Annual Community Forum on Ending Homelessness

The Annual Community Forum on Ending Homelessness is the only event of its kind in Ottawa, bringing over 250 housing researchers, practitioners, front line workers, policy makers, community organizations and governments together to work collaboratively to build solutions to ending homelessness in Ottawa.

Our program provides an opportunity for local agencies to meet collectively and exchange learning, best-practices and strategies from a growing local and Canadian body of knowledge on ending homelessness, and will offer practical information, tools, research, discussion and much inspiration!

2017 Community Forum

November 22, 2017

RA Centre – 2451 Riverside Drive – Ottawa, ON


Visit our Eventbrite page to register now.


Hear from Bruce Pearce of End Homelessness St. John’s and Jesse Thistle of the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness.

Click here to learn more about the Forum Keynotes.

Registration Fees: 

Students/Speakers: $25

Alliance Members: $50

Non-Members: $75

Lived Experience/Low-Income: Free


Click on the links below to find more information on the 2017 Forum program, including:

1. Schedule-At-A-Glance

2. Keynotes

3. Workshops

4. Table Talks

5. Forum Program Archives



Light Refreshments – Coffee & Tea


ATEHO Welcome & Opening Prayer


National Housing Day Proclamation

Deputy Mayor Mark Taylor


Keynote: Bruce Pearce – End Homelessness St. John’s

A Living Plan to Prevent & End Homelessness, Rooted in Community: What the St. John’s NL Experience Tells Us


Break – Coffee & Tea


Concurrent Workshop Series #1

  1. Social Innovation, Social Finance & Social Enterprise: Three Case Studies & What They Could Mean for Your Organization
  2. Approaches to Community Health & Harm Reduction
  3. Mobilizing Local Research to Better Bridge Community Knowledge & Practice
  4. Inclusionary Zoning & How to Leverage More Affordable Housing


Lunch – Fajita Buffet


Table Talks

Lunch Hour Table Talks provide an opportunity for organizations, and researchers (including students) to share new or ongoing research/evaluation findings, as well as promising practices or program outcomes.


Concurrent Workshop Series #2

  1. Housing First: Where Are We Now & Where Are We Going?
  2. Navigating the Benefits Maze: The ODSP Process and How It Impacts Housing
  3. Doing More with Less: Community Systems Planning for Youth
  4. Housing As A Human Right: Implications for the National Housing Strategy


Break – Snack, Coffee & Tea


Keynote – Jesse Thistle – Canadian Observatory on Homelessness

Understanding Historic Trauma and Moving Out of Indigenous Homelessness


Closing Panel – What Could An End to Homelessness Look Like in Ottawa?


Closing Remarks


BRUCE PEARCE – Community Development Worker – End Homelessness St. John’s

A Living Plan to Prevent & End Homelessness, Rooted in Community: What the St. John’s NL Experience Tells Us

End Homelessness St. John’s is a multi-stakeholder, community-led, collective impact board implementing St. John’s 2014-2019 Community Plan to End Homelessness. St. John’s plan proposes a bold vision to end chronic and recurring homelessness by 2019, and to prevent homelessness for those at imminent risk. The Plan builds on, and is informed by, the experience gained since 2000 by EHSJ and its predecessor, the St. John’s Community Advisory Committee on Homelessness.

EHSJ also actively engages key stakeholders across multiple sectors, including provincial partners leading social housing, homelessness and poverty work, the regional health authority, diverse service providers, and the municipality. It further convenes a regular Frontline Members Forum for all homeless serving organizations in the city.

Bruce Pearce will speak to the evolution and development of St. John’s Community Plan to End Homelessness, and will discuss the plan in context to its priorities, being: systems coordination; integrated systems information and research; housing and supports; leadership and resources. He will further discuss the opportunities at the local level in Ottawa to engage in thought leadership on our City’s 10-Year Housing & Homelessness Plan, and to the impacts the National Housing Strategy and Homelessness Partnering Strategy could bring to Ottawa’s own planning and engagement approach moving forward.


JESSE THISTLE – Resident Scholar on Indigenous Homelessness – Canadian Observatory on Homelessness

 Understanding Historic Trauma and Moving Out of Indigenous Homelessness

Jesse’s talk will focus on his lived homeless experiences as an addict in Ottawa and tie it to his academic work with intergenerational trauma within the Metis-Cree of Saskatchewan.

