You can help kids before it’s too late.

project step is an award-winning drug and substance abuse initiative serving youth in Ottawa.

United Way East Ontario works with project step partners to ensure youth in all 57 of Ottawa’s high schools and three community organizations have access to counselling, support, addiction education, and prevention programming.

The problem


85% of addicted adults began using drugs and alcohol in their early youth

The solution

A photo of a young women next to some trees.

Early intervention, education and family support stops addiction in its tracks for 75% of youth

How you can help

A group of kids placing their hands in a circle

Raise the dialogue around addictions in youth, and give to help project step change lives.

The story of youth addiction


of students in grades 7-12 may have a drug use problem


 students in grades 7-12 reported using an illicit drug in the past year


of students in grades 7-12 report recreational use of prescription opioids


of students in grades 7-12 report using cannabis in the past year

Many will end up homeless, suffering mental and physical health problems, and in trouble with the law.

Together we are
changing this story

We care about youth, know the dangers of addiction, and want to make a difference.

We also help in ways that work.

Early intervention and support are key to ending and preventing youth addictions. That’s why project step provides the support vulnerable young people and their families need to realize their potential.

Since 2007, with your support,
project step
has helped:

11,760+ students access school-based counselling.

75,710+ students receive education sessions.

10,930 parents obtain support.

Making a real difference

project step is reaching youth and their families and making a real difference. More vulnerable youth are sticking with school, reducing and stopping drugs and alcohol, and seeing a different future made possible thanks to project step.

Cindy Manor is a mother whose son received support from project step for his substance abuse issues. Her son was an honour-roll student and athlete who suffered a brain injury which led to depression and self-medicating.


Join us at a project step fundraising or community event or contact us to bring your group on a United Way Seeing is Believing Tour of our community-based programs.


Help make a difference today. Donate to project step and change the life of a youth in our community.

Help change the life of a youth in our community.