Community and Housing Services

If you or your family 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 — and even a sense of belonging — for those who otherwise might go without.

Youth Isolation Centre

Youth qualify for staying at the isolation centre if:

  • They are aged 16 to 21 and are currently homeless
  • They have been tested for COVID-19 by Ottawa Inner City Health or by Ottawa Public Health and are awaiting results or have a confirmed case of COVID-19
  • They do not have a safe place to self-isolate or recover.

Intake hours 7 days a week, from 8 a.m.-7 p.m.

 CONTACT US: 613-288-0424

Downtown Services and Drop-in

The Downtown Drop‑in provides a safe and welcoming place for youth living on the streets or in poverty. From here, youth can access a full range of services to help them address whatever challenges they face.

Housing and Shelter

Housing and shelter at YSB is much more than a place to live. We offer multiple services and housing programs to suit young people in a variety of life situations.

Ethno-Cultural Community Program

Operating out of the Downtown Services and Drop-in Centre, this program provides Ottawa’s immigrant and ethno-cultural youth and their families with crisis intervention support and referrals and improved access to community resources and services.

Housing Plus Services and Trusteeship

Available to all youth (aged 16-20) who need help finding and maintaining housing, this program ensures that young people’s needs are met and their rights are respected. Program staff also act as trustees for youth under the age of 18 who are recipients of Ontario Works benefits.

Youth Health Clinic

This drop-in health clinic provides youth with easy access to free primary health care services, such as medical, dental and sexual health clinics. Youth can also get help with mental health issues and addictions.

Young Women’s Space

The Young Women’s Drop-in is a weekly group for young women in Ottawa to access the services they need in a casual and welcoming environment.

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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