Frequently Asked Questions


Why are women homeless in Ottawa?
The most frequent responses to this question are as follows:
  • They couldn't afford to pay the rent. In 2011, the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment was $899 or $10,788 a year
    • A single adult woman receiving Ontario Disability Support received $12,768
    • A single adult woman working at a full time minimum wage job earns $21,320 pre-tax income. Yearly income needed in 2011 to pay no more than 30% of pre-tax income on housing was $35,960
    • They were released from a psychiatric hospital with no place to go
  • They lost their house due to a family or spousal relationship breakdown, or domestic violence

Do residents pay rent at Cornerstone?
  • Residents at the Women's Shelter make a contribution to their stay if they have an income. If a woman who is receiving a social assistance income becomes homeless and stays at our shelter, the portion of her income entitled the "shelter allowance" is suspended when she is in the shelter.
  • Residents at Cornerstone's permanent supportive housing communities pay a rent that is geared to their income

Are Cornerstone residents encouraged to find work or to be engaged in their community through education or volunteering?
  • The goal we hold for Cornerstone residents is to assist them to attain the quality of life and level of engagement in their community that best suits their individual situation. Many of the women who live in Cornerstone residents take some time to recover and heal from recent trauma or crises, and then move on to school, work or volunteer involvement in their community. Some residents will always need some on-site support to live independently. For those women, our goal is to assist then to cope with the challenges of mental illness in a way that allows them to meet their best potential and to live in dignity in a caring and safe environment.

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