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Women’s Service Organizations come together for IWD: Together, we can go farther.

On March 8th, 2023 for International Women’s Day more than eight organizations serving women, children, and gender-diverse people are set to come together for the first time in over three years. Its theme for this year is “Together, we can go farther."

Harmony House, Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre, St. Joes Women’s Centre, The Well, Immigrant Women Services Ottawa, Interval House, OCTEVAW, Dress for Success, and Cornerstone Housing for Women will gather on March 8th for a day of celebration and connection. The afternoon will include activities, good food, and entertainment. The event will be Emceed by Samantha Moonsammy Gordon, Section Head and Lead Advisory for Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging at Material Group, National Defence. We will also hear from Debbie Owusu-Akyeeah,Executive Director of The Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity.

The pandemic has greatly impacted social service agencies’ need to provide day programming, shelter, transitional and supportive housing, counselling, and care support to women,children,and gender-diverse people in Ottawa.

Ottawa just passed its third anniversary of our housing and homelessness state of emergency and the crisis has risen.

  • In 2021, the number of women in need of temporary emergency shelter rose by 102%;
  • In 2022, many families are waiting between a month to six months for transitional housing;
  • In 2022, about 150 more people were turned away from an emergency shelter than in 2021.

On March 8th we will come together as a community to share experiences, create new connections and celebrate how far we have come but also discuss where we need to go to better support women, children, and gender-diverse people in Ottawa.

This is a closed event, but you can support our services by engaging with us on social media, sending in a donation or gift cards, emailing or writing a letter to your councillor for more funding for women+ services, let’s make our collective voices heard so that together, we can go farther.


Sarah Davis, executive director of Cornerstone Housing for Women says, “There is such a need around homelessness, and Ottawa as a community has so much more work to do. We have seen a 178 percent increase in unsheltered homelessness since 2018, and we just need to do whatever we can to come together as a community.”

“The waitlist for transitional units at Harmony House averages from 10 to 20 families, although it can get as high as the mid-30s, but it depends on factors such as the number and age of children,” said executive director Ray Eskritt.

For more information please contact: Amber Bramer, Director of Development and Communications Cornerstone Housing for Women 613-878-3393

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