Category: Community inclusion

Ottawa Community Development Network, a resource to bridge our individual care efforts to client’s everyday lives.

Bill Dare explains – The network is taking on the complexity of the disjointed approaches to individual care and support to bring a “service user” driven foundation to community and neighborhood actions along with finding ways to align organizations and institutions. 

I recently learned more about its efforts to strengthen social and health wellness after discussing with Dianne Urquhart of the Ottawa Social Planning Council and attending a community meeting, how:  people are strengthening their own community, neighbourhood and work settings.

CDF-final_opt crop

Individual practice – care and support can chip at at strengthening individual’s connections in multiple and various forms to their communities.  How to embed, prioritize this approach in everyday practice beyond chipping, is not so easy as we negotiate layers of what is involved with Community Mental Health, Recovery practice but the formal framework  and Community Development guidelines help.

Community Development Framework (CDF) brings together residents, community organizations, and city services in priority neighbourhoods across Ottawa. Together, we:

  • Identify local community issues and strengths.
  • Decide on the changes the community wants to make and set goals.
  • Build on neighbourhood strengths, and develop skills and support to make the changes happen.
    • Some goals require change at a level beyond the influence of the local community (for example traffic calming or access to affordable and nutritious food). An important aspect of the CDF approach is to support the “systems” level (i.e. community agencies and institutions) to address those concerns at a city-wide level.


Guiding Principles for
Community Development Practice

Coalition of Community Health and Resource Centres
Community Developers Network
February 2018

II. Guiding Principles for Community Development Practice
The importance of clarity regarding guiding principles became increasingly evident as this work
unfolded. The overall connection is the resulting impact on community change. This work is
grounded in over-arching principles of social change and requires foundational supports to provide
the infrastructure capacity for CD practice.

The framework below highlights four core principles that define the work of CD.
 Challenging Systemic Inequity & Power Dynamics & Supporting Empowerment
 Responsive to Community
 Transformational Practice
 Partnership & Collaboration

These principles are strongly inter-related and as such are used in all CD activities. Depending on
the activity, one principle may have a greater focus, but the other principles are still considered
when planning the most appropriate approach.

 The principles guideline for community developers can be found here:

Learn more at the Community Development website:

“Inside the battle to modernize 1960s-era mental health housing in Ontario” from This Magazine

A thoughtful article by Megan Marrelli from This Magazine 

It would be easy to simply slam down how things are in domiciliary hostels (Homes for Special Care (HSC) and other municipal residences, now called Residential Support Services).  Instead it brings to light the complexity, including the dynamics of a business that can sometimes impact on the directions residents are able to go to advance in their recovery, participation in community, along with owners/carer’s daily efforts of care along with the role of mental health service providers outside of the residence.


On a rainy Thursday in April, I arrive at a yellow brick, split-level house in London, Ont. People are doing word searches at a large dining table. Some help themselves to a container of freshly baked peanut butter cookies, and CBC News is playing on a television in the living room. This house, tucked away in a quiet, tree-lined neighbourhood a few kilometres from London’s gritty city centre, feels almost like a family home. “You’ve come right in time for morning break,” says Sarah Dutsch, the homeowner, as I take off my shoes. This is one of Ontario’s Homes for Special Care: a controversial custodial housing program for people living with severe psychiatric challenges. Sarah and dozens of other Homes for Special Care operators are now in talks with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care about the future of mental health housing in Ontario. …

See the Article here:

I hope that local communities and mental health planners bridge the issue to our broader directions in mental health reform, guided by the Recovery Model/Housing First.

The Mental Health Commission’s foundational report on housing and mental illness “Turning the Key” is a useful guide for us. https://www.mentalhealthcom…


Ottawa’s Cycle Salvation, social enterprise, individuals building community

The role of social enterprise to support people to enter employment, employment calibrated to a person’s- need, skills is unique in the continuum of Vocational Program development.  In my own practice I’ve found greater potential to actually find the best fit for an individual is through a social enterprise approach.   Maybe it is because of the structure and values in play where, while there always is a boss and a job to do, there are bigger outcomes and expectations involved.   This brief video gives a taste of such an approach.

BTW, they are always looking for bike donations.

See the video here:

Learn more about Causeway’s social enterprise efforts here

SWAG spotlights new avenues of research by Marjorie Silverman on carers and caregiving

SWAG wind up until Fall meeting, from Beverlee McIntosh – “Please RSVP so we know how many are coming!! Its always a nice evening of networking, socializing and education. PLEASE join us!”

