Community Support

Ensuring clients have access to specialized community services and support for specific populations.

In Ottawa, there are many services provided to meet the needs of specific populations, including support around employment. This section focuses on these specialized resources, both in terms of getting ready for, and conducting, the job search. When working with a client, you can explore the population(s) to which they belong to see if there are specialized programs and services that they can access.

Indigenous people

This section focuses on employment services and other resources for Indigenous Peoples in Ottawa, including First Nations, Métis and Inuit. Keep in mind that the Community Information Centre of Ottawa’s 211 serviceprovides access to operators speaking nearly every Ontario Indigenous language and dialect.The resources are organized as follows:


In Canada, there are 80 Aboriginal Agreement Holders (Aboriginal Employment Centres) with 400 delivery locations across Canada. These employment centres work within Employment and Social Development Canada’s Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy (ASETS). Each centre serves as a direct source to help Indigenous people with their employment, training and job search requirements. Click here to view the Indigenous employment centres listed on ESDC’s website.


Kagita Mikam Aboriginal Training & Services – Extends employment and training services, including employment counselling, access to computers and a job board, to all eligible Aboriginal peoples in their catchment area – between Ottawa and Oshawa.

Métis Nation of Ontario Education and Training (MNOET) – An ESDC ASETS Agreement Holder, provides a full range of employment training programs and supports for the educational success of all Métis across Ontario.

Minwaashin Lodge Employment Unit – Has 3 programs for Aboriginal women to increase their job skills and take action to increase education, training, and career development. Traditional Aboriginal Program delivers career counselling, groups, work placements, coaching and training.

Tungasuvvingat Inuit (TI) Employment Support Program – An ESDC ASETS Agreement Holder, offers assistance with finding financial assistance for education, résumé writing, developing cover letters, and practising interviews; also assists in removal of barriers to long-term employment success.


Careers Indigenous Link (formerly Aboriginal Careers) – Powered by Aboriginal Link, this highly specialized employment portal is fully-dedicated to assisting Aboriginal Job Seekers in researching and acquiring opportunities to develop their careers; includes training resources, skill development, ‘how-to’ guides, and 1,000s of Aboriginal job postings.

Indigenous Works (formerly the Aboriginal Human Resource Council) – Creates and markets a wide range of products, services and networks that help Indigenous people advance careers and organizations create inclusive workplaces that position them as employers-of-choice.

Indspire (formerly National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation) – Distributes bursaries and scholarships and recognizes Canada’s Indigenous achievers; also provides a job board that connects employers with one of the fastest growing demographics in Canada.

Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) – An ESDC ASETS Agreement Holder, NWAC holds a vision for program and policy that reflects the needs of Aboriginal women and families, including activities around Labour Market Development.


Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team – (formerly Tungasuvvingat IFHT) Offers culturally grounded care, real access and competency capacity; incorporates features unique to the Inuit population into delivery of its primary care mandate.

Courage To Soar Program – A partnership with Willis College and Minwaashin Lodge, offers training and career development opportunities in Office Administration for Aboriginal women who are survivors/at risk of domestic violence. Willis College includes a 4-week “transition to academic learning” module.

Gignul Non-Profit Housing – Assists Aboriginal people at risk of losing their housing, or those who are currently homeless.

Inuit Family Resource and Health Promotion Centre – Focuses on families with children ages 0-13 years who are at risk. The goal is to promote healthy outcomes through four main core standard areas: child development and nutrition, cultural development and retention, parenting and care-taking skills, community development and healing.

Inuit Non-Profit Housing (no website) 613-741-1449 – Offers rent-geared-to-income housing for Inuit in the Ottawa area. Inuit are given priority, after which Métis and Status Indian applicants are considered.

Mamisarvik Healing Centre & Transition House – An Inuit-specific residential and day addiction and trauma treatment program for Inuit men and women aged 18 years or older. Holistic and therapeutic treatment that helps clients end their dependency on drugs and alcohol, heal from past trauma and develop a healthy lifestyle.

Minwaashin Lodge – Provides prevention and intervention services and programs for grandmothers, women, children and youth who are survivors of family violence and the residential school system, including those impacted by intergenerational effects.

Odawa Native Friendship Centre – Offers programs to the Aboriginal community, including Community Justice; Family Support; Healthy Babies, Healthy Children; Akwego; Healing & Wellness; Life Long Care; Shawenjeagamik Drop In Centre; Sweetgrass Home Child Care Agency; Alternative High School; Healthy Living; Homeless Partnering Strategy; Wasa-Nabin Urban Youth Program.

Ottawa Inuit Children’s Centre – Serves Inuit children and youth from birth to 13 years of age and their families in the City of Ottawa.

Tewegan Transition House – A transitional home for young First Nation, Inuit and Métis women (between the ages of 16 to 29) who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, operated by the Aboriginal Youth Non-Profit Housing Corporation.

Tungasuvvingat Inuit – Addictions /trauma treatment and continuing care; Counseling for families, adults, youth and children; Diabetes awareness and prevention, Healthy weight promotion; Employment skills and training.

Urban Aboriginal Alternate High School Program (Odawa Native Friendship Centre) – For the adolescent who identifies as being of Native ancestry who may be having difficulty coping in the present educational system, may have been out of school for awhile, and/or is in need of assistance in returning to the mainstream school system.

Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health – Offers a full medical clinic, mental health clinic, community and cultural programs along with community outreach.


Congress of Aboriginal Peoples – A nationally-incorporated umbrella organization that represents the interests, nationally, of its provincial and territorial affiliate organizations across Canada; founded in 1971 as the Native Council of Canada (NCC) to represent the interests of Métis and nonstatus Indians.

The Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) – Headquartered in Ottawa, the MNO, through its province-wide infrastructure, delivers a range of programs and services in the areas of health, labour market development, education and housing, to approximately 73,000 Ontario Métis and other Aboriginal groups.


