Ottawa Salus 2020-2021 Annual Report

Thanks to our donor community, Ottawa Salus was there for our clients and tenants through unprecedented times and unprecedented circumstances.

Introduction

Letter From The Board Chair And Executive Director

The resilience of our clients and staff is what stands out most from last year. More than ever, people’s wellness was tested. It was difficult at times, sometimes very difficult, and we all came together. Together, we did more than simply get through a global pandemic. Our staff and clients found ways to continue supporting, learning and growing. From backyard woodworking and cooking, to online case management and skills development, and supporting tenants to resolve challenges.

As we found ourselves at home more, both clients and staff learned how to use new technology. Connecting online made programs and services more accessible than ever. Accessing services from home meant zero travel time and the option for more frequent support. As a supportive housing organization, our staff are creative and adaptable. We know that one size does not fit all when it comes to services. A support approach that feels comfortable for one person may not feel successful for another—one person may prefer in-person while another prefers online. As such, many of the online support and learning options will remain available going forward, meaning clients can access support in the way that feels best for them.

Salus would not be here without our committed staff. During the past year, our staff supported clients and also supported each other. This caring support network speaks volumes about the long standing core values and culture of our organization. We’re proud and grateful that many staff have been with Salus 10 to 15 years and beyond. We want to truly thank each and every person for the hard workand support during the last year.

We were pleased this year to welcome Mark MacAulay, our new executive director. Mark follows our previous executive director, Lisa Kerr. During her 10 years with Salus, Lisa excelled as a leader in the not-for-profit and housing sectors, and grew Salus into the mature and amazing supportive housing organization that it is today. We are also grateful to Joanne Cormack and Christa McIntosh, who stepped up during the transition as interim co-executive directors, and to everyone who helped Mark hit the ground running.

Thank you also to our board of directors—a dedicated team of volunteers who continued to steer the ship through the pandemic and the change in leadership. Thanks to the ongoing generous support of donors and funders, Salus is financially stable. Every donation counts and we are deeply appreciative to every person and organization that sees the difference we can make together. The organization’s financial stability means that Salus can offer the stability and support that our tenants and clients need. Through the Salus model of supportive housing and support, adults with chronic and severe mental illness can find independence, recovery and the opportunity to enjoy a quality of life that many never dreamed was possible.

Even with all that is being offered, the need for evidenced-based supportive housing in our community continues to be high. We are committed to addressing these needs. Salus continues to rely on the generous support of donors. Your donations allow us to provide services and explore opportunities to provide safer and supportive housing to more people. This coming year we will be preparing our 2022-2025 Strategic Plan. This will allow Salus, in collaboration with our clients and community stakeholders, to have a plan that guides us into the future. We’ve heard from many of you how very excited you are for this next stage. We are excited too! Your ongoing participation and support help us feel optimistic about the years ahead.

There is much we can achieve if we continue to support each other to stay strong and healthy.

Respectfully,

Mark MacAulay and Camille Therriault-Power

  • Mission

    We create opportunities for adults with mental illness to live in the community by providing housing and support services.

  • Vision

    The well-being and full participation in the community of adults living with mental illness.

  • Core Values

    Quality

    We strive for excellence in all that we do.

    Respect

    We create a culture of inclusion based on trust, openness and dignity for all.

    Collaboration

    We work with others in cooperation and partnership, always looking for better ways to serve our clients.

    Integrity

    We work with uncompromising fairness and honesty.

    Compassion

    Our common purpose to serve and support brings meaning to our work.

Board of directors

A supportive & dedicated team of volunteers

Mark Macaulay

Executive Director

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Camille Therriault-Power

Camille Therriault-Power

Chair, Board of Directors

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Sarah Bertrand

Sarah Bertrand

Treasurer

Bernard Etzinger

Bernard Etzinger

Fiona Murray

Fiona Murray

Lindsay Taub

Lindsay Taub

Departed from Board during the June 2020 AGM

The Board of Directors and the agency recognize and express great gratitude for the wonderful years of service and contributions to the following:

  • Deborah Rowan-Legg

    Treasurer

  • Paul Taylor

    Past Chair

  • Michelle Comeau

    Member At Large

  • Susannah Dalfen

    Secretary

Michel Boulay

Michel Boulay

Myles Kirvan

Myles Kirvan

Sanjay Srivastava

Sanjay Srivastava

Tim Moran

Tim Moran

Janet Yale

Janet Yale

Melanie Vadeboncoeur

Melanie Vadeboncoeur

Not pictured:

Harpreet Grewal

Phillipe Lachapelle

I love working at Salus, where the leadership team, staff and programs work with true authenticity and hope to support clients to live their best lives, at home and in the community in their language of choice.

