I spoke with Walter on the street outside our drop in and listened as he shared his frustration with the current state of affairs with housing in Ottawa – specifically how he has been unable to secure a place to live off the streets. He is also pretty peeved about his inability to access meals in the downtown core, because of his past behavior.
He does not have any kind of track record of ability of keeping an apartment, and therefore does not have any references. And, when he tells prospective landlords that he is able to pay because he is a recipient of ODSP (Ontario Disability Service Plan), it serves as a final nail in his coffin. It appears that Landlords are not interested in housing people who are on disability, probably because they have experienced difficulties with others in the same situation.
But Walter is not the same person who was barred for three lifetimes from one of the service agencies downtown. (Yup, you read correctly, three lifetimes!!! What’s that? I don’t know.)