Transitional Emergency Shelter Program

Our 49-bed Transitional Emergency Shelter Program (TESP) provides specialized supports for chronically homeless individuals who suffer from trauma, physical and/or mental health challenges, and/or addiction issues.

Breaking the Cycle of Life on the Street

The goal of the program is to make connections with transient, street-entrenched individuals who have active additions and ongoing medical and/or mental health concerns, and to help these individuals transition out of homelessness.

Operated in partnership with several agencies, most notably Ottawa Inner City Health Inc., this low-barrier program is designed to assist individuals in crisis and help them transition to other specialized and supportive programs and services, as quickly as possible.

The TESP offers an integrated system of care, including access to health and wellness services and case management supports. This is critical, because TESP clients are generally considered high risk and are usually not able to connect with mainstream health and wellness services.

Diversion from Emergency and City Services

The TESP provides a supervised medical withdrawal program, which enables it to accept individuals diverted from:

  • The hospital system
  • Ottawa Paramedic Service
  • Ottawa Police Services
  • RCMP
  • OC Transpo

By accepting diversions, the TESP helps reduce the time municipal and provincial emergency services and health personnel spend with the diverted individual. In turn, this reduces:

  • Wait times in hospital emergency rooms
  • The overall cost associated with treating the individual in crisis

Our Team

The TESP team includes frontline staff, client care workers, registered practical nurses and a case manager.

TESP staff have deep understanding of the city’s other emergency support organizations and their clients’ needs. This knowledge enables them to:

  • Effectively advocate in the best interest of their clients
  • Become familiar with the behaviour patterns of their clients so they can recognize when something is out of the ordinary and respond to it quickly

Customized Medical Care

The TESP offers the medical supports received in other professional settings, while adapting to the specific needs of vulnerable and homeless populations. Most TESP clients are also registered with Ottawa Inner City Health Inc., which enables staff nurses to build care plans based on the client’s current health needs, including addressing mental health and substance use challenges.

An Open Door

In addition, the TESP provides overflow capacity when all other shelter programs are full, and provides space for individuals who may be barred from accessing other service providers or shelters.