an expression of support for a motion at City Council declaring a housing emergency in Ottawa.  CCSAC continues to recognize that the unavailability of affordable housing is the major factor affecting quality of life for many central Ottawa residents.

Today, CCSAC’s main program remains the operation of the Centretown Emergency Food Centre.  CCSAC collaborates with and supports the work of Centre 507, Citizens for Public Justice, and the Multi-faith Housing Initiative.