What we do

Ancoura is a small Ottawa charity that provides a nurturing and fulfilling environment for persons living with mental illness, through permanent, affordable housing and a supportive community.

We believe in the possibility of a compassionate society, free from stigma and discrimination, where people living with mental illness are full, contributing members

Ancoura’s principles and values

Ancoura is a community and organization committed to excellence in what we do:

  • For people: we foster caring relationships that nourish self-worth, independence and quality of life.
  • Through teamwork: we engage residents, volunteers and staff in a culture of cooperation based upon equality, dignity and respect.
  • Through partnerships: we work closely with individuals, other organizations and faith groups committed to similar goals.
  • Through education: we educate ourselves and the public in order to promote healthy attitudes to remove the stigma of mental illness.
  • Through advocacy: we support specific actions that promote societal change on mental health issues.

Ancoura’s Vision

We are a community of residents, volunteers and staff committed to establishing stable, affordable housing and a supportive community for people living with a mental illness in Ottawa. We are dedicated to nurturing resident growth from isolation to inclusion, from stigma to acceptance and from uncertainty to trust.

Ancoura’s residents

  • Are able to live autonomously with our support
  • Are willing to live with others
  • Are receptive to involvement with volunteers
  • Are willing to participate in social activities
  • Are connected to a health professional for follow-up
  • Are motivated to stay on medication
  • Are not abusing drugs or alcohol, nor have a history of violence

Our approach

Our work is carried out through many partnerships involving volunteers, staff, health professonals, faith groups, and other community organizations. Linking residents with volunteers and activities in the community gives everyone involved an opportunity to enrich their lives.

Residents live in three-bedroom dwellings. They are supported by a paid professional who offers problem-solving assistance, as well as a team of trained volunteers that helps with activities such as shopping, budgeting and social events. Participation in the work and social life of Ancoura makes the lives of residents more fulfilling.

Ancoura can change lives – The Story of Brenda Jones

When you sit down and talk to Brenda Jones you are talking to an enthusiastic and articulate young woman whose life is going pretty well right now. But this was not always the case.

…¬†Brenda notes that caring relationships are an extremely important component in the recovery process and that the Ancoura coordinator and volunteers provide these relationships. A family is important but she says that you don’t really have to be related to be family. Loving, kind people, who are committed to helping, can be very much like a family. The Ancoura coordinators, volunteers and the entire community are behind Brenda and supporting her as she continues to improve her mental health and quality of life.


* This story describes the journey of one of Ancoura’s residents. The names have been changed in the interest of confidentiality.

Read the entire story here