Our Response to COVID19

Our Response to COVID192021-07-20T08:40:06-04:00

Our Response to COVID19

At OCISO we have been closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic. The safety, health and well-being of our clients, staff, volunteers and the community are of utmost importance to us. We also respect the directives of local, provincial and federal health authorities to limit the risk of transmission of this virus.

This can be a stressful time for many people and it is really important for all us to work together, support each other and follow the guidance of all levels of government as they coordinate their response to COVID-19.

Our Services

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we are taking steps to ensure that our clients continue to receive services. Although as of March 16, 2020 all OCISO offices are closed to the public, we have continued to provide services remotely. As of July 19, 2021, OCISO programs are available both in-person and virtually by appointment.

Here is how you can continue to contact and engage with us:

  • For services
    • Email us at [email protected]. (An intake worker will monitor this email address and connect you to the services or information you need.)
    • For settlement services please call SIP at (613)725-5671 ext: 316,
    • For employment services please call CED at (613)725-5671 ext: 334,
    • For counselling services please call Counselling at (613)725-5671 ext: 357
    • For youth services please call YOCISO at (613)518-0680 ext: 110.
  • For information updates
    • Social Media:  follow us on Twitter  and Facebook  for the latest updates from our office.
    • Newsletter: sign up for our newsletter through the pop-up subscription form at the bottom of any of our web pages.

We are in regular communication with the Local Agencies Serving Immigrants  (LASI Coalition) and Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI) to share information, best practices for delivering services remotely and collaborate on how to best serve newcomers during this unprecedented pandemic.  We also are in close contact with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, our largest funding partner.

We appreciate your support, patience and understanding as we all work together. We will keep you informed as further decisions are made regarding our operations.

Public Health Direction

It will take all of us doing our part to limit the spread and impact of COVID-19. While you may not feel sick, please remember the people in our community who are more vulnerable to COVID-19. While diseases can make anyone sick, some Canadians are more at risk of getting an infection and developing severe complications due to their health, social and economic circumstances.

To decrease transmission of COVID-19 in our community, Ottawa Public Health is currently recommending that all residents practise social distancing. Social distancing involves taking steps to limit the number of people you come into close contact with.

Public Health Information

It is really important that everyone knows the facts about COVID-19 and helps to stop the spread of rumours and misinformation. We highly recommend that you keep yourself up-to-date through trusted sources such as the ones listed below. You can follow these agencies via social media or subscribe to their email lists for the latest information. Many have resources available in several languages.

Ottawa Public Health

Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

Public Health Agency of Canada

Telehealth Ontario (For medical advice, you may contact Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000. It is a free, confidential service. A Registered Nurse will take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.)

We hope that you and your families and friends stay safe and healthy.

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Our Mission!

OCISO supports immigrants through the journey of making Canada their home by providing creative and responsive programs that are culturally and linguistically appropriate, by building community through mutual respect and partnerships, and by fostering healthy and inclusive spaces for open dialogue and healing.

What we do 🙂

We are community based non-profit organization that has been providing services in Ottawa since 1978. We are motivated by the stories of new immigrants, and we are there every stage of the journey. OCISO directly serves over 10,000 immigrants and refugees every year. Our work is augmented by the generous efforts of our enthusiastic, caring and talented staff, volunteers, both established and new Canadians.