Marianne Wilkinson

Councillor, Kanata North

City and YMCA-YWCA partner for successful TRY Supportive Housing Program for Women


Mayor Jim Watson and Councillor Mark Taylor, Chair of the Community and Protective Services Committee, were joined by Deirdre Speers, President and CEO of the YMCA-YWCA of the National Capital Region and Cheryl, a current participant of the TRY Program to celebrate the success of the supportive housing program.

“The TRY Program is the type of support that changes people`s lives,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “I look forward to the continued partnership with the YMCA-YWCA of the National Capital Region as well as celebrating the achievements of future participants.”

Phase 1 of the TRY Program was established in 2011 to provide temporary housing to women 18 years of age or older who are homeless or at risk of being homeless. After hearing feedback about the positive improvements in the residents’ lives, the program was expanded in 2012 (Phase 2) to address the need for additional temporary housing in this community. The TRY program, in combination with other programs has resulted in a decrease of six days in the average length of stay by women in the emergency shelter system, from 55 to 49 days. The program is funded in part by the $14-million Housing and Homelessness Investment Plan (HHIP).

The program is offered through the YMCA-YWCA of the National Capital Region at 180 Argyle Street and provides support and accommodations to 43 women.

“My colleagues of Council and I have made a commitment to build a liveable city for everyone,” said Councillor Mark Taylor, Chair of the Community and Protective Services Committee. “We will continue to support programs that create solutions to our affordable housing problems.”

Today`s announcement celebrated the achievements of the 72 women who have participated in the TRY program. Twenty three ‘graduates’ have moved on to permanent housing. In addition, 15 women returned to school, 11 found employment, seven attended school while working, two women continued to volunteer while attending school and two are actively involved in volunteer activities in our community.

“We are honoured to support the participants of the TRY program and for the opportunity to inspire personal success among these remarkable women,” said Deirdre Speers, CEO of the YMCA-YWCA of the National Capital Region. “Our ability to make a positive impact in our community is so much greater in partnership with the City of Ottawa, and we look forward to continuing our work together.”

The YMCA-YWCA of the National Capital Region is a charitable association dedicated to improving the quality of life for children, youth, adults and families through programs that build spirit, mind and body. For over 145 years, the Y has been committed to building strong kids, strong families and strong communities.

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