ALIS: What Works – Aboriginal Peoples – A counsellor resource with career-building strategies for working with aboriginal peoples, prepared by the Government of Alberta.

Francophone community

While the vast majority of programs and services in Ottawa are offered bilingually, this section focuses on employment services and other resources specifically geared towards the francophone community, including francophone newcomers.  This information is provided on both the English and French portal to ensure that all service providers, regardless of their language of choice, have a full view of what services are available specifically for francophone clients.


Centre Moi j’apprends – Literacy, numeracy and essential skills services, in French, that help individuals achieve goals related to further education, training and employment.

CESOC Employability Program – Prepares Francophone newcomers for entry into the Canadian labour market; provides valuable support for their economic integration as well as communication tools to assist them in their job search. F

La Bonne affaire (Opportunities for All) (no website) 416-596-0143 – Informs, trains, and prepares newcomers for the new realities of the Ontario Labour Market so they can adequately meet employers’ expectations.

Le Carrefour – Adult high school with French courses designed for adult learners who want to complete their high school diploma, refresh their skills, integrate into the workforce, or prepare for college or university.


Centre espoir Sophie – Drop-in centre for francophone women who are socially and economically marginalized.

Centre Jules Léger – Provides education to French-speaking students with either learning disabilities or those who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind or have low vision or who are deafblind, and whose needs exceed the reach of services provided by the francophone school boards.

Centre multiservices francophone de l’Ouest d’Ottawa (CMFO) – Coordinates and provides community services to the francophone population residing west of Bronson Avenue in Ottawa.

Clinique juridique francophone de l’Est d’Ottawa – Offers legal advice and assistance in French through the Vanier Community Service Centre. F

Conseil economique et social d’Ottawa-Carleton (CESOC) – Plusieurs services d’accueil et d’emploi pour les immigrants francophone.

Eastern Network – The Francophone Immigration Support Network of East Ontario aims to foster immigration to Francophone minority communities in order to maintain the demographic weight of Francophone communities at a minimal level of 4.4%.

Horizons renaissance (no website) 613.742.0988- Mental health services in French to help clients achieve autonomy and societal reintegration (replaced Le Guichet).

Improving Prosperity for Immigrant Women – This Status of Women Canada project seeks to engage women and community stakeholders in developing and implementing strategies to improve prosperity for immigrant women. It will involve a total of 200 women from the Francophone racial and ethnocultural minorities of the Ottawa region.

La Cité – The largest French-language college in Ontario; offers over 90 programs in applied arts and technology.

Le CALACS francophone d’Ottawa (24/7) 613.789.8096 – Support services for francophone female survivors of sexual violence.

Le Carrefour – Adult high school with French courses designed for adult learners who want to complete their high school diploma, refresh their skills, integrate into the workforce, or prepare for college or university.

Le Patro d’Ottawa – A community recreation centre to serve the francophone population, including a Day Program in French for adults with developmental disabilities. F

Les Services à l’enfance Grandir ensemble – French community organization to support families (with at least one child under 12) and child care providers.  Includes free services offered by The “Carrousel” Program (playgroups, early intervention services and workshops). F

Ligne d’information juridique  1.877.500.4508 – Offers legal information in French at (run by the Vanier Community Service Centre) F

Montfort renaissance – Offers integrated mental health and addiction services as well as housing services to vulnerable individuals, some of which are provided in both official languages, in collaboration with various partners in Eastern Ontarian communities.

Répertoire des services en français d’Ottawa – A comprehensive directory of services offered in French in Ottawa.


Fédération de la jeunesse franco-ontarienne (FESFO) – Represents all students who attend a French first language high school in Ontario; provides services and opportunities for youth to get involved, to network, and to develop on a personal and professional level.

Immigration Francophone – A gateway to information for francophone immigrants, networks, community organizations and all partners working to recruit, welcome and integrate newcomers in French.

To explore further, visit Francophone Services – Ottawa e-bluebook’s full listing of Francophone Services in Ottawa.


Franco Partage – A new website with resources for employment service providers seeking information in French for the benefit of francophone clients seeking career assistance.  Requires registration and log-in.

Members of the military

Members of the military and their families have access to some specialized resources in Ottawa.  There are also programs and services available to veterans.  Some of these are highlighted below.


CanVet Vocational Services – For clients who are medically released for any reason or are a released Canadian Forces Veteran with a service-related injury or illness, you may be eligible for vocational rehabilitation services. In certain cases, spouses, common-law partners and survivors may also access services.

MFRC-NCR Career Centre – Employment services for civilian spouses of Canadian Forces members .


Canadian Forces Housing Agency Ottawa – Organization that manages housing on behalf of the Department of National Defence.

Member Assistance Program (24/7) 1.800.268.7708 – Counseling for military service members and their families on a wide variety of personal issues.

MFRC-NCR Family Information Line (M-F 8am-midnight) 1.800.866.4546– Toll-free bilingual telephone service that provides information and counselling to Canadian military families.

Military Family Resource Centre of the National Capital Region (MFRC-NCR) – A full range of services, tailored to Canadian Forces families,  is offered in the Uplands area, and additional programs are offered throughout the National Capital Region in Gatineau, Orleans, Kanata, and Carleton Place.

Scholarships and Bursaries for Military Personnel and their Families – Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services (CFMWS) site lists available scholarships and bursaries.

The Royal Canadian Legion | Ottawa Branches – Homepage for the Ottawa Branches of the RCL.

The Royal Canadian Legion |Service Bureau – A variety of services for veterans and Legion members.

Newcomers & Immigrants

There are many resources in Ottawa for newcomers and immigrants focused on both overall settlement and support, as well as for those embarking on a job search.


