Shepherds of Good Hope to march in Capital Pride parade for the first time


August 20, 2018 – Shepherds of Good Hope will march in the upcoming 2018 Capital Pride parade for the first time in the organization’s history. With a mission of providing homes for all, community for all, and hope for all, Shepherds of Good Hope will be marching to show solidarity with its LGBTQ2S employees, volunteers, and clients.

Shepherds of Good Hope is committed to being an organization focused on inclusivity, equality, and accessibility for all. With the introduction of its Women and Gender Diverse Services program last year, Shepherds of Good Hope is now able to address the specialized needs of LGBTQ2S clients.

This important and innovative program, funded by a three-year grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, is integral to Shepherds of Good Hope’s mission to foster hope and reduce harm in Ottawa by supporting the homeless and most vulnerable with specialized services, programs and partnerships. The program was established to address some of the unique challenges faced by LGBTQ2S homeless people. These challenges can include securing housing when a person’s ID doesn’t match their name or gender, or getting medical assistance when a health worker refuses to treat a person because of their gender identity or sexual orientation.

Between 20-25% of Canadian youth accessing emergency shelter services identify as LGBTQ2S, a significant discrepancy considering individuals who identify as LGBTQ2S comprise less than 20% of the Canadian population. At Shepherds of Good Hope, 75% of our clients who self-identify as trans are under 30. Trans clients are also over-represented in our chronically homeless population, compared to our other programs. To meet this need, our case managers take a Trauma Informed Approach to help our LGBTQ2S clients navigate complex challenges with the goal of ensuring they successfully exit the shelter system and break the cycle of homelessness.

Today we operate an emergency shelter and five supportive housing facilities. All Shepherds of Good Hope programs are open to people along and outside of the gender spectrum, as they are valuable members of our community.

By marching in the Capital Pride parade this year, Shepherds of Good Hope continues to be a beacon of hope for those who need it.

“Ensuring people of all genders and sexual orientations can access our services is integral to our mission. We provide homes for all, community for all, hope for all. Marching in the Capital Pride parade is an excellent way to show the community our organizational values – values that promote equality, inclusivity, and accessibility.”

Deirdre Freiheit, President and CEO, Shepherds of Good Hope and Shepherds of Good Hope Foundation

Quick Facts:

  • Shepherds of Good Hope is one of the largest emergency shelters and supportive housing organizations in the City of Ottawa, helping more than 2,200 people each year in our shelters and housing more than 225 people in our supportive housing facilities.
  • Today, Shepherds of Good Hope operates eight facilities around the city to serve the needs of our clients. These include:
    • 233 Murray Street – Main Soup Kitchen, Food Bank, Clothing Program and Administration
    • 256 King Edward Ave – Transitional Emergency Shelter, serving all genders
    • St. Andrew’s Residence – Supportive Housing – 35 units
    • Brigid’s Place – Housing First for Women – 11 units
    • The Oaks – Two Supportive Housing buildings and Managed Alcohol Program – 55 units
    • Hope Living – Supportive Housing – 99 units
    • Good Day Workshop – Social Enterprise
  • All of our programs support an atmosphere of living in a community-enriched environment.
  • Our soup kitchen serves more than 400,000 meals every year
  • We have 450 active volunteers who donate an estimated $1.3 million worth of labour hours each year
  • We run a world-renowned shelter based Managed Alcohol Program and two supportive housing Managed Alcohol Programs
  • We run Ottawa’s only 24/7 Supervised Injection Service trailer
  • We take a gender inclusive approach across all of our programs
  • Our on-site Transitional Emergency Shelter Program accepts police, paramedic and OC Transpo diversions, diverting traffic from city hospitals and, conservatively estimated, saves our city’s hospital system over $2 million annually in health care costs

About Shepherds of Good Hope
Shepherds of Good Hope is one of the largest not-for-profit organizations dedicated to the needs of the homeless and vulnerably-housed men and women in the city of Ottawa. We provide around-the-clock, comprehensive services to our clients and residents, most of whom live with addictions, mental health challenges and trauma. From a 254 bed shelter, to our 5 supportive living residences across the City of Ottawa, over 450 people of all genders sleep in one of our facilities each night. By offering innovative programs and services in a non-judgmental environment, Shepherds of Good Hope is creating a community for all through acceptance, compassion and care.

Media Contacts:
Chris O’Gorman
Coordinator, Communications and Grant Writing
Shepherds of Good Hope / Shepherds of Good Hope Foundation
613-789-8210 ext. 229

– 30 –