Somali Centre for Family Services

The goal of the Somali Centre for Family Services is to assist refugees and immigrants in need —particularly the needs of Somali families and individuals living in Ottawa—through partnerships, services, and programs that are timely, culturally appropriate, and address their concerns.

The Opportunity

The Somali Centre for Family Services (SCFS) is stretched to deliver important services to its members. Through a social enterprise pilot, the SCFS provided needed services to not-for-profit and private sector clients. If successful, the SCFS would not only be able to create earned revenue to be less dependent on grants, but would also provide jobs for its members and provide opportunities for life skills training. Extra revenue will be used to support the SCFS and their programs for youth, women and seniors.

During 2018, several newcomers, some from Ottawa Community Housing (OCH), were hired by the SCFS to provide litter pick-up and notice delivery throughout three communities within OCH Properties – demonstrating the Centre’s ability to establish a sustainable social enterprise.

The Process

Four partner agencies (the SCFS, the City of Ottawa, Ottawa Community Housing, and the Centre for Social Enterprise Development) came together under the leadership of the Ottawa Community Foundation, to demonstrate the effectiveness of the Social Enterprise Platform and provided them with the following:


Since the pilot, the SCFS has officially created Daalo Property Maintenance and secured four contracts to date. The social enterprise has hired five members of the Somali community to deliver litter pick-up, notice delivery and cleaning services. Contracts have been signed with the City of Ottawa, Ottawa Community Housing, and Kiewit.