Jesse Thistle is Cree-Metis on his mother’s side and Algonquin-Scot on his father’s side. Jesse is a P.E. Trudeau and Vanier Scholar, as well as a Governor General Silver Medalist. He is a Ph.D. student in History at York University, studying under Dr. Carolyn Podruchny. He is the resident scholar of Indigenous Homelessness at the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness. His journey from homeless addict to successful university student is unusual among graduate students, but his lived-experience path has shaped the way he approaches homeless studies, Indigenous history, social work, and addiction studies.

Further information on the workshops, as well as speakers will be added as confirmed.

 Concurrent Workshop Series #1 (10:15am-11:30am) 

  1. Social Innovation, Social Finance & Social Enterprise: Three Case Studies & What They Could Mean for Your Organization (Plenary – Gymnasium)

Organizations are more often turning to new approaches to growing their mission and corporate business lines to enhance community social value through mechanisms such as Social Innovation, Social Finance, Social Value Purchasing and Social Enterprise. Momentum around these models is growing, including at the local level in Ottawa. This workshop will share three case studies that will push the thinking around what it could mean for your organization to build capacity in this area – and will get into the nitty gritty of the business models, approaches, partnerships and outcomes that have been achieved to date.

Join this dynamic panel, who will be hosting an open dialogue on the ways they are building greater fundraising and finance opportunities, creating local jobs for tenants, partnering to deliver better services and enhancing the purchasing power of non-profits. Case Studies will be focused on Ottawa Community Housing’s relationship with Causeway Work Centre’s social enterprise, Good Nature Groundskeeping, and Social Procurement models, Multifaith Housing Initiative’s Promissory Loans and fundraising approaches, and the partnership between Vanier Community Service Centre and the Montfort Renaissance that is reducing barriers to employment through their commercial kitchen social enterprise, Gourmet –Xpress.


Doug Pawson, Director, Social Business & Social Finance, Causeway Work Centre

Sylvie Belair-Scharf, Director, Employment Programs, Vanier Community Service Centre

Suzanne Le, Executive Director, Multifaith Housing Initiative

Moderator: Tessa Hebb, Distinguished Research Fellow, Carleton Centre for Community Innovation, Carleton University

  1. Approaches to Community Health & Harm Reduction (Courtside A Room)

Join this workshop to learn more about two local organizations working on health and harm reduction in the community. Hear from The Oasis on their services including their drop-in centre, medical staff, counselling, street health outreach, needle exchange services and complementary care. The Oaks Residence, a partnership between Shepherds of Good Hope, Ottawa Inner City Health and Canadian Mental Health Association, will also speak to the efforts of these three organizations to care for the residents of the Managed Alcohol Program.

This panel will focus on how health, addictions and harm reduction services are evolving in Ottawa, and will speak to the realities on the ground. Speakers will also address the impact of health and harm reduction on securing and maintaining stable housing, and to how local partnerships have evolved to benefit services and outcomes. Advocacy issues and the ‘politics’ of harm reduction will also be addressed through an open discussion with workshop participants.


Rob Boyd, Program Director, The Oasis, Sandy Hill Community Health Centre

Lindy Rosko, Senior Manager, Supportive Housing, The Oaks, Shepherds of Good Hope

Moderator: Samantha McAleese, PhD. Candidate, Department of Sociology, Carleton University

  1. Mobilizing Local Research to Better Bridge Community Knowledge & Practice (Courtside B Room)

This session will feature some of the latest in homelessness research in Ottawa through a unique ‘speed research’ format that will provide opportunity to maximize discussion with presenters. You will first be provided with a brief research showcase on the needs of LGBTQ2S+ adult housing, learnings from the Syrian refugee resettlement in Ottawa, A Way Home Ottawa’s most recent research on Indigenous, newcomer and LGBTQ2S+ youth homelessness, and a pilot study addressing Inuit homelessness.

Panelists will further engage in the underbelly of the research process in discussion on the role of research in bridging sector practice with community knowledge, and the potential for research to drive collaboration and innovation in the homelessness sector. The goal of this sessions is to move the conversation forward on key research practices as we collectively aim to strengthen an evidence base to inform policy, programs and practice in the homelessness sector.


Alice Kubicek, Executive Director, Daybreak Non-Profit Housing

Hindia Mohamoud, Director, Ottawa Local Immigration Partnership (OLIP)

Dr. Jackie Kennelly, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology & Anthropology, Carleton University

Cindi Rye, Director of Programs, Tungasuvvingat Inuit & Keith Lau, Senior Manager, Client Services & Social Enterprise, Shepherds of Good Hope

Moderator: Danielle Rolfe, Research Fellow, Integrated Knowledge Translation Research Network, University of Ottawa

  1. Inclusionary Zoning & How to Leverage More Affordable Housing (Outaouais Room)

Increasing the supply of affordable housing requires a new role for our city in terms of bridging planning, transit and housing objectives. This panel will gather key stakeholders from the private and non-profit sectors to talk about how new planning and inclusionary zoning legislation recently passed by the Ontario Government might be leveraged by municipalities to develop more affordable housing.

