In 2007, United Way East Ontario (UWEO), together with the Champlain Local Health Integration Network (LHIN), Ottawa Network for Education, Ottawa Public Health, four Ottawa school boards and six community agencies launched project step to address the need for support, treatment, education, and prevention of substance use issues among youth in Ottawa.
Before project step, young people in need of substance use treatment had nowhere to go. They were often forced to leave home, incur costs, and they did not have access to follow-up support. In 2012, project step raised $3 million to build two residential facilities providing treatment and counselling for youth with addictions on a 24/7 basis. These sites are now supported by ongoing funding from the Champlain LHIN.