Somerset Ward mailer volume 11: It takes a village

Dear neighbour,

Thank you to everyone who reached out after my email earlier this week about community safety. I genuinely appreciate your compassion as we work toward sustainable solutions.

I am happy to say that two important policies that I have been pushing for were passed unanimously by council: the creation of a new supportive housing hub, and the introduction of a pilot non-police crisis intervention service.

Dear neighbour,

Thank you to everyone who reached out after my email earlier this week about community safety. I genuinely appreciate your compassion as we work toward sustainable solutions.

I am happy to say that two important policies that I have been pushing for were passed unanimously by council: the creation of a new supportive housing hub, and the introduction of a pilot non-police crisis intervention service.

That said, these programs will time some time to get launched, so in the meantime, I have been working with community and social services staff, local outreach organizations, Ottawa Public Health and our community police resource officer to address community security concerns related to overdoses, mental health challenges and homelessness. We all deserve to feel safe in our community, and that includes our neighbours who are struggling with hunger, addiction and housing precarity. I will be advocating for deeper investments in affordable housing and frontline services as we begin the budget consultation process for Budget 2024.

At the start of yesterday’s council meeting, I spoke out against the recent rise in homophobic and transphobic hate, both here in Ottawa and across North America. Last week, Capital Pride held a press conference at City Hall, along with the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity to sound the alarm about this rise in hate and encourage allies, politicians and business leaders to stand together and re-affirm that hate has no place in our city.

From left to right: Councillors Johnson, Kavanagh, Kitts, Troster, Carr and Menard at the drag storytime event at the NAC.

I am confident that by working together, we can continue to make Somerset Ward a place that is welcoming and safe for people from any background or orientation. And a special thank you to all of the frontline workers and volunteers who help our neighbours living in poverty. It takes a village!

Warmly,

Ariel

—-

Somerset House (352 Somerset) public meeting

Join us for a meeting about upcoming development at 352 Somerset St W, commonly referred to as Somerset House. A new residential building is proposed for the site, incorporating existing elements of the building.

Details on this development application can be found here

You can register for the meeting online here.

381 Kent public meeting

Join us for a virtual public meeting for the proposed development at 381 Kent. A new residential building is proposed for the site, with ground floor retail and a parkette.

Details on this development application can be found here

You can register for the meeting online here.

1010 Somerset on Engage Ottawa

The city is looking for your feedback on the draft concept plan for a proposed array of elements for a complete integrated and sustainable community hub. Anchored close to the Plant Recreation Complex and the O-Train tracks, north of the Corso Italia station, the intention is to develop a destination community, integrated with the residential development by Ottawa Community Housing to the south. Please note that the proposed site plan is subject to change based on community feedback – please share your thoughts.

You can learn more and provide your feedback online here.

New zoning by-law on Engage Ottawa

The City of Ottawa is developing a new comprehensive Zoning By-law for approval by Council in 2025. The by-law will implement the policies and directions in the new Official Plan approved by the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing on November 04, 2022. Once approved, the new Zoning By-law will replace the current Zoning By-law (By-law 2008-250).

You can learn more and provide your feedback online here.

Council updates

Council approved its 2023-2026 Term of Council Priorities – a clear vision that will direct the focus of City staff for the next four years. The four priorities look to create an Ottawa that:

  • Has affordable housing and is more liveable for all
  • Is more connected with reliable, safe and accessible mobility options
  • Is green and resilient
  • Has a diversified and prosperous economy

Along with the priorities, Council identified three long-term goals it has targeted over the next 10 years to provide a vision for the future of Ottawa as a national capital that is prosperous, sustainable, inclusive and resilient. The goals will help create a city:

  • Where residents experience a good quality of life and live in neighborhoods that are diverse, inclusive, safe, connected, accessible and affordable
  • Where residents benefit from a healthy, sustainable and equitable built environment that supports efforts to address climate change
  • That is economically diversified and prosperous, attracting people to Ottawa to live, work, play, invest, learn and visit.

Council received an update on the progress of the Community Safety and Well-Being Plan. The City advanced ongoing work in its six priority areas, including integrating services and simplifying access for residents, funding 19 community agencies to build capacity in priority areas, and helping develop the safer alternative response for mental health and substance use crises. Next steps include developing a poverty reduction strategy, collaborating with community partners to reduce intimate partner violence, and piloting trauma-informed and anti-stigma training for staff who provide front-line and support services.

Council approved a strategy for the first phase of a safer alternative response for mental health and substance use crises. The program will initially run for three years in one geographic location, starting in 2024, and use a non-9-1-1 phone number to triage calls and dispatch responses. A 24/7 mobile service would respond to calls, led by civilian professionals with expertise in mental health and substance use crises. These non-uniformed responders will offer trauma-informed and culturally appropriate crisis response services.

House of PainT Call for volunteers

Are you looking for a dynamic and creative volunteer opportunity? House of PainT is looking for volunteers of all abilities, ages 13+ to help out at the 2023 festival between August 7 and 16. Register here, or contact Kota at [email protected] for more information!

Roots & Shoots Organic Farm at Red Apron

The Red Apron is thrilled to announce that this summer, we will be hosting Roots & Shoots Organic Farm, each Wednesday from 4:30 to 6:30, under our Patio. Drop by and shop for ‘fresh from the farm’ organic fruits & vegetables. This market will run every Wednesday until September or October, depending on the growing season. Grab your market basket and walk over to the Red Apron!

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