Interview with Sam Laprade and Sarah Davis – CityNews
April 26, 2023
Fall Newsletter 2023
October 19, 2023
Interview with Sam Laprade and Sarah Davis – CityNews
April 26, 2023
Fall Newsletter 2023
October 19, 2023

For immediate release

Million-dollar federal funding cut to Cornerstone Housing for Women means vulnerable women’s lives are at stake.

April 27, 2023 – Cornerstone Housing for Women’s emergency shelter has lost more than $1 million in COVID relief funding from the federal government just as the provincial government is failing to invest in our city’s most vulnerable residents.

Throughout the pandemic, Cornerstone Housing for Women applied to the federal government for more than $1 million in funding for staffing, cleaning, access to technology, and other pandemic-related costs. Without this funding, women in our emergency shelter will now not receive the level of staffing care that they need and deserve.

From 2020 to 2022, 48% of Cornerstone Housing for Women’s funding came from the federal government. This amounted to $5.7 million. This funding cut of $1.1 million represents a 15% cut.

Currently, the Province of Ontario is restricting much-needed funds for housing and homelessness. This week, Mayor Mark Sutcliffe of Ottawa wrote to Premier Doug Ford asking him to revisit the amount of funding Ottawa is receiving through provincial homelessness programs. In the current provincial budget, Ottawa is receiving $845,100, a funding gap of about $37 million from previous years. Cornerstone Housing for Women is a small organization that, like all partners in the housing and homelessness sector, relies on government funding to care for our community’s most vulnerable adults. We cannot make up this funding shortfall by ourselves.


“I've been in the sector for about 21 years. I’m really scared for the sector as a whole. The last two and a half years has been nothing but jumping from one crisis to the next. With this funding cut, women’s lives are at stake. This means women in crisis will stay in abusive and violent situations for longer. They will need more healthcare resources, staying in hospitals, jails, and mental health institutions longer. The already long list of the Housing Registry of Ottawa will grow. All these systems rely on properly funded emergency shelters. With our shelter full every single night, this lack of funding means women’s lives are at stake.”

- Sarah Davis, executive director, Cornerstone Housing for Women

Quick facts:

Cornerstone Housing for Women, founded in 1984, is Ottawa’s sole shelter and supportive housing provider offering services to women and gender-diverse people exclusively. Currently, we operate four, soon to be five, supportive housing residences, an emergency shelter, and outreach program.

The more than $1.1 million in federal funding allowed Cornerstone Housing for Women to:

  • quadruple our cleaning efforts
  • provide more case management support to residents in crisis
  • provide more appropriate compensation, permanency, and flexibility for our staff
  • give our residents access to technology by having Wi-Fi installed across each of our buildings
  • hire additional security personnel
  • provide gender-specific programming that provides specific support to women experiencing homelessness

More than 2,000 people stay in an emergency shelter in Ottawa every night. Cornerstone’s shelter sleeps 60 people and is full every night.

For more information please contact:

Amber Bramer

Director of Development and Communications
Cornerstone Housing for Women
Cell: 613-878-3393

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