Our Mission is to provide safe, community based homes to single adults in need.
We envision a future where we are the leader in transitional housing by helping our residents achieve personal growth and independence.
Daybreak had its beginnings in compassion. When Reverend Bob Percival was serving at Ottawa's Bell Street United Church in the 1970s, he became progressively more concerned about the number of people coming to him in need of financial assistance. He was deeply disturbed about their quality of life and how desperate they felt, and he didn't always have the resources to help them.
In 1980, Reverend Percival brought together a study group from a number of churches in downtown Ottawa, including Bell St. United, St. Luke's Anglican, McPhail Baptist, Knox Presbyterian, Christ Roi Catholique, St. Jean Baptiste Catholique and McLeod-Stewarton United. Their concerns led to the establishment of the Daybreak Non-Profit Shelter (Ecumenical) Corporation in 1982. Reverend Percival was the first president of the corporation and later became known as 'Father Daybreak.'
Daybreak was one of the first non-profit organizations in Ottawa to provide a long-term option of independent, supportive, rent-geared-to-income housing for single adults living in poverty. From the outset, our houses were meant to offer residents not just a place to live, but a place to call home. The name 'Daybreak' was chosen to signify a new beginning in life for the residents who benefit from our safe, affordable, comfortable housing.
Daybreak opened its first house in April 1983 with funding from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. With 8 rooms, it was initially a home for women, but in 1985 was converted to a home for men.
Our second house opened in September 1983 with 10 rooms for men.
In 1985, the communities of St. George's Anglican, St. Andrew's Presbyterian and Dominion Chalmers United Churches joined in supporting Daybreak's mission. Our third house was leased from St. George's and the Anglican Diocese, and opened in September 1985 with 10 rooms for women.
Our fourth house was donated by Mrs. Mary Murphy. Thanks to capital funding form what is now the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, it opened in January, 1990, with five rooms for men and two self-contained one-bedroom apartments.
Our fifth home opened in September 2001 in partnership with City Living (now Ottawa Community Housing) and the Grey Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, with additional funding from the provincial Homelessness Initiatives Fund and the federal government's Supporting Communities Partnerships Initiatives. This building offers 12 rooms for women and increased Daybreak's capacity by 38 per cent. At the time it opened, Daybreak was one of the only organizations to succeed in increasing affordable housing in Ottawa over the previous decade.