La Bonne affaire (Opportunities for All) – Informs, trains, and prepares newcomers for the new realities of the Ontario Labour Market so they can adequately meet employers’ expectations.

Le programme Emploi-CESOC – Helps Francophone newcomers with their job search, including workshops to practice languages and help in building a résumé.

The Ottawa Chinese Community Service Centre (OCCSC) – Provides a range of employment support services to newcomers at no charge.

World Skills Employment Centre – Provides a full range of programs and services to assist newcomers looking for work. Residents of Ontario only. Minimum Canadian Language Benchmark Level 5.


Federal Internship for Newcomers Program (FINP) – Designed to provide eligible newcomers with an opportunity to gain valuable Canadian work experience in Federal Government sector. Participants are provided with a mentor for the duration of their internship; managed by the Foreign Credentials Referral Office, Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

From Volunteerism to Employment – An on-the-job mentorship program that pairs Internationally Trained Professionals (ITPs) with PQCHC staff for an unpaid three-month placement.

In-TAC Mentorship Program For IT & Accounting Professionals – Trains both mentors and protégés simultaneously for five consecutive Wednesdays. Focuses on development of mentoring skills, strategic job search techniques, cultural competency, professional development, leadership and community building.

MAPLE 2.0 – Mentorship in Action – A national program that brings together employers with IEPs through mentorship placements. It creates employment opportunities for new immigrants and helps employers enhance their intercultural understanding.

NACC Edge – A pilot program and a partnership between NACC and Career Edge. This paid internship program is designed to connect internationally qualified professionals (IQPs) with leading organizations to help re-launch their careers. Focuses on opportunities in various sectors, such as information technology (IT), administration, and health care.

OCISO’s Career Mentoring Program – Matches job-ready internationally-educated professionals with a volunteer career mentor working in the same or a related field. Also offered to Federal Internship for Newcomers Program interns.

Ottawa Connector Program – Addresses the barriers that employment-ready immigrants (Connectees) face developing professional networks, by linking them to business and community leaders (Connectors) within Ottawa for Information Meetings and Speed Interviews. Managed by Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization (OCISO).


Career Transitions Program for International Medical Doctors and International Health Professionals – Comprehensive employment preparation program for clients in the health field with an aim to help them gain employment in non-regulated healthcare related roles. A joint initiative of the Catholic Immigration Centre, World Skills, and Skills for Change.

Global Experience Ontario – Helps Internationally Educated Professionals (IEPs) find out how to qualify for professional practices in Ontario.

Hire Immigrants Ottawa – Increases the capacity of employers in the Ottawa region to effectively integrate skilled immigrants into the local workforce; also lists resources for Immigrants.

Improving Prosperity for Immigrant Women – This Status of Women Canada project seeks to engage women and community stakeholders in developing and implementing strategies to improve prosperity for immigrant women over a period of 24 months (2014-2016).  It is aimed at women aged 25 and older and will involve a total of 200 women from the Francophone racial and ethnocultural minorities of the Ottawa region.

In-TAC – An initiative of the OCCSC, it matches international talent with local businesses, helping small and medium-size businesses fill their expertise gaps and help internationally educated professionals (IEPs) find jobs in their field of expertise more quickly.

Planning to Work in Canada? – A workbook to help newcomers gather information about living and working in Canada, produced by the Foreign Credentials Referral Office.

TRIEC – Offers information for immigrants on strengthening professional networks, gaining Canadian experience, and mentorship partnerships to help new immigrants succeed.

Work in Canada – Provides information attaining and extending temporary work permits and what types of jobs allow qualification for these permits.

Working in Canada – GOC site with searchable jobs listings, regional and local labour market information and information on a variety of potential career paths.


The Catholic Centre for Immigrants – Services to help newcomers get settled in Ottawa, including programs to help develop a social network, access language training and attain proper accreditation for past training and experience.

Immigrant Women Services of Ottawa (IWSO) – Counselling and support services to women and their families in over 60 languages and dialects.

Inez & Joseph Zelikovitz Settlement Unit (Jewish Family Services) – Services for newcomers from various cultural, ethnic and linguistic backgrounds; RussianHebrewSomaliArabicFrench

The Lebanese and Arab Social Services Agency of Ottawa-Carleton (LASSA) (No Website) 613.236.0003 – Settlement and integration services for Lebanese and Arab immigrants, including help in job searching as well as interpretation and document translation.

The Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization (OCISO) – Settlement and integration services to help newcomers feel at home in Ottawa, including community integration, counselling for newcomers and programs to help youth integrate into local schools.

The Somali Centre for Family Services – Settlement and integration services to Somali refugees and immigrants, including counselling, help in job searching, translation/interpretation services and others.


Call 211 – Users can speak with operators in more than 150 languages, 24/7, about programs and services offered in the city.

Citizenship & Immigration Canada – Interactive map to find services by topic and location.

City of Ottawa Immigration Portal – Information for newcomers including walkthroughs of first steps to settlement as well as testimonials from successful newcomers.

CMHC – Housing for Newcomers – GOC website offers information in eight languages on buying or renting a home as well as maintaining a home.

Immigration Francophone – Information and tools for francophone immigrants, including workshops to practice language skills and work on résumé building as well as programs to help integration into the francophone community.

Newcomer Information Centre (NIC) – Free information and referral services to help newcomers to Canada find everything they need to settle into their new life in Ottawa, including regular orientations to show newcomers how to use NIC services.

Ontario Immigration – Information on living, working and studying in Ontario that ranges from general to more specific. – Information to newcomers to Ontario with a focus on practicalities, such as obtaining OHIP and SIN cards as well as a driver’s licence.


Bridging to Credentials Assessment Services – The Foreign Credentials Specialist at LASSA can help those looking to study and upgrade their education or work in Canada.