THURSDAY MAY 11TH 6:30 to 9 PM


Theme: Spotlight on new avenues of Research on Carers and Caregiving

Marjorie Silverman

Speaker: Marjorie Silverman, Ph.D., Assistant Professor,
School of Social Work, University of Ottawa

The projects examine the everyday life experiences of carers, one from the perspective of young adults caring for older adults, and the other from the perspective of carers of people with dementia. The greater part of the presentation will focus on the experiences of carers of people with dementia in their neighbourhoods and communities. While there is growing interest in the topic of ‘dementia-friendly’ communities, there has been little Canadian research to date. What are carers’ social, relational, and practical experiences of their neighbourhoods? How are they being supported locally? Where do they go and why? Professor Silverman will talk about the innovative methods she is using to try to answer these questions. She will also share some preliminary findings, in particular as they relate to the topic of walks and the multiple purposes of local walks for carers.




Hors D’eouvres   6:30 -Talk will start shortly after 7PM

Film on the music and stories by those who live on the streets of Toronto

From the Wrench and the Alliance to End Homelessness

April 5, 2017 7:00 PM

arts court, 2 Daly Street

LOWDOWN TRACKS: Wednesday, at Arts Court Theatre , Ottawa
Carleton Cinema Politica is proud to present, in association with the Alliance to End Homelessness Ottawa and The Wrench, the award-winning film Lowdown Tracks on April 5th, 2017.
Inspired by depression-era folk songs, filmmaker Shelley Saywell and singer and activist Lorraine Segato set out to document the music and stories of those who live on the margins of society and bare their souls through their songs on the streets of Toronto. They have created Lowdown Tracks, an acclaimed documentary film, celebrating the music and stories of those living on the margins.
Voted top Canadian Audience Choice award at Hot Docs in 2015! 
As our homeless crisis grows, life on the margins threatens more and more people. The causes, from abuse to mental health to simple bad luck, are all touched on in the film. At its heart, Lowdown Tracks is about bringing into focus the heartache and the beautiful potential we should see when we walk by someone on the street. In the end, it is a celebration of the power of music and survival.
“Lowdown Tracks is so important because it injects hope, purpose and creates a sense of urgency to the work we’re doing and rallies people to take action. And action is the name of the game. The 20,000 Homes campaign is a catalyst for action. Lowdown Tracks is the spark.” – Tim Richter (President & CEO Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness & 20,000 Homes Campaign)
Lowdown Tracks dir. Shelley Saywell | Canada | 2015 | 86 mins
Pay-What-You-Can | donations are welcome | CDs will be available for purchase Lowdown Tracks is co-presented by the Alliance to End Homelessness Ottawa

Book focus’ on housing, citizenship and community life for people living with serious mental illness

From CRECS enewsletter

CRECS invites you to the launch of a new book:  Housing, Citizenship, and Communities for People with Serious Mental Illness: Theory, Research and Policy Perspectives.

Edited by John Sylvestre, Geoffrey Nelson, and Tim Aubry.

Housing, Citizenship, and Communities for People with Serious Mental Illness provides the first comprehensive overview of the field. The book covers theory, research, practice, and policy issues related to the provision of housing and the supports that people rely on to get and keep their housing. A special focus is given to issues of citizenship and community life as key outcomes for people with serious mental illness who live in community housing. The book is grounded in the values, research traditions, and conceptual tools of community psychology. This provides a unique lens through which to view the field. It emphasizes housing not only as a component of community mental health systems but also as an instrument for promoting citizenship, social inclusion, social justice, and the empowerment of marginalized people. It serves as a resource for researchers, practitioners, and policy-makers looking for up-to-date reviews and perspectives on this field, as well as a sourcebook for current and future research and practice trends.

March 8, 2017. 3:30 pm to 5:30 PM
Alex Trebek Alumni Hall
– 155 Séraphin-Marion Private
RSVP here.

book info:

Social Innovation and enterprise as ways to address social problems

Colloquium: From the Centre for Research on Educational and Community Services (CRECS)

The Evaluation of Social Innovation and Social Enterprise

Findings from a Systematic Review and Integration of the Empirical Knowledge Base

Social innovation (SI) and enterprise (SE) have gained prominence as novel ways to address social problems. Evaluators have been experimenting with how to approach SI and SE. We report on a systematic review of empirical studies of SI and SE evaluations to describe the approaches used, their drivers and effects.
Peter Milley, Assistant Professor. Faculty of Education; Barbara Szijarto, Doctoral Candidate. Faculty of Education; Kate Svensson, Doctoral Candidate. Faculty of Education; Dr. J. Bradley Cousins, Professor Emeritus. Faculty of Education.

January 20, 2017. 120 University, Room 5028. Light lunch will be served. Register here.