Community Resources

YSB’s Community Services

If you are struggling to meet some of your basic needs, you are not alone. We are here to help you feel safe and cared for. YSB community services are designed to provide food, shelter, safety, health services.

YSB services:

Employment Services

YSB’s Employment Services

Ontario Works Benefits

Estimate how much Ontario Works is available, how and where to apply, and what qualifies you for OW, and what OW can provide for you.
Website: Ontario Works
Website: Ottawa Office Information

How to Apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN) Card
The SIN card is necessary for application to a bank account, jobs, and many government services, such as OW and more.

Housing Services

YSB’s Housing Services

Canada Revenue Agency
Young people and New Canadians who have never filed an income tax return should check out the 90-minute course at the link below. Everything you need to know!
Canada Revenue Agency

How to do Laundry
A how-to website on how to do laundry! If it’s your first time on your own, laundry may be confusing, but don’t let it be! Click below!
How to do Laundry

Ottawa’s Social Housing Registry: How to Apply
If you need Rent-Geared to Income housing, this is your source for application information!

Mental Health Services

YSB’s 24/7 Crisis Line
YSB’s Youth Mental Health Walk-in Clinic

Mental Health Resources in Ottawa
Source for local mental health help, information and events in the Ottawa region.

Parents’ Lifelines of Eastern Ontario Helpline (PLEO)
This Helpline is a service that is operated by PLEO. It is for parents and caregivers of children and youth up to the age of 24. The people who will answer your call are parents who have their own experience supporting their child through the mental health system. If you think people don’t “get-it”—they do. They can help you understand the services in the community that might benefit you and your child. PLEO also offers Parent Support Groups where parents can connect with others who have gone through something similar and share resources and experiences. PLEO is there to support parents; a friendly ear when you need one. You can call them at 613-321-3211 or visit or email for more information.

Provincial Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health
The new mentality is a group of youth who are gathering to promote mental health across the country. Click to check out how you can become a part of it!

Suicide Prevention
This site is dedicated to preventing suicide among youth aged 14 to 24.

Suicide Prevention Network of Ottawa
To access their online presence, please go to: To read the “Know what to do” guide and obtain resources to help a young person thinking of suicide, please click here. To contact the Suicide Safer Community Network of Ottawa, please contact Andrea Poncia at

Teen Mental Resources and Information for Families
If you need help coping with the loss of a friend who has just died by suicide, or are interested in maintaining your good mental health, click below.

Youth Justice Services

YSB’s Youth Justice Services

Legal Aid in Ontario
In trouble with the law? Find out how to ask for legal aid and what service can be expected when legal aid is offered. Types of issues legal aid can assist with include: housing, criminal (both adult and young offenders), mental health hearing, family, and immigration/refugee, denial of ODSP or OW, and help preparing for court.

John Howard Society of Ottawa – Youth Justice Services
JHS provides housing, non-residential, and diversion programming, and facilitation for your future goals by helping you stay out of the justice system, and avoid re-entering it!

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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.


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