The panel will further discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the current system and proposed legislation, along with potential development models, regulatory issues, and questions addressing both the promise of inclusionary zoning, and reality of its implementation moving forward. How can we ensure that new urban policies – such as inclusionary zoning – are implemented with an eye to housing affordability and neighbourhood inclusion? Join this discussion to learn more about what is unfolding on the ground in Ottawa.


Graeme Hussey, President, Cahdco & CCOC Director of Housing Development

Dennis Carr, Consultant, D Carr Community Solutions

John Herbert, Executive Director, Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association

Moderator: Lisa Ker, Executive Director, Ottawa Salus


Concurrent Workshop Series #2 (1:00pm-2:15pm)

  1. Housing First: Where Are We Now & Where Are We Going? (Courtside B Room)

Housing First as a philosophy emphasizes a core set of principles that have implications for systems approaches and program models to ending homelessness. Implementation further requires cohesive community planning to develop coordinated, complementary programs and policies. This session will provide a venue for dialogue on Housing First in the Ottawa context, and will address how Housing First has evolved across city wide systems planning and implementation processes.

Panelists will discuss key elements of Housing Fist delivery, including fidelity to the model, prevention, and continuum of care best-practices from research, operational, front line and funder perspectives. A consideration of current opportunities and challenges to program delivery will also be addressed, along with a dialogue on a city-wide vision for Housing First moving forward.


Tim Aubry, Professor School of Psychology & Senior Research, Centre for Research on Educational & Community Service, University of Ottawa

Deirdre Freiheit, President & CEO, Shepherds of Good Hope

Lisa Medd, Program Manager, Canadian Mental Health Association – Ottawa Branch

Shelley VanBuskirk, Director Housing Services, City of Ottawa

Moderator: Steve Pomeroy, Founder, Focus Consulting & Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Urban Research & Education (CURE), Carleton University

  1. Navigating the Benefits Maze: The ODSP Process & How It Impacts Housing (Courtside A Room)

This presentation aims to provide information on the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) as well as The City of Ottawa’s unique approach to ODSP client assistance. Speakers will present on statistics from Ottawa’s program, unique to the province, where four ODSP application support workers work in multiple locations across this city, mostly with CHCs to provide this service. The panel will further present information from the last 10 years as this program has expanded, along with practical tips for workers and health care providers, including: lessons learned; who can and should apply; what to do if the primary care provider/family doctor won’t fill out forms; or if someone doesn’t have a health care provider.

If you are a frontline worker, administrator or policy adviser interested in learning more about how to navigate the social services systems and better support your clients, this workshop is for you.


Brian Reid, ODSP Support Worker, Centre 454

Christopher Bradley, Nurse Practitioner, PQCHC

Paolo De Marchi, Citizen Services Specialist, Citizen Services and Program Delivery Branch, Service Canada

Moderator: Joanna Binch, Nurse Practitioner, Somerset West CHC

  1. Working With What We’ve Got: Collective Impact In Practice (Plenary – Gymnasium)

Come on out to a panel discussion exploring three exciting initiatives in Ottawa that use Collective Impact principles to build strategic service partnerships in the youth sector. Panelists will discuss the successes and challenges of working together, such as on lessons learned around developing common intake practices, information sharing and willingness to flex mandates to deliver more responsive services. They will also address some of the common barriers preventing this kind of work from moving forward, such as information privacy matters and narrow funding mandates. Panelists include Project s.t.e.p., an award winning school-based substance use counselling program, Children’s Aid Society, who will speak to their High-Risk Youth Pilot Project, and Making the Shift, a national demonstration project on Housing First for Youth.


Jill Bennett, Program Consultant, Mental Health and Substance Abuse, Ottawa Network for Education

Kelly Raymond, Director Services, Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa

Mike Wade, A Way Home-Making the Shift Project Administrator, Youth Services Bureau

Moderator: Kaite Burkholder-Harris, Project Manager, A Way Home Ottawa

  1. Housing As A Human Right: Implications for the National Housing Strategy (Outaouais Room)

Join this panel of advocates, community leaders and legal experts who will tackle questions concerning approaches and impacts on what housing as a human right could mean in Canada. What might be different if housing were a human right? Could framing the National Housing Strategy through a human rights framework help alleviate increasing housing and homelessness needs? This workshop will ask these questions and more, with plenty of time for debate on how diverse communities could be better served by recognizing housing as a human right.