Canada Readiness Tool – A bilingual, competency-based, online self-assessment tool for IEPs to self-assess against Canadian Information and Communication Technology employer standards in Workplace Culture, Workplace Communication and Workplace Competencies.

Canadian Language Benchmarks’ Essential Skills Website – Information and resources about the Canadian Language Benchmarks and the Essential Skills for the workplace.

Cultural Interpretation Services for Our Communities (CISOC) – Translation and interpretation services in more than 60 languages and dialects.

Ottawa ESL Schools – ESL and computer training at no charge for immigrants.

YMCA-YWCA Language Assessment and Referral Centre (LARC) – Provides immigrants with English or French language assessments for government-funded programs. Our services are offered at no cost to eligible clients. Eligibility Criteria: 18 years of age and older; born outside Canada.

World Education Services (WES) – A not-for-profit organization providing accurate and reliable evaluations of international academic credentials.


ALIS: What Works – Immigrants – A counsellor resource with career-building strategies for working with immigrants, prepared by the Government of Alberta.

Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks (CCLB): Work Ready – Resources for counselling, hiring, and working with internationally-trained individuals.

CCLB: Work Ready Tools for non-regulated skilled or semi-skilled occupations – Resources and activities that can be used with newcomer clients preparing to work in non-regulated skilled and semi-skilled occupations.

Older & restarting workers

Many older and returning workers find themselves looking for employment for the first time in years, or in some cases, in their lives. They may not be familiar with today’s job market and new approaches to recruitment. Returning workers includes those who are re-entering the job market after a serious illness. “Older workers” are defined differently by different service providers. Some organizations focus on those over forty or any individual reskilling after time in the workforce, but the majority of programs are geared towards individuals 55 and older.

You can also check the calendars of the Employment Ontario Centres and other employment service providers in Ottawa for seminars and workshops specifically for older workers.


Note that the TIOW services outlined below apply to Ottawa residents who have lost a job in Lanark County (includes Smiths Falls and Renfrew) and Lanark County residents who have lost a job in Ottawa.

Targeted Initiative for Older Workers (TIOW) – Provides employment assistance services and employability improvement activities, such as skills upgrading and work experience, to assist unemployed workers aged 55 to 64 with their return to work (focused on communities with populations less than 250,000; e.g., Smiths Falls).

TIOW New Directions – Comprehensive employment services for mature workers (55 to 64) living in, or who have lost a job in, Lanark County (including Renfrew and Smiths Falls); may include help to find and pay for the right training or providing employer wage subsidies.

Second Career Program – MTCU program that provides laid-off workers with financial support (up to $28,000 cost-sharing grant based on need) for skills training to help them find jobs in high-demand occupations in Ontario.


Algonquin College – Experienced Workers Centre – An intake and referral centre for experienced workers returning to school; provides information and guidance, including the second career program.

La Cité – La cité des affaires – Offers information on second career funding and more to adults returning to school at the College.

Willis College – A private career college with campuses in Ottawa, Smiths Falls, and Arnprior, offering programs in business, technology and healthcare. Programs qualify for second career funding.


Centretown Community Health Centre – Offers a wide variety of programs for older adults and seniors.

Good Companions’ Seniors Centre – Provides Community Support Services to seniors and adults with physical disabilities living in Centretown and North-East Ottawa, including information and referral, friendly visiting, home help, telephone assurance, grocery and shopping bus, home maintenance, transportation (escort) to essential services and snow removal.

LESA: Lifestyle Enrichment for Senior Adults – This free and confidential program is geared to men and women 55+ in the city of Ottawa. Counsellors can meet participants in their home, in one of our satellite offices or at the Centre.

Ottawa Senior Pride Network – Works to ensure safe and LGBT-friendly services and residential environments are available for queer seniors in our community.

The Council on Ageing of Ottawa – Community Resources – A list of Community Resources for seniors under Staying at Home, Income Security, Information Services, Health, Transportation, Housing and Elder Abuse maintained by the Council on Ageing of Ottawa.


CARP Canada – A national, non-partisan, non-profit organization committed to a ‘New Vision of Aging for Canada’ promoting social change that will bring financial security, equitable access to health care and freedom from discrimination, including their right to work.

Job and Career Resources for Mature and Older Job-Seekers – A section of a US-based website, Quintessential Careers, has job and career resources for baby boomers, mature third-age job-seekers, and older workers looking for new job, work, and career-change strategies, tactics.

Steps to Employment – A workbook prepared by the CMHA for people returning to work after a mental illness, including strategies to deal effectively with the job search process.

Top Employers for Canadians Over 40 – Since 2001, the editors ofCanada’s Top 100 Employers have published an annual list of the best workplaces for older Canadians.


ALIS: What Works – Older Workers – A counsellor resource with career-building strategies for working with older workers, prepared by the Government of Alberta.

Working with Mature Workers – Presentation by Tony Gilchrist at Employment Network Group (ENG) quarterly meeting on December 4, 2013. Click on link to go to Learning Resources page.

Persons with disabilities

There are specialized employment and other support available to persons with disabilities.  In many cases, the individuals will need to be referred to the Employment Support programs by the Ontario Disability Supports Program.  It should be noted that many of the Employment Ontario Centres and other service providers also offer specialized equipment to accommodate disabilities.


Employ-Ability – A national program developed for Canadians with disabilities aimed at preparing participants for future employment opportunities; includes identifying capabilities, exploring career options, researching the labour market and setting employment goals.

The Employment Accessibility Resource Network (EARN) is a community initiative, led by United Way Ottawa, that builds partnerships across communities to improve employment opportunities for people with disabilities. We provide a coordinated access point for education and expertise on employment, accessibility and workplace inclusion for both people with disabilities and employers. 613-228-6700

Neil Squire Society – We have identified what works for our clients and we have continued to help people change their lives by improving their skills and boosting their self-confidence while making the most of their abilities. Programs include: Employment programs, Computer tutoring, Online learning, and Ergonomic and Assistive Technology Services.

