Finance, Housing, Legal, and Employment

NOTE: The Oasis in Kanata program will terminate at midnight on Friday, March 31, 2023.  This Website will be removed from the Internet at that time.  Please enjoy the full use of the information contained on these pages until then.

For enquiries, please contact:


Ancoura    This is a not-for-profit, volunteer-based organization and a registered charity providing a nurturing and fulfilling environment for adults living with a mental illness through stable, affordable housing, and a supportive community.

Canadian Observatory on Homelessness (COH), housed at Toronto’s York University, is a non-partisan research and policy partnership between academics, policy and decision makers, service providers, and people with lived experience of homelessness which conducts and mobilizes research designed to have an impact on solutions to homelessness.  It publishes the Homeless Hub weekly newsletter.

Causeway Work Centre     A not-for-profit agency that empowers and supports people with mental illness and other challenges to help them find rewarding work and live more independently.

Daybreak Not-for-profit Housing     Since 1982, Daybreak has been a place to call home for men and women who not only have difficulty finding affordable housing, but also struggle with issues such as mental health, recovery from addictions, escaping abusive situations, and limited life skills.  Daybreak helps residents rebuild their lives in a supportive community.

Employment Accessibility Resource Network (EARN) is a community initiative, led by United Way Ottawa, that brings together in partnership employers, service providers, and other stakeholders with the goal of increasing employment opportunities for people with disabilities and promoting inclusive and accessible workplaces.

Henson Trust: for a booklet describing this type of trust for families who wish to help support a relative who receives ODSP benefits, see “Consider a Henson Trust” in Reports, Books, and Articles.

HeretoHelp is a project of the BC Partners for Mental Health and Addictions Information, a group of seven leading mental health and addictions non-profit agencies in British Columbia.  Since 2003, the group has been working together to help people live well and better prevent and manage mental health and substance use problems.

Housing and Residential Care for People with Mental Illness – Champlain Local Health Integration Network offers a list of special apartments and group homes which provide permanent housing for people with a mental illness.  Rent-geared-to-income, supervision, and links to psychiatric services may be among the supports available.  Mental health organizations may provide residential care for clients who require ongoing, long-term treatment.

Housing Help is an agency funded by the Province of Ontario which helps low- to moderate-income people find affordable housing, and provides tenant education and peer support for rooming house tenants, among other services.

Inspiring Possibilities Estate Planning Guide, published in 2020 by Community Living Ontario, is a tax, benefits, trusts, and wills toolkit for Ontarians with disabilities and their families.  Click here to download the Guide.

Let’s Talk Employment: A Guide to Employment for Family Members of Individuals in Mental Health Recovery is a resource for family members who wish to support their family member in getting and keeping employment.  Rapp, J. (2017), Boston, MA, USA: Boston University, Centre for Psychiatric Rehabilitation.  Click here to download the Guide.

Living with a Disability    The Government of Canada offers a variety of services and financial benefits to assist people with disabilities and their families.  Service Canada has compiled a list to help you find benefits that may be right for you, and a site for those caring for someone who is ill.

Money & Mental Health: Practical Financial Skills to Manage Money     Finty Australia, a free-to-use Website where individuals may compare various financial products, has produced a guide which, although targeted at an Australian audience, contains general financial tips and techniques which may be applicable to Canada’s financial system and found useful by Canadian caregivers.

Ontario Disability Employment Network (ODEN) is a professional network of employment service providers united to increase employment opportunities for people who have a disability.  There are over 140 member agencies, all in the business of helping people who have a disability get into the workforce.  Members are from every corner of the province and support people of all disability types.

Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)     For individuals suffering from a mental illness who fear going back to work as they think they will lose their ODSP benefits, or fear not having a backup plan if work doesn’t work out, ODSP has created some resources to help breakdown that fear and provide reassurance that they CAN indeed work and stay on ODSP at the same time.  Click here to learn more.

Ottawa Salus Corporation     This organization offers rehabilitation services, community support services, recreology, and housing to men and women, 16 years of age or older, with mental health problems.  Salus services are available in English, French, and ASL.

Partners for Planning (P4P) Network offers free resources designed to empower people with disabilities, families, and caregivers to create meaningful lives and secure futures, firmly rooted in community.   P4P connects a powerful network of professionals, organizations, and agencies.  With over 100 partner organizations referring families and caregivers to the Planning Network, it has become the go-to planning resource for families in Ontario.

Plan Institute is a non-profit social enterprise that works to improve the lives of people with disabilities by collaborating on community-based projects, offering a suite of learning initiatives, and advocating for policy reform.  Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, the organization focusses on innovation, education, and leadership, and offers in-person and online events, publications, and digital downloads.  Click here to access the Future Planning Tool.

Reach Canada     A non-profit lawyer referral service dedicated to educating and informing persons with disabilities of all types, lawyers, caregivers, and the general public about the rights and interests of persons with disabilities, and to ensuring people with disabilities are provided with quality legal and social representation.

Rise Asset Development     For those with a history of mental health and addiction challenges who would like to start or grow a small business, and who cannot access traditional financing, Rise Asset Development, a registered charity, will provide low-interest small business loans, free training, and mentorship.

Steps to Justice, a program of Ontario Works, equips people to work through their legal problems through easy-to-understand steps.  The service offers practical tools, such as checklists, fillable forms, and self-help guides; referral information for legal and social services across Ontario; and live chat and Email-based support.  The site also provides caregivers with legal information specifically related to the Ontario Disability Support Program.

STRIDE, with headquarters in Milton, Ontario, is an organization which supports youth and adults struggling with mental health or addictions as they seek meaningful employment.  It offers face-to-face support from employment specialists, workshops, and peer mentoring.

The Zone Next Steps is designed to help youth age 18-26 with their employment goals.  Facilitated by the Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre (WOCRC) with the Community Employment Resource Centre, it features tailored plans for each youth, workshops on everything from LinkedIn to résumé writing, and financial supports to pay for certifications as such as SmartServe, WHMIS, Safe Food Handling, etc., or to pay for equipment required for employment, such as work boots, etc.  Interested youth may register by Emailing