Downtown Services and Drop-in
The Downtown Services and Drop‑in is a street-front program of YSB. Located in Ottawa’s downtown core (147 Besserer Street), the centre provides a safe place for youth aged 16 to 20 who are unstably housed, live in poverty, or are living on the streets. Here, youth connect with peers facing similar challenges in an environment of acceptance and respect. Working with counsellors, youth identify their needs, set goals and get connected to the support and services they need to achieve those goals.
For some, this means filling basic needs—free access to telephones and the internet, showers, a food bank, clothing, laundry facilities, and a healthy meal. For others, the Drop-in is a lifeline to housing, crisis counselling, addictions treatment, health care and support on the journey to independence.
In addition to creating a welcoming space for youth to come to, the centre also reaches out to youth in the community. Outreach workers offer crisis counselling on the streets and distribute basic supplies, such as food, water and clothing for youth in the downtown area. They also partner with other agencies to deliver education sessions at local shelters, other drop‑in centres, alternate schools, detention facilities and community events on issues such as harm reduction, HIV/Aids and Hepatitis C.
An evening program (6 pm to 8 pm) welcomes youth to the Extended Access Drop-in for youth aged 21 - 24 on Tuesdays, Women’s Space on Thursdays, the Growing Up Downtown parenting group, the Wabano Aborigianl health group, addictions support groups and more. Read more about Drop-in activities.
Location: 147 Besserer Street (click for map)
Contact: Sheila Kennedy
Phone: 613-241-7788 ext. 303
Street-involved youth have complex health needs, but without identification or a health card, getting help can be difficult. The Drop-in health clinic provides youth with easy access to free primary health care services, such as medical, dental and sexual health clinics. Youth can meet with a nurse practitioner and be treated for most minor injuries, ailments or health concerns, or be referred to other medical professionals. Preventative dental services, such as teeth cleanings, are also offered free of charge.
How to access the program
The Drop-in is open from Monday to Friday from 12 pm to 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Youth are encouraged to drop in or call 613-241-7788.
No appointments or health card necessary.
Clinics: Monday to Friday from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Nurse Practitioner: Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays
Sexual Health Clinic: Thursdays
Preventative Dental Care: Fridays
Phone: 613-241-7913 ext. 222
HIV/Aids and Hepatitis C Sessions
Youth service providers interested in arranging education or peer-led sessions on HIV/Aids and/or Hep-C can contact the program coordinator at the phone number and email address listed below.
Hepatitis C (HCV) Prevention Education Program
Contact: Courtney Scanlan
Phone: 613-241-7788 x200
HIV/AIDS Prevention Education Program
Contact: Alisa McClain
Phone: 613-241-7788 x413