ODSP Employment Support – Services to help people with disabilities get ready for work and find a job, or start up their own business.

Working Together (Neil Squire Society) – Our wage subsidy program helps persons with disabilities find and maintain employment. Job seekers are connected to employers for a minimum of six months, and are employed with the intention of long-term employment. No cost to qualifying clients; serves people with all types of disabilities.


Distance Computer Comfort – One-on-one computer tutoring available online anywhere in Canada. Tailored to individuals with disabilities all across Canada, it allows for a flexible learning schedule without having to leave the home.

ODSP Income Support – Helps people with disabilities who are in financial need pay for living expenses, like food and housing.

Ontario Disability Supports Program (ODSP) 1.800.267.5111 – This MCSS program provides eligible people with disabilities with financial help and help finding a job; applicants can apply online to check eligibility for this and other social assistance programs at

Reach Canada – Offers lawyer referral and educational services to improve the quality of life for citizens with disabilities.


March of Dimes Canada 1.877.695.7999 – Employment Services for persons with physical disabilities, including: CanVet Vocational Rehabilitation Services, Community Coordinator Project, ODSP, Employment Ontario.


Canadian Hearing Society Employment Services – Helps culturally Deaf, oral deaf, deafened and hard of hearing individuals find a job, and works with employees and employers to put the right supports in place to help you both succeed. Referrals to the many programs and services offered at CHS.

CNIB Career and Employment Services – Information and resources to build job skills and achieve a satisfying career. Get one-on-one support in exploring career interests, pursuing job opportunities, networking or building your presentation skills. Learn about tuition and wage subsidies that may be available to help you access training or start a new job.

CNIB CareerConnect Canada – Provides Canadians with vision loss the opportunity to connect with others and participate as either job seekers or Mentors using the AFB CareerConnect platform.


Association pour l’intégration sociale d’Ottawa (AISO) – Provides employment support services, as well as various residential and day programs with opportunities for community involvement, for francophones aged 18 and over with an intellectual disability.

Developmental Services Ontario (DSO) 1.855.376.3737 – A single point of access for all adult developmental services funded by the Ministry of Community and Social Services; click here for Developmental Services Ontario Eastern Region (DSOER) which serves Ottawa.

Distinct Programmes Inc. – An ODSP Service Provider that assists both candidates and employers during the pre-hire, hiring, and initial transition period of employment; can also provide long-term monitoring to ensure the ongoing success of candidates and sustained satisfaction of their employers.

LiveWorkPlay – Helps the community welcome people with intellectual disabilities to live, work, and play as valued citizens, offers powerful guidance as to our perspective on exclusion and our strategy for inclusion; has shifted its employment supports and social programs to a new community-based model.

Ottawa Carleton Association for Persons with Developmental Disabilities (OCAPDD) – Provides support to persons with developmental disabilities, in every aspect of life whether seeking work opportunities, securing living arrangements, or dealing with day-to-day tasks.

Owl Employment Program – This program is designed to assist individuals with developmental disabilities secure and maintain work experience/internships or paid employment.

Service Coordination for People with Development Disabilities – Central point of access for persons with a developmental disability in the Ottawa region; intakes, Case Management support, refer people to existing community programs and services; funded by MCSS and MCYS.

Vocational and Life Skills Training Centre (formerly Frank Emmett Work Centre) – Assists members to learn marketable work skills and life skills enabling them to live independently and enter competitive employment in the community.

Y’s Owl Maclure Co-operative Centre Inc. – In partnership with the Community, creates daytime opportunities, including employment, for people with disabilities.


Anxiety Disorders Association of Ontario 1.877.308.3843 (Information Line) – Website provides information on programs, getting help and resources for those with anxiety disorders, as well as a comprehensive Links page for more tools and support.

Canadian Mental Health Association – Provides information on how to take care of your mental health, get the facts about mental illness, and find help for yourself or others.

Causeway Work Centre – Provides Employment and Training Services, as well as Social Enterprises, for individuals with mental health issues.

Mental Health Works – Employee Supports – Tips, guidelines and a video to help employees approach their employer or co-workers about a mental health problem, or prepare for a return to work after disability leave.

Workplace Strategies for Mental Health – Mental Health Resources page provides employees with access to knowledge and tools to help increase awareness about mental health; includes a Workplace Mental Health Quiz.

See also the Mental Health Issues section on the Supporting Clients in Crisis page.


Learning Disabilities Association of Ottawa Carleton – Promotes increased awareness and respect for persons with learning disabilities (LDs) and provides support, guidance, resource materials, programs and opportunities or sharing information and concerns; offers educational workshops.


A Service Provider’s Companion to Disability and The Justice System – Prepared by Reach Canada; available in English in HTMLPDF and French inHTMLPDF)

ALIS: What Works – Persons with Developmental Disabilities – A counsellor resource with career-building strategies for working with persons with developmental disabilities, prepared by the Government of Alberta.

Persons in the criminal justice system

This section focuses on employment services and other resources for individuals in the criminal justice system to help them address the challenges they may face in finding employment, and to highlight programs especially designed to assist them.


Note that the term “pardon” has recently been changed to “record suspension”.

Pardon Application Guide – Parole Board of Canada website that offers application forms, guides, and a brief presentation that outlines the process.

Pardons Canada – Federal non-profit organization that assists individuals in removing a past criminal offence from public record.

Fact Sheet: Pardons – Provided on the Parole Board of Canada website.

Fact Sheet: Hearings for Aboriginal Offenders – Provides information on how the Parole Board of Canada (PBC) responds to the needs of Aboriginal offenders in our hearing process and assisted hearings.


