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Image from BlakCollectiv's Facebook page.

Supporting our community: 10 great local organizations to connect with

By Apartment613 on November 25, 2016


Post by Cara Kane

In the wake of Trump’s election south of the border, many of us are feeling concerned, angry, shocked, and a bit hopeless about the state of humankind. It has also been cause for reflection – on both our own beliefs and actions, and the kind of community we want to build and live in. The way to combat ignorance, hate, and bigotry is honest reflection and action; connecting with our neighbours, and offering compassion and kindness.

Fortunately, Ottawa has a whole bunch of amazing organizations that are doing just that. If you find yourself wanting to learn more, reach out more, help more, connect more – here are a list of places you can get started either through getting involved, donating time or money, or even just sharing with your friends and family:

Please note – this is not an exhaustive list – there are tons of great agencies and groups in Ottawa – these are just a few! Feel free to add info on other local community agencies or advocacy groups in the comments section below.

Babely Shades

Babely Shades is a collective group of artists and musicians comprised of people of colour and marginalized genders. The group advocates and educates within the artistic and music scene to bring about awareness, combat discrimination and make the arts scene a more inclusive and safe space. Tumblr | Facebook

Photo from Babely Shades' Facebook page.

Photo from Babely Shades’ Facebook page.


A grassroots Ottawa based organization dedicated to combating racism and discrimination of black youth and people both locally and globally. Twitter | Facebook

Image from BlakCollectiv's Facebook page.

Image from BlakCollectiv’s Facebook page.

Centretown Community Health Centre

This community centre has a variety of  free programs available to LGBTQ+ folks city-wide, including an LGBTQ+ Newcomers groups offered in English, French and Arabic; support and counselling for LGBTQ+ youth, and a Trans Health program which includes counselling to explore gender transition goals, needs and options, and support connecting with a medical professional for hormone therapy.

CCHC also offers a variety of free programs for those new to Canada, including outreach services, a clinic, and settlement counselling to support with issues like housing, immigration, employment and education. Website | Twitter

City for All Women Initiate (CAWI)

CAWI is a partnership of women from diverse communities, community organizations and the City of Ottawa. They advocate for systemic change that respects and includes women’s strengths, values and knowledge. Their work includes promoting civic engagement, training and partnerships with community organizations across Ottawa. Website | Twitter | Facebook

Photo from CAWI's Facebook page.

Photo from CAWI’s Facebook page.

Immigrant Women Services Ottawa (IWSO)

IWSO is a community based organization serving immigrant women, refugee women and women of visible minority groups. Their culturally appropriate services include crisis support and counselling for survivors of domestic and sexual violence and human trafficking, as well as settlement and integration services such as language training, orientation to education and health care, and housing and income supports. They also provide activities like free yoga, sewing classes and painting. Website | Facebook


Kind offers counselling, programming, workshops , events and a community space for LGBTQ+ folks, though the space is open to all. They also have a cat café on the second Thursday of each month where you can drop in for a hot beverage, company and kitty cuddles! Website | Twitter | Facebook

Photo from Kind Space's Facebook page.

Photo from Kind Space’s Facebook page.

Minwaashin Lodge

Minwaashin Lodge is an Aboriginal Women’s Support Centre offering support to First Nations, Inuit and Métis women and their children who are survivors of violence and abuse – including domestic abuse and suffering the effects of the residential school system. Services are offered in the context of cultural beliefs and values. Services include counselling, sex trade outreach, employment & training support, children’s programs cultural programs and much more! Website | Facebook

Photo from Minwaashin Lodge's Facebook page.

Photo from Minwaashin Lodge’s Facebook page.

Odawa Native Friendship Centre

Odawa Native Friendship Centre is a non-profit organization that provides programming and services to Ottawa’s Aboriginal community. Their diverse services include an Alternative highschool for Aboriginal youth, community justice programming, child care and family support, community events and cultural awareness. Website | Facebook

Photo from Odawa Native Friendship Centre's Facebook page.

Photo from Odawa Native Friendship Centre’s Facebook page.

Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization (OCISO)

OCISO provides a variety of programs and services to Ottawa’s immigrant and refugee community. This includes support with settlement and integration, counselling services that are language and culture specific, youth programming, language instruction and more. Website | Facebook


A grassroots community based project working to connect LGBTQ+ folks with Ottawa’s queer and trans culture, organizations, issues and advocacy. They partner with other local groups, host events, advocate, create and continue dialogue and more. Check out our interview with Queering613 co-founder Dillon Black. Website | Twitter | Facebook

Photo from Queering613's Facebook page.

Photo from Queering613’s Facebook page.

Feel free to add info on other local community agencies or advocacy groups in the comments section below: