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Ottawa Senators Foundation makes major investment in project step


The Ottawa Senators Foundation announced today a new $375,000 investment in project step. This announcement marks a second significant multi-year financial contribution the Ottawa Senators Foundation has made in the program. The first was a $1 million dollar gift to launch the program in 2008.

Senators Foundation

After hearing of Monday’s tragic news that our community has lost another three people to drug overdoses, this investment is especially important to make sure we can prevent and treat substance use and abuse in our city – particularly for young people and their families.

The funds will be used to ensure youth in all 57 of Ottawa’s high schools and three community organizations continue to have access to counselling, support, addiction education, and prevention programming.


Substance abuse is affecting youth across the region. It’s in our schools, neighbourhoods and in some cases, our homes. Re-investing in project step will provide support for youth across the region by enhancing existing services, expanding program reach, and most importantly, giving youth the tools needed to make smart decisions.

Danielle Robinson, president and CEO of the Ottawa Senators Foundation
This investment will provide:
Continued funding for project step foundation programming, allowing it to continue at its current level of reach:
  • Providing prevention, education and awareness programming to reach youth in Ottawa’s four school boards
  • Offering addictions counselling services in Ottawa high schools and in non-mainstream community settings
  • Supporting parents whose children are struggling with substance abuse, through the school system

Greater support to parents in the community:

  • Enhance the assistance provided to families through community-based programs for parents whose children are struggling with substance abuse, including opioids
  • Offering parents support through group sessions and one-on-one counselling

Ability to reach youth earlier with education and prevention by:

  • Continuing to provide youth in high school with critical prevention information
  • Expanding reach to provide young people in grades 6, 7 and 8 with prevention and education sessions
  • Developing and delivering an age appropriate curriculum, in partnership with the school boards
Senators Foundation making a presentation.

project step is a perfect example of what a community can achieve when supporters, volunteers, and key organizations come together and work towards a common vision.

That’s why in 2007 United Way convened a group of experts in this space, who guide us toward a community in which all youth have access to adequate, appropriate and evidence-informed support, treatment, education and prevention for substance use and abuse.

project step’s strategic partners include:

  • United Way Ottawa
  • Ottawa Public Health
  • The Champlain Local Health Integration Network
  • The Ottawa Network for Education
  • All four local school boards, French, English, Public and Catholic
  • Hundreds of donors, including the Ottawa Senators Foundation

Our mission is supported by community service delivery partners:

  • Operation Come Home
  • Rideauwood Addiction and Family Services
  • Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health
  • Youville Centre
  • The Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre
  • and Maison Fraternité

The results speak volumes.

Since inception, more than 11,760 students have accessed school-based counselling, 75,710 students participated in addictions prevention education activities and more than 10,930 parents have received support.

In addition, youth who participate in project step reduce or stop their problematic substance abuse:

  • 79% of youth who reported drugs use, reduced their frequency of use since participating in project step
  • 81% of youth felt the program helped them build or rebuild healthy relationships with their family, partner, or community
  • 95% of students admitted to the counselling program completed the school year

There for us since day one, the Ottawa Senators Foundation has been instrumental in giving life to project step. The organization has always inspired others with its engagement and passion for both the cause and the community.

The Ottawa Senators Foundation has been a loyal supporter of and active contributor to project step for more than 10 years now. We are so thrilled to begin this new era of work with them, to make sure every young person in Ottawa facing a challenge with addictions or substance abuse gets the help they need, when they need it.”

Michael Allen, President and CEO, United Way Ottawa



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