Hire Power Employment Services (a satellite office of JHS-CERC ) – Employment program assists individuals who have been in conflict with the law, or at risk of becoming involved in the criminal justice system, to prepare for, obtain & maintain meaningful employment.

John Howard Society of Ottawa – Employment Services – Provides a full range of services from pre-employment training (PET) focused on essential skills training to prepare individuals for employment, further education, and training to employment services.


Elizabeth Fry Society of Ottawa – Agency offers a variety of different programs and services to help women and female youth who are, or may be, at risk of coming into conflict with the law.

John Howard Society of Ottawa – Adult Justice Services – Provides a full range of effective services, from prevention to intervention, for men and women who are involved, or at-risk of involvement, in the criminal justice system, includes community reintegration and residential programs.

Justice Engagement Services for Somali Youth (Rideauwood) – Engages Somali Youth with substance abuse and related mental health problems anywhere in the Justice System – including Court, Detention, Custody and Probation – through outreach and referrals from the Youth Justice System Partners (Courts, Crowns, Defense, Police, Probation, Family, Youth Services).

Mentorship Aftercare Presence (MAP) Program – Helps people leaving the criminal justice system to reintegrate into the community, to learn various lifeskills through mentorship, to find housing, to reconnect with family and to achieve gainful employment.

MOMS (Mothers Offering Mutual Support) – A small group of mothers who meet to share practical information and advice about the justice and corrections process.

Odawa Aboriginal Community Justice Programme – Gives support to the Aboriginal community on justice and court related issues.

The Salvation Army Correctional and Justice Services in Ottawa – Helps persons in conflict with the law, victims, and the community through offering services, support, resources and guidance.  Programs include an Adult Pre-Charge Diversion Program, Community Service Order Program, Electronic Supervision Program, and Intermittent Community Work Program.

Youth Justice Program (Rideauwood) – Program for Youth (12-18) and Young Adults (18-24), who have Substance Abuse and Co-occurring issues or family problems, who are in conflict with the law; referrals are made by Courts, Probation, Diversion, Police, Lawyers or others.

YSB Community Reintegration Program – Voluntary program offered by Youth Services Bureau to youth in open or secure custody.


A New Time – A resource toolkit developed by CFNC, specifically for federally-sentenced women and their families as they prepare for reintegration into the family and the community.

Aboriginal Community Reintegration Process – Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) is currently working with Aboriginal communities throughout the country to reintegrate Aboriginal federal offenders into Aboriginal communities.

Canadian Families and Corrections Network (CFCN) – Provides information and referral services to support families affected by criminal behaviour, incarceration and community reintegration.

Collaborative Justice Program – Applies a restorative justice approach to post-charge/pre-sentence cases, adult and youth, regardless of level of seriousness.

Ottawa Restorative Justice Network – A group of individuals and organizations who are involved, interested, or invested in restorative justice in the Ottawa area.

St. Leonard’s Society of Canada – A leading learning organization that researches and promotes “what works” in community corrections and other areas of social justice.

Time’s Up: A reintegration toolkit for families – Developed by CFCN, helps families develop their reintegration plan.

Also see Legal Assistance, under BASIC NEEDS on the Stabilizing the Living Situation page.


What Works – Ex Offenders – A counsellor resource with career-building strategies for working with ex-offenders – prepared by the Government of Alberta.


There are some resources and programs geared specifically toward helping women deal with challenges they may be facing and find employment.


Dress for Success Ottawa – Promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support, and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. Clients can also join the Dress for Success Professional Women’s Group (PWG).

EcoEquitable – Sewing for Jobs Program – An innovative training program designed to be a bridge to financial autonomy for unemployed and underemployed women who are isolated, and marginalized. The 5-month program provides sewing training, financial literacy, hands-on experience, and individual mentoring to bridge to long-term employment.

Immigrant Women Services of Ottawa (IWSO) Employment Services – Pre-employment services which include 4-day comprehensive job search workshops held monthly, computer training for immigrant women, one-on-one counselling, referrals. On-site free child care available during workshops.

iSisters Technology Mentoring – A leader in technology learning and development, iSisters helps empower women in need to live better lives, create brighter futures and build stronger communities. Provides access to technology and enhances career opportunities through technological awareness.

Minwaashin Lodge Employment Unit – Has 3 programs for Aboriginal women to increase their job skills and take action to increase education, training, and career development. Traditional Aboriginal Program delivers career counselling, groups, work placements, coaching and training.

The Well / La Source – Provides a safe, supportive, inclusive environment where women come together to empower each other while nourishing the whole person. For women and women with children; includes providing employment support.


Centre espoir Sophie – A francophone drop-in centre providing practical and emotional support for women; programs and services include: meals, food cupboard, peer assistance, outreach service, thematic workshops and recreational activities, laundry and shower facilities, mini hair salon, computers, telephone and fax services, references and access to documentation.

City for All Women Initiative (CAWI) – CAWI provides civic participation and community engagement training to women from diverse communities to help them make their views known to city decision-makers and the media.

Harmony House – Harmony House is the only second-stage shelter in Ottawa. They provide safe, affordable transitional housing for women and children who are survivors of violence. Services include programs for individual and groups, advocacy and referral, indirect legal assistance, one-on-one and group support, and crisis intervention as needed. They also support women and children ease into the transition from crisis shelter to independent living.

Language Interpretation & Translation Services (IWSO) – Free confidential interpretation service for agencies serving non-English-speaking women who are victims/survivors of violence; over 50 languages. Generic interpretation to assist non-victims (hourly rate applies); Translations in specific languages.

Immigrant Women Services of Ottawa – Counselling and support services to women and their families in over 60 languages and dialects.

Mobile Lab – This project takes iSisters’ award-winning technology training workshops to young at-risk women in Ottawa. Partnered with community organizations that offer shelter and drop-in services to young women.

Royal Ottawa HCG – Women’s Mental Health – The Women’s Mental Health Program is an innovative program at The Royal that addresses the unique way women experience mental illness.

Shirley E. Greenberg Women’s Health Centre – Helps women develop, achieve, sustain and enhance their emotional, social, cultural, spiritual and physical well-being.

St. Joe’s Women Centre – St. Joe’s Women Centre provides a safe and supportive daytime shelter for Ottawa’s homeless women. Programs and services include: Emergency grocery program, supportive counselling, laundry facilities, parent and children programs, social, recreational and educational workshops, clothing programming, etc.

Weekly Inuit Women’s Healing Circle – Tungasuvvingat Inuit runs the circle to provide a safe and healing environment for women to share and support each other. Inuit country food is provided and support with childcare and bus tickets are available.

You may also look under Supporting Clients in Crisis for more information on support dealing with violence and other critical issues that women may be facing.


ALIS: Women in Non-Traditional Occupations: Stories to Inspire – Inspiring stories of Alberta women who took the non-traditional career path, as well as resource information for career planning, education planning and scholarships.


ALIS: What Works – Gender – A counsellor resource with career-building strategies for working with women versus men (focused primarily on working with women), prepared by the Government of Alberta.


This section focuses on employment services and other resources for youth. Depending on the organization, the definition of youth varies — some focus on up to age 18, others include young adults up to age 24, and a few are focused on students up to age 30. This section may also help you work with an older client whose job search is hindered by issues with which their children are dealing.


BottleWorks (Operation Come Home) – A commercial empty bottle pick-up service for local Ottawa restaurants, bars, hotels, condominiums and conference facilities. It is a social enterprise that employs at-risk youth age 16 and up for a twelve week period to assist with the bottle collection and administrative work.

Buy Your Beau’s Online (B.Y.B.O.) – BYBO is a social enterprise that hires at-risk and street involved youth age 19 and up to assist with the product delivery and administrative work. Along with a support worker, youth deliver Beau’s products to residential homes around the city. An Operation Come Home initiative.

City of Ottawa – Youth and Student Employment Services – Employment Specialists are trained to help job seekers prepare for, find and keep employment and help access other City services, government and community programs.

FarmWorks (Operation Come Home) – Offers a safe space for youth aged 16-30 to develop skills while learning about food, farming, and agriculture; paid learning opportunities through workshops and experiential learning on Just Food’s farm.

Hope Ventures – A ten-week, 15 hours/week Entrepreneurship Training Program. Participants will have the opportunity to be placed with a business mentor and apply for a $1,500.00 START UP GRANT for their very own business idea!

Innovation Works (Operation Come Home) – Part of the “Ready.Set.Work.” initiative, provides an opportunity to explore, replicate, start-up and receive supports to start businesses in Ottawa.

Job1 (Pinecrest-Queensway Community Health Centre) – Each year, Job1 places 16 youth from the PQCHC catchment area in work placements in retail stores in the west end of Ottawa. Youth enrolled in the program are guaranteed the following: 48 hours of total work over 10 weeks; 2 hours of orientation training prior to the start of the placement; Ongoing weekly training throughout the placement; $100 gift certificate upon completion.

Jobs for Youth Program (Youth Services Bureau) – The program is available for teens who need help getting a summer job. Teens will receive job training, an employment placement from July to August, and support after the job finishes. Teens will be paid during the training and job placement.

Networking for Youth (N4Y) – An innovative community-based resource to support young job seekers in their search for employment. Serves all post secondary students in their 20s to mid 30s in transition from education to the labour market. N4Y is an expanded project that will build on the prior success of the Jewish-Somali Mentorship Program (JSMP) established in 2010.

Operation Come Home – An employment, education, and support centre for homeless and at-risk youth aged 16 and up. Programs focus on what works and what matters to youth; provides a range of employment related programs.

re: Purpose – A unique boutique and storefront that sells products from social enterprises, artisans and youth products that are made by at risk and homeless youth at OCH; includes BeadWorks – a social enterprise that offers street-involved and at-risk youth a safe and creative space to design, craft, and sell one of a kind jewelry.

Summer Jobs Services (SJS) – Summer Jobs Service is an Ontario government program that helps students find summer jobs. Open to all students between the ages of 15 and 29 who are planning to return to school in the fall, the program provides free job search support and placement services.

Technology Mentoring for Young At-Risk Mothers (iSisters and The Salvation Army Bethany Hope Centre) – Students gain digital literacy skills enabling them to return to and succeed in high school and prepare for employment.

The Door – This youth program offers Employment Preparation for young people aged 12-18, including access to computers, workshops, and a job board.

YMCA-YWCA – Provides a range of employment supports and many other supports for youth to help them reach their full potential.

Youth Futures – A a 7-month program that provides skills, information, support and practical experience to succeed in college, university and the work force. We provide (in both official languages) advanced leadership training, a variety of employment positions and a post-secondary experience.

Youth Workforce Initiative (YWI) – Funded by HRDC, offers youth an opportunity to receive hands-on training and job search support. Includes 3 weeks in class at OCH and a 14-week job placement. Employers will receive a subsidy. Managed by Operation Come Home.

Youth Services Bureau – Provides a range of employment supports and many other supports for youth to help them reach their full potential.

Youth Zone Jeunesse Resource Centre – Youth between 16-30 can access trained staff and equipment and resources, to assist with employment and career planning needs.


Youth Connect – Part of the Government of Ontario’s Youth Opportunities Strategy. It provides all youth in Ontario with information about services and resources, including information on the Summer Jobs for Youth program.


Bethany Hope Centre – Run by the Salvation Army, provides support to young parents around parenting, schooling, housing, and health.

Boys and Girls Club – Youth programs to help them overcome barriers, build positive relationships and develop confidence and skills for life.

