AN INNOVATIVE APPROACH TO HOUSING STABILITY AND SUPPORT: OPTIONS BYTOWN RESOURCE CENTRES
Options Bytown operates resource centres in 8 sites across the city in Ottawa Community Housing (OCHC) apartment communities.
The Resource Centre Program, generously supported by the City of Ottawa and the federal government, is a unique and cost-effective approach to helping individuals live independently and maintain their housing, thereby preventing unnecessary homelessness. On-site housing support staff assist tenants of OCHC maintain stable and rewarding housing through a range of support services from crisis intervention, focused individual support and counseling to community development.
With a focus on housing stability and homelessness prevention, our support team assesses each individual’s specific needs before assisting them to access the supports they need in the community as well as helping them to learn the life-skills they need to live independently
While many of the clients’ issues can be dealt with on-site, others are more complex and require more in-depth counseling services. In these cases, housing support staff are also available to facilitate linkages and make referrals to other community agencies thereby broadening the overall scope of service while helping clients to address their needs promptly, thereby preventing potential homelessness.
The Resource Centre Program has expanded continually since 2000. With the recent addition of a housing support worker who specializes in offering addictions support, the demand for our services has experienced a surge in recent years. In 2009 1,194OCHC households accessed housing loss prevention services at Options Bytown resource centres.
By promoting independence and reducing dependency, the Resource Centre Program has become an important part of maintaining healthy and viable local communities for OCHC tenants and the City of Ottawa.
Resource Centres in Ottawa Community Housing Corporation Buildings:
Support Workers provide the following essential life skills training: