The Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health is an award-winning organization that serves over 14,000 people annually. In addition to the medical services offered through their clinic, Wabano offers countless culturally-based social programs designed to help Indigenous individuals and families lead healthy lives.
Homelessness in Ottawa
Ottawa, like many other large urban cities in Canada, is comprised of a large population of Indigenous people. The 2006 census estimates that approximately 46,000 Indigenous people live in the National Capital Region representing 2.4% of the overall population. Ottawa also has one of the largest Inuit populations outside of the north. Tungasuvvingat, an urban Inuit community centre, estimates that the Ottawa area is home to 7,000 Inuk (not including Gatineau). First Nations, Inuit and Métis people come to Ottawa for various reasons such as education, employment in the government sector or for medical reasons. There are five Indigenous communities that surround the Ottawa region as well.
As is the case in most large Canadian cities, Indigenous people are over-represented in the homeless sector. According to the City of Ottawa’s 1-day Point-in-Time homeless count held in April 2018, 316 individuals (24%) identified as either First Nations, Inuit or Métis and were living in shelters, sleeping rough on the streets or were precariously housed. Both Indigenous and mainstream service providers know these numbers are an underrepresentation of the actual number of Indigenous peoples experiencing homelessness.
It’s also important to note that 85% of Wabano clients live below the poverty line and their Model of Care is rooted in culture and this includes their approach to housing and homelessness. Racism is also a barrier to housing as many landlords discriminate against Indigenous peoples which makes finding suitable rental accommodation that much harder.
Support Housing Allowance Program
Your support will assist Wabano to meet their goals for their housing allowance program which provides up to $1,000 per month to individuals or families for shelter costs.