Youth Ottawa – A charity that envisions an Ottawa where youth drive positive change.

City of Ottawa – Youth Zone – Information under social services geared towards youth, including Health, Youth summit, Calendar of Events, Education, Going Out, Jobs, Starting a Business, Summer Job Fair, Volunteering, Where To Go For Help, Youth Futures 2015, Youth on the Move!

Dave Smith Centre – Drug and alcohol treatment centre for youth.

Fédération de la jeunesse franco-ontarienne (FESFO) – Created by young people who wanted to ensure that the Franco-Ontarian youth participate fully in the development of their community.

Jewish Family Services – Provides a range of leadership programs for youth.

LiveWorkPlay – Helps youth between 15-21 and adults 21+ with intellectual difficulties participate in planned social activities; services for adults also include supports for employment.

Paint it up! – Crime Prevention Ottawa, in partnership with the City of Ottawa, offers funding for outdoor mural projects that support graffiti prevention, community safety and the beautification of Ottawa neighbourhoods. The Paint it Up! Program empowers youth through community arts.

Rideauwood Addictions and Family Services – Youth and parents program, including programs for Youth and Young Adult Substance Abuse Program, Youth Continuing Care Programs, Youth Justice Program and Justice Engagement Services for Somali Youth.

Rogers Achievement Centre (Operation Come Home) – A transitional education model designed to engage street involved youth in academic studies outside of the traditional classroom setting. R.A.C. provides full time course instruction with a licensed teacher.

Somali Centre – Youth services include a range of services around integration, education and employment. Workshops cover a wide range of issues affecting youth today.

St Mary’s Outreach – Full range of services that support young women to have a healthy pregnancy and birth, and help young parents gain the knowledge and skills to raise healthy and happy children.

Technology Mentoring for Young At-Risk Mothers – Students gain digital literacy skills enabling them to return to and succeed in high school and prepare for employment. A partnership between iSisters and Bethany Hope Centre. – Created to encourage students to pursue careers in technology through events and educational programming in Ottawa’s schools. Students work side-by-side with industry mentors who provide guidance, advice, and on-going support throughout their learning.

Youth Net  – Deals with mental health issues; helps youth develop healthy coping strategies for stress through various recreational activities.


Honouring Life Network – A source for Aboriginal youth suicide prevention resources – find out about contests, read personal stories and connect with resources.

Housing Internship Initiative for First Nations & Inuit Youth (HIIFNIY) – Work experience and on the job training for First Nations and Inuit youth to assist in pursuing long-term employment in the housing industry.

Métis Youth Programs – Designed to provide support to unemployed youth 15-30 through a number of program options, available through individual client purchase or as community-based programming.

Spirit Movers and Firekeepers Youth Program – A cultural and recreational program for youth (ages 7-18): empowering our youth to develop potential and become leaders.

Tungasuvvingat Inuit Youth Programs – Various programs that promote Inuit culture and language, life skills education; promotes exercise; provides alternatives to negative environments.

Wabano Centre “Wasa-nabin” (Wolf Pack) Program – An aboriginal youth program for 13-18 year olds that focuses on 1:1 support.; focused on healthy eating and physical development, education, justice intervention, and violence prevention.

Wabano Centre Youth Reintegration – Program for Aboriginal youth who have been in trouble with the law.

Wabano Youth Diversion Outreach – A program for aboriginal youth aged 12-17 in partnership with the Ottawa Police Service and the Boys and Girls Club.


Summer Jobs for Youth Program (Jewish Family Services) – Through Youth Services Bureau, JFS supports immigrant youth with no work experience in finding a six-week job placement over the summer, and provides basic pre-employment training.

YOCISO-Immigrant Youth Program – Specifically designed to assist immigrant youth, ages 13-24, with their settlement and integration process in Canada, including life skills. (Part of Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization)

Youth LEAD Employment Program (PQCHC) – Assists permanent resident and refugee youth between the ages of 15-29 to develop skills and experience working in Canada. Throughout the 16 week skill building program, participants receive certifications in First Aid and CPR, customer service, WHMIS, workplace safety, Smart Serve, Non-Violent Crisis Intervention, conflict resolution, High Five and more. Financial support for transportation and childcare is also available.


Bullying and Cyberbullying – Part of the RCMP’s National Youth Strategy to combat bullying. – Provides a variety of relevant information and tips, including online support group for victims of cyberbullying.

CCGSD – The Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity – Aspires to support and transform Canadian and indigenous communities from coast to coast to coast in a shared vision of a discrimination-free gender and sexually diverse world.

Centretown Community Health Centre – Youth Programs – Includes a full list of Ottawa-wide resources for GLBTTQ Youth, as well as a Youth Program and Youth Mental Health Counselling.

D.I.F.D. (Do It for Daron) – A youth-driven initiative focused on raising awareness and inspiring conversations about youth mental health.

Kids Help Phone 1.800.668.6868 – a 24/7 Helpline, online contact form, and information and resources on a variety of topics affecting youth, including bullying and sexual orientation.

Kind Space – A peer-led discussion and support group for Queer youth, ages 25 and under, in Ottawa, run by Pink Triangle Services, a centre to support sexual orientation and gender diversity.


ALIS: What Works – Youth – A Counsellor resource with Career-building strategies for working with youth, prepared by the Government of Alberta.

ALIS: What Works – Sexual Minorities  – A Counsellor resource with Career-building strategies for working with sexual minorities (GLBTQ), prepared by the Government of Alberta.

Centre for Youth Crime Prevention – Provides resources on youth crime and victimization issues such as bullying, Internet safety, dating violence and impaired driving, among others.

Stepping Stones, A Resource on Youth Development – A resource guide to help those who support youth such as governments, families, teachers and youth-serving organizations – better understand how young people develop.