We are seeing the emergence of innovative and promising practices that address housing insecurity and homelessness at a comprehensive system level. Through expert guest speakers with practical and lived experience in this sector, Linking Leaders will help participants better understand the systemic issues that give rise to and perpetuate homelessness in our community, as well as insights into solutions that are working in other communities.

Partner launch event.

May 12, 2018

Ottawa's first Poverty Challenge for Civic Leaders and the launch of Linking Leaders

Weren't able to make it? See what you missed:
Read the article on OttawaMatters.com 
Listen to the interview on CBC Ottawa Morning
Read the article on University Affairs

Group of people working together on a whiteboard

September 19, 2018 6-9 pm

Topic: Prevention

Guest speaker: Michael Lethby
Executive Director, Niagara Resource Service for Youth (The RAFT)

Born and raised in Niagara, Mike worked in the local auto sector before graduating Brock University with an honours B.A. in Political Science and History. Mike also holds a Master's degree in Political Science from the University of Western Ontario. Mike is currently the Executive Director of the Niagara Resource Service for Youth (The RAFT) a not-for profit agency in the Niagara region working with at-risk youth and their families.

Mike is an innovative leader working to create a systemic approach to addressing youth issues and youth homelessness in Niagara.  He is a principal actor in moving the region’s youth service model from a reactive institutional crisis model to a preventative community model.  Mike has overseen the development and implementation of Youth Reconnect (School based homelessness prevention) and Eternal Routes (Kinship finding and connection) programs as well as launching Niagara’s Hosing First for Youth response.  Additionally, Mike is currently working with the Province of Ontario to launch a Social Impact Bond to support the scaling of the RAFT’s Youth Reconnect program to neighbouring communities.    


Illustration of a systems document with people connected to it

october 17, 2018 6-9 pm

Topic: Systems Integration

Guest speaker: Amanda DiFalco
Manager, Homelessness Policy and Programs, City of Hamilton

Amanda DiFalco has worked for the City of Hamilton for 16 years and is currently the Manager of Homelessness Policy and Programs. Amanda is a leading national voice on homelessness policy and passionately believes that homelessness is a solvable problem. She has led several policy and planning initiatives which have contributed to housing over 800 chronically homeless individuals and reducing chronic homelessness in Hamilton by 35% since 2015.  

Amanda is a policy advisor for the Province of Ontario and the Government of Canada and has influenced several Provincial and Federal strategies including Ontario’s Long Term Affordable Housing Strategy and the National Housing Strategy. As a fellow of the Institute of Global Homelessness, Amanda has supported several other communities around the world including Eastern Europe, India and Africa in homelessness policy and planning. Amanda has joined forces with communities across Canada to house 20,000 of the most vulnerably homeless people in the country by 2020 through Canada’s 20,000 Homes Campaign.

Audience smiling at a workshop

November 14, 2018 6-9 pm

Topic: Innovative strategies and funding for affordable housing

Guest speaker: Graeme Hussey
President, Cahdco and Development Manager, CCOC (Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation)

People's hands hold papers during a group brainstorming storming session

November 22, 2018 1-4 pm National Housing day

Putting it all Together: What are we going to do about it?

More information to come.