Frequently Asked Questions
Who can come to IHO?
IHO offers safe, short-term emergency shelter to people aged 16 years or older, who identify as women, with or without dependents, who are fleeing abuse.
Does IHO accept women from the LBTQI community?
IHO is dedicated to serving any woman-identified person who has been abused, including lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered women.
My child has special needs. Can they come to IHO?
Absolutely. We will work with you to determine how we can support with your child's individual needs.
Will I have a private bedroom and bathroom?
Not exactly. Each family has a private room that is shared with their dependents. There are multiple, single use bathrooms at IHO that are available to all residents.
What does it cost to stay at IHO? Do I have to pay rent?
There is no charge to stay at IHO. We also provide food and other basic needs, such as laundry soap and a welcome basket of toiletries.
Do I have to leave IHO during the day?
No. You are welcome to stay at IHO during the day.
How long can I stay?
Your length of stay will be determined by your individual needs. IHO staff will work with you on how to best meet your needs.
Can I bring my pets?
Yes! IHO is currently the only shelter in Ottawa and the surroundng area that accepts cats, dogs, and other small animals into residence with their family members.
Are meals served at the shelter?
Yes. IHO has a chef who prepares a communal dinner for residents during the week. You are responsible for preparing all other meals and snacks for yourself and your family. However, you are not required to purchase food; the shelter has a fully stocked kitchen.
I have a special diet. Will I be able to observe my dietary restrictions?
IHO does its best to accommodate dietary restrictions. Residents may advise staff of special needs regarding food (i.e., vegetarian, vegan, halal meat, kosher foods, etc.).
Is IHO accessible?
Yes. IHO is equipped to welcome women with mobility issues who have the ability to independently look after themselves and their children at all times. Women with children with mobility issues are welcome when the woman is able to independently care for her children.
Can my children continue at their school?
Every effort will be made to keep your children in their normal routine, including attending school. However, for various reasons such as school boundaries, safety, transportation, etc. it is not always possible for your children to remain in their current school. For these reasons, you may need to transfer your children to a school within IHO's school boundary. Out Child & Youth Counsellors can help you with this process.