Who We Are
Since 2000, we have existed to meet the physical, emotion, and spiritual needs of the Lowertown community. Each day we seek to:
Relieve poverty by providing food and other basic supplies to persons of low income by operating and maintaining a drop-in centre.
- Provide support and encouragement to persons who are struggling with mental health issues, unstable housing, disability of any kind, or addiction by engaging in conversation and friendship.
- To alleviate isolation by demonstrating God’s love and creating community space in which individuals can thrive.
- To provide chaplain care through hospital, prison and home visitation.
- To be a spiritual and physical home in Ottawa’s Lowertown.
Why Place Matters
Rideau Street matters. And specifically 521 Rideau Street matters, because of the specific people whom we support.
- A meaningful outing: we compliment what shelters do by giving people a meaningful outing in their day.
- A daily check in: There is substantial foot traffic on Rideau St from Vanier to Downtown services. For many who walk many kilometres each day to meet their basic needs we provide an important place of connection.
- A family room: We also serve those living in group homes an rooming houses in our neighbourhood. If you don’t have a comfortable communal area in your home, having one around the corner is so essential.
- A home: Nobody sleeps at CCM but it certainly is a home to may. There are 1009 units of Ottawa Community Housing (OCH) within 4 blocks of our corner unit at 521 Rideau St. And there are close to 500 units of OCH within just one block of our front door. As strangers, become friends and then family to one another, Capital City Mission becomes a place of home.
*Ottawa is facing a housing crisis, but it also facing a community crisis. Loneliness in our world is on a rise and each day we combat it by being a place for friendship, and a place for help.
Buying: Why Now?
Since 2000, we have made being located on Rideau Street a priority. As we celebrate 20 years of ministry this location still feels essential. As gentrification happens in Lowertown, the needs of our community will not change. People will still travel by food into the downtown core, shelters will still need our support, and we will still be around the corner from so many OCH buildings.
The changing face of Rideau will bring greater, rather than less, exclusion to our friends and we believe that being at 521 Rideau is so valuable to those on either side of the economic divides in our city. We believe that we are a light that demonstrates gifts or community, welcome, and love to all who pass by our doors.
- Gentrification: Let’s get ahead of it! Four condo’s are being built on Rideau St which will all have commercial space and change the value of our building as well as the social atmosphere of Rideau St.
- One condo across the street from 521 Rideau
- One condo kitty corner from 521 Rideau
- One two blocks east (on the site of our previous rental location)
- One at Rideau and King Edward (the site of the recently closed Metro grocery store)
- Sustainability: We have run our ministry out of three different locations on Rideau St in the past 20 years. Being on a main street has always been essential to keeping the drop-in accessible to those in our city. We cannot wait and let economic growth make rent unaffordable.
- Stewardship: If we are able to achieve a substantial downpayment we will move forward with a mortgage lower than out current rent (which is only going to increase with the changes to Rideau St.)
Our Fundraising Goal: How You Can Help
Fundraising Goal: $550,000
It will cost $950,000 to buy both 521 Rideau St and 519 Rideau St. Phase I is $525,000, and phase II is $425,000. In order to make loan payments within our current operating budget we will beed to raise $550,000 to see the vision of this full project realized.
Phase I: For roughly the price of a home in downtown Ottawa we can provide a place of homecoming to hundreds.
Phase II: The second unit will allow us to have proper accessibility on main floor, a full kitchen, increased storage (to provide needed clothes and toiletries to our community), an office, and meeting space for one-on-one spiritual care, and mentoring.
Will you join us in making this vision a reality?
Phase I & Phase II
Phase I: 521 Rideau St.
Phase I is purchasing our current rental until (521 Rideau St.) Doing so would allow us to ensure the future sustainability of our ministry as the residential and commercial landscape of our neighbourhood changes. With the council of others in our line of work and realtors this vision seems very clear. Please, see the reasons listed in Buying: Why now?
Phase II: 519 Rideau St.
Increasing the space our our drop-in would allow for an office, a meeting room, a group meeting pace (with proper accessibility), a full kitchen and proper storage.
- Accessibility: Right now the drop-in is spread over two floors. We experience over crowding of the main floor and are currently holding our weekly bible study over two floor – this needs to change. More space on the main floor would promote the growth of this group.
- A full kitchen: This would allow us to more easily prepare full meals. It is also an important step towards a vision of developing a community kitchen to promote health. Cooking together is also a really beneficial way to grow relationships.
- A second entrance: this would allow us to use the space for other gatherings without having people feel excluded from regular drop-in activities. It would help avoid confusion about drop in being open or not.
- Office: We would be able to the top floor of 519 as an office. Right now all administration and meeting have to happen off site, which increases our staffing needs each day.
- Meetings: The office would also serve as a space for one-on-one mentoring, spiritual care. Right now we are very limited in our ability to provide crisis intervention in a private setting.
- Storage: we are currently limited in the amount of clothing and toiletries we are able to keep on site for those looking to meet basic needs.