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Homeless youth in Ottawa will receive additional support through new Ontario grant

Youth across Canada are reporting higher levels of anxiety and substance use concerns, with less ability to handle pandemic stress. Youth are also consuming more alcohol and cannabis, according to a new Leger poll commissioned by the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) and the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC).

Youth experiencing homelessness in Ottawa will receive enhanced supports to secure employment through a new grant from Ontario’s Ministry of Labour, Training, and Skill Development.  This support, directed to the JobsWorks program at Operation Come Home, will provide employment training and placement support for local youth experiencing homelessness, as well as others at-risk of homelessness due to financial challenges brought on by the pandemic.

“Our government is on a mission to ensure young people have the skills to find good jobs, build  better lives and stronger communities. I am proud to support the JobWorks program that will give youth in Ottawa a hand up and a pathway to financial independence and a career they can be proud of.”

Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development

Each year, more than 500 youth visit Operation Come Home seeking support to find housing, complete their education, and secure employment.  Through the new JobsWorks program, many youth receiving services will be able to access enhanced training, certification, and job placement services.  The goal of this work is to help them secure sustainable, private-sector employment for the long term, enabling them to leave their experience of homelessness behind, and helping address labour shortages for key jobs in Ottawa.

“Everyone, regardless of their situation, deserves a chance at a great job. The youth we serve are eager to work but many lack the knowledge and skills necessary to secure employment.  With this added support, and through JobsWorks, we can help our young clients achieve their goals, and support them as they build a healthier future for themselves.”

John Heckbert, Executive Director of Operation Come Home

Active since 1971, Operation Come Home provides individualized support services to local youth who experience homelessness, or who are at-risk of homelessness.  Youth visiting OCH can receive help with basic necessities, mental health, addictions, housing and employment. 


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