OTTAWA, ON - Two years following Ottawa’s declaration as the first Canadian city to have a housing and homelessness emergency, the Alliance to End Homelessness Ottawa has launched the “Starts With Home” campaign. The non-partisan campaign aims to rally residents together to support affordable housing with their vote in October’s municipal election.
Members of the Alliance, such as The Ottawa Mission, Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre, and Ottawa Food Bank, are having the campaign backed by a quickly growing list of organizations, including Ottawa Tourism, Ottawa Board of Trade, CHEO, and Federation of Citizen’s Associations of Ottawa. At launch, the total list of supporting organizations, non-profits, and businesses is at 100.
“Housing impacts everyone,” said Kaite Burkholder Harris, Executive Director of the Alliance. “Whether you’re a business owner whose staff can’t afford to live in the city, or a child going hungry because their family had to choose rent over groceries, we all need affordable housing. A wide range of organizations are endorsing the campaign because we all know how important affordable housing is to have a great city.”
The goal of the campaign is to get residents and organizations to sign up in support of the “Starts With Home” platform, which lays out six specific actions for a newly elected council and mayor to work towards. Each of these actions focuses on affordable housing: stopping its loss, creating more, and preserving the quality of what exists.
As the October election approaches, the Alliance will update supporters on where candidates stand on these issues, to better inform their votes. Interested individuals and organizations can read the “Starts With Home” platform, and register their endorsement of the plan, at www.startswithhome.ca.
“Every night, almost 2000 people sleep in shelters, including over 300 families,” said Burkholder Harris. We need to treat this as the emergency that it is.”
“The good news is that we know how to do better, and we ask Ottawa to vote accordingly in October.”
Alliance to End Homelessness Ottawa is a coalition of organizations working together to end homelessness in the National Capital of Canada, and the lead organization behind “Starts With Home.”
For media inquiries and interviews, please contact:
Kaite Burkholder Harris, Executive Director
Alliance to End Homelessness Ottawa
Phone: 343-552-0202 • Email: [email protected]