- Joanne Cormack

Accomplishments

Highlights of 2020-2021

When the pandemic started, Salus never closed. Our 24-7 operations continued. Many of our team continued to provide essential in-person support to tenants and clients. We are grateful for their dedication and caring. Adversity has a way of bringing out the strength in people—it surely did so with our staff, tenants and clients. We are proud to share with you some highlights from the past year.

Staff wellness and organizational culture

  • One-on-one weekly mental health check-ins supported staff wellness.
  • Ten staff received weekly French training to further develop their French verbal and comprehension skills. This was a part of our commitment to supporting clients in their primary language and encouraging staff wellness. A grant from Association des Communautés Francophones D’Ottawa made this possible.
  • Salus staff are dedicated and find their work rewarding. 39% of Salus staff have a tenure longer than 14 years.

Innovative programming

  • We shifted from indoors to the Grove Avenue residence’s outdoor space. The space was used to the max for cooking skills, recovery and healthy lifestyles programming, tenancy education, apartment troubleshooting activities and more.
  • Our gardening generated an impressive vegetable harvest and beautiful floral arrangements.
  • During the summer of 2020, clients had a woodworking group. We used wood salvaged from pallets and built furniture for their future apartments.

Service accessibility

  • When interventions moved to phone, rather than in-person, 50 phones were given to clients who faced the most barriers.
  • Workers became even more creative in their problem-solving and conflict resolution skills. Clients and tenants were trained over the phone to resolve differences and solve diverse problems.
  • This spring we made it as easy as possible for clients and tenants to receive the vaccine: Salus brought it to them! We had vaccine clinics on-site at our Scott Street location.
  • We tried to pair tenants with someone else in the building that they were familiar with. This way each tenant would have someone they could socialize with—to help support connection during this challenging time.

Community support

  • Canada is in the midst of an opioid overdose crisis. Salus ensured, with the help of Mark Barnes from Respect Rx, that all of our staff had a naloxone kit and up-to-date training. 120 naloxone kits were distributed to staff.
  • COVID made our usual Christmas party impossible. As part of making Christmas 2020 special, all of our tenants were offered food hampers and, in addition, our clients living in non-Salus housing were given a $50 gift card.
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— Stories

Stepping up to the challenge

Sally is a friendly, kind and giving woman who has been a Salus tenant and community member for over 15 years.

During the summer months, Sally participated in a step challenge through Ottawa Salus, promoting physical movement with the hopes of increasing her overall health and well-being. She diligently tracked three months of her daily steps and ended up exceeding the expectations set out for the group! Little did she know she would become a real champion and leader in raising awareness about healthy behaviours in her community.

As one of only a few organizations in Ottawa that has a Recreologist as part of their supportive housing services, Salus looks at the whole person – not just their mental wellbeing, but their physical, as well. The COVID-19 pandemic has been particularly challenging for our clients as they grapple with increased isolation and lack of connection.

As Sally shares, “I was feeling cooped up and wanted to be physically active and figured some of my neighbours might as well.” Through initiatives like this step challenge, Salus is able to encourage clients to engage in their community and set small goals to improve their physical and mental health.

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Sally has been an inspiration to others, motivating her community to walk outdoors, organizing bike trips to the Ottawa River, and participating in weekly workout groups. She is also active at the Wabano Centre, participating in various activities and researching which groups she is most interested in attending.

Despite some challenges, Sally is feeling much more positive these days, and continues to promote physical and mental health and well-being to others. Her resiliency, courage and determination to engage in her community is inspiring. Don’t be surprised if you see Sally and she asks you to join a walk or weekly workout group, because it just might happen!

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What I enjoy most about being a leader at Salus is building resilience, fostering hope, and empowering our staff, our clients and our broader community.

- Chelsey Karemangingo

Stories

Leaders in the community

Patrick has been a tenant with Ottawa Salus for over three years.

Patrick loves helping out, like when he participated in the chilli cook-off event as part of a recent community meal for his neighbours (as pictured). He is a leader in his community and has facilitated a few outings including a walk to Dow’s Lake, a history lesson on LeBreton Flats, and a walking tour to Di Rienzo’s Deli.

In addition, Patrick offers so much history, knowledge and facts for all of his neighbors and he brings his love of learning to the Rosemount community. You can be sure you’ll learn something new when you spend time with Patrick.

Funders & Partners

Ottawa Salus is grateful for the generous support of the following:

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Funders

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Partners

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FiNancials SUMMARY

A comprehensive overview

Here’s an overview of our revenue and expenses in 2020-2021

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I just wanted to express my gratitude to how well done the Salus Covid-19 vaccination was. I was greeted with a warm, friendly and patient service. I felt safer than I do in most settings like this and was not nearly as anxious as I thought I would be because of how it was run. I’m looking forward to being able to hug my dad again!

- Ottawa Salus Client