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What is Citizen Advocacy?

Citizen Advocacy is a registered charity founded in 1974. Together with the people of Ottawa we deliver support and advocacy that will enhance the quality of life, socially-valued roles and choice for people living with disabilities and their families.

Charitable registration # 13036 2817 RR0001

What is the Matching Program program?

The Matching Program is a unique program that matches volunteer Advocates, people of all walks of life in the community, with Friends, those who are living with a disability and who may be isolated, lonely and vulnerable with nowhere else to turn for friendship and support. Many of these matches become long- standing, mutually-rewarding relationships that flourish over decades. A great example is the match between Robin and Mike. Robin lives with autism and can’t speak, but the two men communicate with ease. Their usual routine is to go out for lunch and take long walks along the Ottawa River or the Rideau Canal. Mike knows he can’t take away Robin’s challenges, but he can offer Robin a short respite and something to look forward to. Robin teaches Mike about acceptance, honesty and overcoming fear.

How many people does the Matching Program support?

Over the years, Citizen Advocacy has facilitated thousands of matches with those who live with disabilities.

There are more than 340 people waiting for an Advocate. On average people wait 34 months for a match. Currently, there are 296 matches who come from all walks of life and include all ages.

Here are some vital statistics about Citizen Advocacy clients:

    • Physical disabilities 21%
    • Mental health challenges 14.5 %
    • Developmental disabilities 25.5 %
    • Age-related disabilities 1.5 %
    • Dual diagnosis and multiple disabilities 37.5 %

Citizen Advocacy operates due to the generosity of the community including various levels of government, business, corporations as well as support from individuals.

Here is our funding breakdown:

  • United Way 2%
  • City of Ottawa 5%
  • Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services 75%.
  • Foundations & Grants 5%
  • Fundraising & Donations 5%

In total, 14.5% is raised through various fundraising efforts including Evening in the Maritimes, In the Spotlight, Ottawa Race Weekend, and the generosity of donors, third-party fundraisers such as golf tournaments and other community events.

Atinc and I were paired up almost a year ago, and we immediately bonded over one of the things that we both love best:  Ottawa Senators hockey. Citizen Advocacy saw us as a great match based on our passion for the team and hockey in general. This provided us with a quick and easy transition into building a much deeper friendship. Atinc and I frequently make trips together to different wing spots to enjoy the games. We can walk to most of these places as we live quite close to each other.

In the summer, our love of sports translates into both of us cheering for the Toronto Blue Jays. We love heading to Boston Pizza to sit on the patio, enjoy some drinks, and watch them win. Over the past year, we have also been able to attend an Ottawa Fury soccer game together as well as a Sens game. We began as friends with similar passions, and with spending time together we have learned more about each other and connect in other areas of our lives. Atinc has taught me many things about the difficulties of living with a physical disability and has changed my outlook – I now have a greater appreciation of the little things in life. I look forward to spending many more years hanging out and developing our friendship further.

James Hale

Advocate - Everyday Champions