Mayor Mark Sutcliffe | The changing dynamics in our shelter system


The changing dynamics in our shelter system

Do you know who makes up the majority of people in our shelter system right now? It's not who many people assume - people suffering from mental illness or substance use disorder. The vast majority are actually new arrivals to Canada. I went on a tour of a temporary shelter and 100% of the clients are individuals who are seeking asylum. We could fill our entire shelter system with new arrivals.

The people arriving in our city are escaping war, violence, and poverty and we committed to helping them. Some great work is happening. We launched an emergency task force to address the shelter crisis and we've also helped almost 700 people move from the shelter system into housing in the past seven months.

But the number of new arrivals is growing fast. And a city like Ottawa doesn't have the resources to tackle this on our own. That's why we need support from the federal government to resolve this challenge. Let's work together to support every newcomer who needs our help.