UOttawa donates unused residence to serve as quarantine space for vulnerable families
While many families are staying safe inside their houses to help slow the spread of COVID-19, the reality of shelters and other communal housing services make social distancing difficult if not impossible for those experiencing homelessness or fleeing domestic violence.
To address this need, the University of Ottawa has generously gifted an unused student residence to the City of Ottawa to be used as a self-isolating space for families in their homelessness service system or Violence Against Women sector. The University has leased the building to the City for $1. Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson praised the donation, noting that, “the compassion and generosity from our community during this challenging time has been remarkable!”
The three-story building in Ottawa’s Sandy Hill neighbourhood contains 28 units, which range in size from bachelor-style singles up to four bedroom suites. Though the units are currently empty, the City is currently sourcing furniture and kitchen supplies, and hopes to house families in the building as soon as this week. The units will be available to vulnerable families who need a space to self isolate due to illness or a positive COVID-19 test.