With the help of our marvelous volunteers and donors, Cornerstone runs 4 housing communities for women. And truly, they are communities. Every day, we welcome more than 60 women of every race, age, and creed into our Cornerstone family. Here, everyone belongs, everyone matters, and everyone deserves a second chance.
Together, these four residences make up a vibrant community for women moving from homelessness to hope, healing, and housing.
Cornerstone residents can take part in group self-help workshops and crisis counselling, to help them on their healing journeys. Our housing communities often come together for recreational downtime, enjoying everything from barbecues and dances to dinners and fashion shows. All residences include laundry facilities and internet access. We work closely with Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation, Centretown Community Health Centre, McPhail Baptist Church, Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre, Ottawa Inner City Health, and other community agencies to offer programs that support case management, counselling, and housing. A spiritual care program is available to all Cornerstone residents.
Women at Cornerstone are encouraged to set goals and make plans to achieve them. They’re laying the foundations for stable, independent living, either in our affordable housing communities or elsewhere. And they know that our staff, donors, and volunteers are ready to help bring those dreams to life.
I have bone cancer, and no family in Ottawa. I couldn’t live on my own or afford a retirement residence. Then I came to 314 Booth Street. Here, I have my own apartment, three meals a day, and the health care team manages my medication. I still have pain, but I am safe. I feel like I belong.
- Florence, 75, Booth Street Resident
At 314 Booth Street, we provide affordable housing for 42 women at the highest level of need. While some who live at Booth Street will move on to more independent lifestyle, many need extra assistance to reach their highest potential and will stay with us for most of their lives. Each apartment is self-contained, so everyone has a personal and private space to call her own.
Because seniors are especially vulnerable on the streets, 20 apartments at 314 Booth are dedicated to seniors like Mary Ann. They can receive on-site healthcare through Ottawa Inner City Health, so pain and other symptoms can be properly managed and they can live with dignity and comfort, no matter what health issues they face. 314 Booth has been designed for full accessibility. It includes accessible parking, a wheelchair ramp and push button entry, elevator to access all floors, and accessible washroom and shower facilities.
I left home at 13, so I never finished high school. I can’t afford rent on minimum wage, even when I work full time. So, I’m staying at The Women’s Shelter. The shelter is helping me with computer skills and planning ahead. I’m feeling much more hopeful that this time, I’ll make it on my own.
- Tara, 18, Women’s Shelter Resident
At the Women’s Shelter at 172 O’Connor, women find what they need to meet their basic needs, right now – like emergency shelter, personal care, and nutritious food. And, once the crisis passes, she’ll receive the community support that’s so vital to secure permanent housing and live with independence.
This emergency shelter provides 62 beds for more than 400 women every year. The women who arrive at The Women’s Shelter do so because they haven’t been able to pay rent, or have disabilities that are making housing difficult, are newcomers to Canada or are facing abuse or trauma at home. Our main goal for each of the women is to answer the question: “How can we help you find a safe place to live that you can afford?”
Residents at the Women’s Shelter have a shared bedroom, along with washroom, dining and living rooms.
I had completed 2 years of university when I was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Medication dulled the voices, but it made me feel so numb. I stopped taking it, and ended up losing my home. It was the doctor I 515 MacLaren who helped me to finally stabilize. Now, I volunteer supporting other women who are going through what I’ve been through.
- Chun, 515 MacLaren Resident
515 MacLaren provides long-term, affordable housing for up to 20 women who require a high level of support. The women who live at 515 have created a wonderful community of support and belonging.
Each resident has her own private room. Women share a common living room, dining room and kitchen, and have access to support staff each day who can help them access programs or refer them to local resources.
I come from the Republic of Congo, where I saw terrible things in the war. I lived in fear until I was able to escape to Canada. I arrived in Ottawa and found myself in McPhail House, where I live now. Cornerstone has supported me through the immigration process, and helped me learn English and find a job as a personal care worker. I am finally starting to heal.
-Feza, McPhail House resident
This residence offers cooperative transitional housing to 6 women who are new to Canada and require affordable housing with minimal support until they get back on their feet.
Each resident has a private room, as well as common living and dining rooms, shared utilities, computer and internet access, laundry facilities, and a lovely backyard garden for summer visiting and BBQs. They are given access to whatever supportive resources they need to transition to independent living.
Thanks to the incredible support of our community and wonderful partners , we have built a beautiful new housing community that will provide a comforting home for 42 women who need moderate support. The women who live in this new space in Ottawa’s west end will be transitioning out of crisis, but will still need some help living in the community.
The space is round and warm with a big open entryway that was built so the house would feel like walking into open welcome arms. It has a peaceful back courtyard, a big yard with a lovely swing, and was created as a sanctuary for all who enter. This residence also includes a respite suite that is served by a committed team of volunteers from the neighbourhood.
At Cornerstone, women can access a variety of programs and services that help them build the life they want, including:
• Basic Needs: Providing the necessities, including nutritious food, personal hygiene products, and a place to stay, so women always have somewhere to go.
• Case Management: Preparing individual plans for each woman as she moves forward to reach her full potential.
• Goal Planning: Empowering women to dream big – and guiding them as they plan to make those dreams happen.
• Housing Search: Getting women into housing that fits their needs and their budget, so they can live independently.
• Referrals: Connecting women with the local resources they need to gain independence and stability.
• Recreational, Mental Health & Spiritual Supports: Healing women’s hearts, minds, and souls.
• Safety Planning: Enabling women to leave unsafe situations, such as abuse, for good.
• Addictions Supports: Standing with women through the lifelong process of overcoming and managing addiction.
• Rent Geared To Income: Providing secure housing that women can afford, no matter how much they make at work.
Wherever possible, we’re committed to accommodating those with disabilities. If you have any questions, feedback or concerns about accessing our locations or services, please contact us by email or by calling (613) 254-6584 ext. 502.
Our residence at 314 Booth Street is best for anyone with physical or mobility challenges. It includes accessible parking, a wheelchair ramp and push button entry, elevator access to all floors, and accessible washroom and shower facilities. All our residences have quiet spaces to accommodate hearing impairments and communication or perceptual disabilities. Sign language interpreters are provided as needed. Service animals and support persons are always welcome at Cornerstone!
Staff are available at all residences, including 24-hour support at 314 Booth Street, to help residents access programs they need or refer them to local resources. This includes support with mental health issues, physical or mobility challenges, developmental or learning disabilities, and hearing or visual impairments. Staff and volunteers meet the AODA Customer Service Standards of Regulation 429/7 s.6.
You can see our official Policies below. Other Policies required by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act that impact, or relate to provision of goods and services are available upon request. Policies and all written documents will be made available in alternate formats on request.
Web Accessibility Guides