About YSB

Professionals Delivering Programs for Youth

Founded in 1960, the Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa (YSB) is one of the largest and most comprehensive non‑profit agencies serving youth in this community. More than 350 caring professionals work from 20 locations across the city to deliver a vast range of programs and services that support at‑risk youth and their families.

YSB is a registered charity (#10822 8545 RR0001). We receive funding from the Province of Ontario, the City of Ottawa, the United Way, and generous private donors. In 2010, our annual operating budget was over $24 million. Extremely efficient, we spend just 9.5% of our budget on administration, leaving the remaining 90.5% for program delivery.

Our Strategic Priorities

Strategic PlanThe purpose of the YSB Strategic Plan is to provide a 3-year roadmap to strengthen our capacity as an exceptional leader and partner in responding to the needs of youth and families in our community. Click here to read the full document.

RESOURCES AND CAREERS

media-kit

With more than 60 years of supporting youth in the Ottawa area, YSB is valued for its expertise in the areas of homelessness, housing, mental health, youth justice, employment, health, diversity, and youth engagement.

Youth Services Jeunesse Library

Get access to resources developed specifically for the YSB community.

Youth Services Jeunesse Careers

At YSB we offer you the opportunity to play a meaningful role in creating lasting, positive change in young people’s lives, as well in the lives of their families and communities.

Youth Services Jeunesse Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ

Find answers to frequently asked questions by our community.

Our Vision: IMPACT TOMORROW TODAY

Our mission

We are committed to providing a safe, non-judgmental and accessible environment where individuals 12 years and older can pursue their life goals and be encouraged in making informed decisions.

Our mandate

YSB is a multi-service agency that provides services in French and English in employment, health and housing, mental health, youth engagement and youth justice. We work in partnership to develop, deliver and advocate for better conditions, services and opportunities for youth and families.

Through our services we:

  • Value our clients’ strengths
  • Believe in empowering youth and families
  • Value diversity
  • Value accountability for our clients & ourselves
  • Believe in meaningful youth engagement as core to our practice
  • Value the continuous review of the quality of our work
  • Believe in collaboration

Our Blog

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YSB Foundation Presents Room to Grow!

The YSB Foundation is proud to announce Room to Grow, our shelter room sponsorship campaign! Room to Grow is a fundraising initiative in support of the Youth Services Bureau’s (YSB) two downtown emergency shelters, running from September 7th to World Homelessness Day on October 10th. YSB’s Room to Grow shelter room sponsorship campaign is generously […]

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Cadillac Fairview (Rideau Centre) $10,000 Donation!

The YSB Foundation is proud to announce a generous $10,000 investment from partners The Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited and the Rideau Centre in support of YSB’s Youth Drop-In Centre. Over the last 5 years, Cadillac Fairview, the Rideau Centre and its retail partners have been steady supporters of YSB’s work, providing over $150,000 in funding. […]

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YSB 2022 Spring Newsletter

Click through to read our spring newsletter and learn more about YSB events, programming, staff and supporters

Board of Directors

YSB’s Board of Directors is the governing body of the organization. Its role is to articulate our mission, set our strategic direction, define our goals, and measure and report on our performance.

YSB Senior Management

  • Joanne Lowe
    Joanne Lowe Executive Director

    (She/Her)

  • Larissa Silver
    Larissa Silver Associate Executive Director

    (She/Her)

  • Mike Wade Assistant Director, Community Services

    (He/Him)

  • Darren Graham Director of Community Services

    (He/Him)

  • Ryan McKay DIRECTOR, YOUTH JUSTICE

    (He/Him)

  • Kathryn Owens Clinical Director

    (She/Her)

  • Monica Armstrong Director of Mental Health Services

    (She/Her)

  • Amber Costello
    Amber Costello Director of Employment Services

    (She/Her)

  • Bill Fenn
    Bill Fenn Assistant director, Youth Justice

    (He/Him)

  • Bonnie Graham Assistant Director, Mental Health Services
  • Patti Murphy
    Patti Murphy Executive Director, YSB Charitable Foundation

    (She/Her)

  • Stacey Lauridsen
    Stacey Lauridsen Assistant Director of Community Services

    (He/Him)

  • Kim Fenn
    Kim Fenn Director of Quality Assurance

    (She/Her)

  • Heidi Nichilo
    Heidi Nichilo Clinical Assistant Director, Mental Health Services

    (She/Her)

  • Rui Medeiros
    Rui Medeiros Assistant Director, Employment Services

    (He/Him)

  • Joëlle Cupidon
    Joëlle Cupidon Director of Human Resources

    (She/Her)

  • Bob White
    Bob White Director of IT

    (He/Him)

  • Wes Richardson
    Wes Richardson Director of Finance

    (He/Him)

  • Suzanne Fraser
    Suzanne Fraser Director of Communications

    (She/Her)

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Milo's Story

Every year when I was little, I’d think “this will be the year that everything will be okay”. And every year, I’d be crushed. By the time I was 18 I couldn’t take my dad’s drinking or my mom’s crying anymore, so I packed a knapsack with the warmest clothes I had and I left. It was freezing cold, and I was alone…but I was free.

The next few months were rough and at times very scary. I spent nights in parks, doorways and even under bridges all with just an old sleeping bag a friend had given me. One night it was so cold that I walked until the sun came up, afraid that I would freeze to death if I slept.

It took me awhile to get over the embarrassment to start asking people for money. But, it was swallow my pride or stay cold and hungry. After two weeks of doing this I learned about YSB. I didn’t know it then but, in that moment, my life changed for the better. I got connected to YSB’s Young Men’s Emergency Shelter and my first night in the shelter I slept 11 hours. I felt so safe and secure. I remember that moment clearly and I felt so hopeful I now have my own apartment in one of YSB’s long-term housing buildings, am attending college to become a graphic designer, and am working part-time to support myself.

“For the first time I can remember, I’m really excited about my future. Growing up I just thought about getting by one day at a time.” I hope my story conveys just how life changing it was for me to be able to access YSB’s shelter during a really difficult time in my life. The team at YSB supported me every step of the way, and I’m grateful they were by my side. I hope you’ll consider taking the opportunity to transform the life of another young person like me today.

Milo*

*While Milo’s story is real his name has been changed to protect his privacy