Reality Campaign 2019
Operation Come Home
For more than fifteen years, Operation Come Home has been running the Reality Campaign, led by Eric Bollman. The campaign’s goal is to bring awareness to youth homelessness in Ottawa as it is a reality of which many people are not aware. In previous years the campaign focused on hosting Ottawa’s original 24 Hours of Homelessness event. In more recent years, OCH has partnered with Mr. Bollman to expand the campaign to include a month-long series of events that each highlight a different challenge that homeless youth have to face every day.
THE ORIGINAL 24 HOURS OF HOMELESSNESS January 24th-25th, 2019
This is the original Reality Campaign event where participants spend 24 Hours outside of the Royal Oak on Bank and Gloucester. The goal is to raise awareness of the realities of living on the streets in Ottawa in the winter. Temperatures can dip as low as -40 at which point, when youth sleep, they are exposed not only to safety risks, but health risks as well. The public is provided with the opportunity to join this event while setting up online pages to collect donations. In recent years, public figures such as Member of Parliament, Mona Fortier, have joined the 24 Hours of Homelessness to help increase the awareness for homeless youth in Ottawa.
THE SUPERB OWL PARTY February 3rd, 2019
One of the Reality Campaign’s newest events, the Superb Owl Party is a fundraising evening hosted at a local restaurant. This year, Buster’s Bar and Grill at 2525 Carling Avenue has kindly opened their doors for the Operation Come Home family and friends to watch the Super Bowl game, enjoy free chilli and be participate in raffles, draws and silent auction items. All proceeds from the evening will be directed to Operation Come Home and the Reality Campaign.
THE BIG BOTTLE DRIVE February 4th-16th, 2019
Craft breweries and other businesses from across Ottawa will be sharing on social media, through word of mouth and any other methods of communication that they will be competing in a friendly bottle drive with other craft breweries across the city. For one week only, they will be asking their fans to donate all of their empty wine, liquor and beer bottles to the BottleWorks social enterprise. BottleWorks employed 12 youth in 2018 so that they could receive on-the-job training and social support. The social enterprise teaches youth how to find stability in the workplace and how to use coping skills when facing problems in their personal lives so that they can better succeed in their next job. Eric the Intern will spend the week working with the BottleWorks social enterprise.
THE #REALITYCHECK CAMPAIGN February 17th-23rd, 2019
Social media is a powerful tool that gives voice to people across the globe. The #RealityCheck Campaign will use social media to give at risk-youth a bigger voice in Ottawa. A different youth will have their personal story featured for a day. The story will be shared in segments at different times so that the audience will develop a high level engagement and anticipate the next post. The week will also feature facts about youth homelessness in Ottawa and Canada so as to raise awareness to the cause.