Helping Families in the Ottawa Region since 2011

1) To provide education, counselling, and other support services for refugees and needy immigrants within the Ottawa area, including language instruction, employment training. job search programs. translation services and information programs on Canadian culture and life.

2) To establish and operate a community centre to be used for workshops. programs. athletics. drama, art. music, handicrafts, hobbies, and recreation for the benefit of the general public.

3) To provide counselling to needy persons in drafting resumes, searching for employment. and preparing for job interviews: and to provide literacy programs and classes to members of the public.

4) To assist people in coping with the effects of substance abuse by offering education and counselling and by establishing mutual support groups.

5) To assist those affected by spousal abuse through counselling and treatment programs.

6) To relieve loneliness and isolation of the aged or to improve their mobility and fitness by establishing, operating and maintaining a senior citizens’ centre to provide recreation, education, cultural activities and other programs for senior citizens.

7) To provide affordable and secure housing for women who have been emotionally, physically, or sexually abused or traumatized and for their children.

Our Research and Education wing specializes in social science, access to justice, and social work research and policy. Our research activities focus on vulnerable, marginalized, and low-income religious minorities, immigrants, newcomers, refugees, and racialized communities. We have assembled an experienced team of researchers with decades of cumulative experience employing qualitative and quantitative methods and methodologies to answer pressing social questions. Please contact us at [email protected] to inquire about the availability of our research team.

Current Research and Education Projects

Establishment of a Muslim Community Legal Clinic (Research Project)

With the generous support and partnership of the Ottawa Muslim Association (OMA), Islam Care Centre (ICC), and with the collaboration of students and faculty at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law, we had a law student working as a research assistant during the summer of 2019 to undertake preliminary research regarding the feasibility of a future free legal clinic to improve access to justice for Ottawa’s Muslim community. Following our summer fellowship, we have entered a new phase of our project. We have now partnered with the University of Ottawa to run a practicum class entitled “CML 3351- Legal Research and Writing: Muslim Legal Clinic Program” from September, 2019 to April, 2020. The students are building upon the work of our summer fellow by undertaking the complex work of setting up the structure of the legal clinic. Students are exploring the particular areas of law highlighted in our summer feasibility study and are examining the best methods of delivery in a clinical setting. They will develop our relationship with key partners and ensure that the soon-to-be-established Muslim Community Legal Clinic Pilot Project is well-connected within the Muslim community.

Potential Culture of Carrying Weapons among Youth in Ottawa (Research Project) – This research partnership with Crime Prevention Ottawa (CPO) has been forged to in order to gain a better understanding of the culture of weapons carrying among Ottawa youth and young adults. MFSO’s team of social science experts will work with CPO to understand the motivations behind weapons carrying behaviour, and the perceptions around risk and safety youth have regarding weapons carrying. For more about Crime Prevention Ottawa, please visit

Immigration and Refugee Status of Children and Youth in Foster Care – (Reserch Project with Probono Students Canada) Through Probono Students Canada, ICC/MFSO is hosting 3 volunteer law student researchers. This project builds on ICC/MFSO’s existing formal partnership with the Children’s Aid Society by responding to concerns regarding recent high profile cases of former foster care children being threatened with deportation due to their legal status in Canada never being resolved by various child welfare agencies. We wish to work with our partners at CASO to ensure that all children in foster care in Ottawa, including children from the Muslim community, are having immigration and refugee status issues resolved while in the care of CASO. The role of the researching students is to understand and compile all existing policies and procedures of CASO as well as relevant other agencies, case law, and legislation related to the immigration, refugee, or citizenship status of children in foster care.

Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa (CASO) Muslim Cultural Liaison – Our dynamic, productive, and longstanding partnership with CASO, a pillar of MFSO’s work, helps provide culturally appropriate services for Muslim children and youth in foster care and Muslim families involved with CAS.

Homework Help – With the generous support of the Kanata Muslim Association (KMA), we provide vital academic help to children from grades 1 to 6 in Centretown, an underserved age group in our neighbourhood, at the Cooper Street Homework Club. Beginning in Fall 2019, we are also providing francophone homework tutor to two community programs in the Foster Farm neighbourhood in Ottawa west end at the Pinecrest-Queensway Community Health Centre, also with the support of KMA.

National Zakat Foundation (NZF) Partnership – Our partnership with NZF provides zakat to Muslims in financial difficulty. The NZF office within MFSO’s offices is open Tuesday to Thursday 1 PM to 5 PM, by appointment. Approval is not guaranteed, and generally takes one week to ten days.

Regroupement ethnoculturel des parents francophones d’Ontario (REPFO) Partnership – Our partners at REPFO) operate satellite services in our location by appointment. REPFO’s social service workers and crisis intervention workers are available to serve individuals and families from downtown Ottawa’s diverse Francophone communities with personal crises, short-term mental health and psychoeducation, food security, available community resources, referrals, applications for energy assistance programs for low-income families, school system navigation, and other issues (service also available in Arabic and Somali).


Support for Local Shelters (slam Care Centre) Partnership – Our closest partner, Islam Care Centre, provides critical and cultural support for clients of local shelters. The partnership has also received invaluable support from the Kanata Muslim Association (KMA) and Rhoda Masjid and Institute. If you would like to donate key items, please email us at [email protected] and we will pass on your generous offer to our partner at ICC. The areas of support offered include: Weekend lunchbag preparation and distribution, culturally specific clothing for Muslim women at Cornerstone Housing for Women, prayer mats for Muslim men at various men’s shelters, and warm and wooly socks for men and women of all communities, distributed through Centretown Community Health Centre (CCHC).

Empower’em – We support the work of Empower’em, providing mental health supports and education for Muslim women of colour, as well as their drive to gather and distribute free sanitary products to local women’s shelters.