This debate is timely as leading anti-poverty, housing, and homelessness advocates, including Canada Without Poverty, are calling for the right to adequate housing as guaranteed in international human rights treaties committed to by Canada – and to amending current housing-related legislation such as the National Housing Act.


Monia Mazigh, Author & Human Rights Advocate

Angela Warren, Board Member, Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario (ACTO) & Team Lead/Case Manager for Families First Program, PQCHC

Jesse Thistle, Resident Scholar on Indigenous Homelessness, Canadian Observatory on Homelessness

Moderator: Michèle Biss, Legal Education and Outreach Coordinator, Canada Without Povert


Closing Panel (3:15pm-4:15pm)

What Could An End to Homelessness Look Like in Ottawa? (Plenary – Gymnasium)

In anticipation of the release of the National Housing Strategy by the Federal Government, this panel will reflect on the anticipated impacts of the strategy on housing and homelessness in Ottawa. How can the local community continue to evolve its approach and response to homelessness prevention? What strategies are currently working, and where do opportunities exist to further leverage local resources and partnerships? What proactive measures could we take to further enhance coordinated and supportive systems of practice? Join this panel to learn more about what is coming down the pipeline.


Erin Dej, Project Lead, Making Zero Count: Defining an End to Homelessness, The Canadian Observatory on Homelessness

Lisa Ker, Executive Director, Ottawa Salus Corporation

Meg McCallum, Director, Membership & Communications, Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation

Steve Pomeroy, Founder, Focus Consulting & Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Urban Research & Education (CURE), Carleton University

Moderator: Catharine Vandelinde, Executive Director, Options Bytown Corporation

Table Talks

  1. Need for LGBTQ2S+ Adult Housing in Ottawa
  • Alice Kubicek, Executive Director, Daybreak Non-Profit Housing (Follow- Up to AM Workshop)
  1. Developing a Successful Peer Support Program from a Peer Perspective: The Women & Gender Services Program at Shepherds of Good Hope
  • Leigh Stratton, Coordinator of Women & Gender Diverse Services, Shepherds of Good Hope; Alana Martin, Peer Worker; Christine Lalonde, Peer Worker
  1. Non-Profit Affordable Housing Development
  • Graeme Hussey, President, Cahdco & CCOC Director of Housing Development
  1. The Usual Suspects and Invisible Victims: Exploring Homeless Youth Experiences with Police in Ottawa
  • Cora MacDonald, PhD. Candidate, Department of Sociology, Carleton University
  1. Graduating from Homelessness Into Independence: When is it Time for Case Managers to Let Go and for Clients to Feel Independent?
  • Louise Goodman, MACP Case Manager Sandyhill CHC ICM; Deborah Dew, Case Manager, ICM Program, Sandyhill CHC; Christine Lalonde, Participant ICM Program
  1. Rooming Houses: How Can We Make Them Part of the PIT Count?
  • Marie France Nava, Community Health Worker, Somerset West CHC; Monica Jubinville, Housing Help, Housing Worker; Joanna Binch, Nurse Practitioner; Emilie Hayes, Community Developer, Somerset West CHC; Aleksandra Milosevic, Community Developer, Centretown CHC
  1. Modern Advocacy: Digital Inclusion and Virtual Case Management in the Homelessness Prevention Sector
  • Cosima Reye, Peer Support Worker, Youth Service Bureau (Service Dog will accompany)
  1. Housing Based Case Management Services at John Howard Society
  • Justine Joseph, Youth Housing Based Case Manager, John Howard Society of Ottawa; Dan Power, Housing Based Case Manager, John Howard Society of Ottawa
  1. Mental Health Workers and Peers Advancing the Recovery Model in a Residential Service Home – The Rothwell Project Pilot
  • Chris Bryantowich. Client Advisory Committee, The Royal; Lule Carmichael, Recreation Worker, Causeway Work Centre; Bill Dare, Social Worker, Step Down from ACTT, Community Mental Health Program, The Royal; Mark Spas, Mental Health Housing Coordinator, Homes for Special Care, The Royal
  1. Making the Shift: Reimagining the Response to Youth Homelessness Housing & Prevention
  • Mike Wade, Project Administrator, Making the Shift, Youth Services Bureau
  1. Homelessness Prevention at the Salvation Army
  • Marc Provost, Executive Director, Salvation Army Booth Centre
  1. CMHC Resources for Affordable Housing Development
  • Vivian Chih, Consultant, Affordable Housing, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation


Please visit our archives of past programs.

Program 2016

Program 2015

Program 2014

Program 2013