Fred’s advocates visit Ottawa-West politicians on Sept 17th

September 17, 2008

Sept 17th, Sue Clark-Wittenberg and her husband Steven Wittenberg visit Jim Waton who is:

Liberal MPP for Ottawa West – Nepean, and Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

Sue and Steven visited the office of Jim Watson at 2249 Carling Ave on Wednesday, September 17th and spoke to Mark in his office. Mark knew about Fred Timms case from the media reports which were several in the past few weeks. Mark said he would call Ottawa City Hall to seek housing for Fred. Let’s see what happens. Jim Watson’s office phone number 613-721-8075. Please call Mark and say Fred has no food and will be on the street this Friday night, September 19th.


Sue and Steven visit John Baird, Member of Parliament for Ottawa West Nepean, 2249 Carling Ave.

Sue and Steven went into John’s Baird’s office and told Pam one of the employees in Baird’s office the Fred Timms case. Pam said she would inform John Baird. Please call John Baird at 613-990-7720. Ask Baird’s office what are they doing for Fred Timms.


Sue calls Dalton’s McGuinty’s offices

Sue called the South Ottawa of the Premier only to be told by Lauren in his office that the Ottawa-South office only helps McGuinty’s constituents in Ottawa-South only. Sue had to call McGuinty’s office in Toronto only to be told to call Emergency housing for Fred in Ottawa. The red tapes is getting longer and longer as we go.


Sue will call Alex Cullen’s office, Ottawa City councillor for Ottawa West tomorrow on Thursday, September 19th.


Does anyone really care about a blind man who is homeless? let’s wait and see what type of response we get from all these politicians. Some one has got to have heart and help Fred. His quality of life depends on having a roof over his head and some food in his stomach and peace of mind. Being homeless for almost 7 months have taken a toll on Fred Timms. Fred has kept his dignity and self respect in tact. Fred will fight as long as it takes to get an apartment again. There is still lots of fight in Fred yet. Don’t under estimate this man. He won’t stop fighing until he gets housed. Fred has an incredible spirit and tenacity. A good man who sees through all the red tape. Fred is very intelligent and articulate. He knows what he wants and what he needs and communicate those issues very well.



September 16, 2008


If Fred does not get his housing back by October 1st, Fred will hold a Tent City at Jo-Anne Poirier’s office on October 2, Thursday at 10 a.m. at 39 Auriga Drive.

See for directions

The tent city will take place on October 2nd, Thursday at 10 a.m. if Fred does not get his housing by October 1st.

So we will let the press know in advance and please come out and support Fred if he sets up his tent city.

Bring a tent with you and join the tent city. We all need your support. If you have a guitar or musical instrument come out and join us too. We need to make some good music and let OCH know we will not stop fighting for Fred to get his Ottawa Community Housing back.

Bio on Fred Timms

September 15, 2008

Fred Timms is 56 years old. Fred lived in Ottawa Housing for 16 years at Ramsey Crescent until he was kicked to the curb by Ottawa Community Housing in March of this year for having too much stuff.

Fred is intelligent and articulate. Fred has glaucoma and eventually lost all of his sight.

Fred is fighting to get back into Ottawa Community Housing. Fred has lots of fight in him yet.

Don’t under estimate this man. He knows his rights and he will not give up on getting his Ottawa Community housing back.

He knows what he needs and wants and he lets everyone know who is willing to listen.

Fred has maintained his self respect and dignity while he has been homeless for over 61/2 months.

Fred Timms is one name very few people will ever forget about in Ottawa.

He is cordial, friendly, respectful and a loyal friend. A real nice man who is experiencing homelessness. Homelessness is a national disgrace.

Sit-in at Jo-Anne’s Poirier’s office on Monday, September 15th

September 11, 2008
Jo-Anne Poirier, CEO of Ottawa Community Housing

Jo-Anne Poirier, CEO of Ottawa Community Housing


Ottawa Community Housing Head Office – 39 Auriga Drive
Tel: 613-731-7223
Fax: 613-731-7637
for directions (see

CFRA radio host Lowell Green announces the Sit-in on Monday, September 15 at Jo-Anne Poirier’s office at 39 Auriga Drive in Ottawa. Thanks Lowell, that was a good public service announcement!

The Sit-in is happening this morning! Yes it is! Monday, September 15th – Fred and his supporters shall be there! You can bet on it!


September 15, 2008

Sit-in at Jo-Anne Poirier’s office, CEO of Ottawa Housing on Monday, September 15th.

Jo-Anne Porier has reneged on her promises to reinstate Fred Timms housing. Fred Timms is a blind homeless man who was kicked out of Ottawa Housing in March for having too much stuff


DATE: Monday, September 15th

PLACE: 39 Auriga Drive in Ottawa (Headquaters of Ottawa Community Housing) office of CEO Jo-Anne Poirier

TIME: 10:30 am to 2:30 p.m..

For information contact: Sue Clark-Wittenberg (613) 721-1833

Fred Timms website:

There will be a sit in at Jo-Anne Poirier’s office, CEO of Ottawa Community Housing on September 15 Monday from 10:30 to 2:30 p.m at 39 Auriga Drive to help get Fred Timms back his housing.

Fred Timms a blind homless man who lost his housing unit at 1065 Ramsey Crescent part of Ottawa Housing in March of this year for having too much stuff. Fred lived at Ramsey Crescent for over 16 years.

Jo-Anne Poirier agreed in a meeting on August 25th to co-operate with the recommendations of Andrew Kendall from the Housing Impact Team. Andrew Kendall later recommended Regina Towers for Fred Timms because he would have the support there that he needs in live independently. However, Jo-Anne is not following up on her promises.

Fred had a mediated agreement with Ottawa Housing and agreed to get rid of most of his stuff and move to Regina Towers on March l5th. The fire marshall was called a month early on February l5th and Ottawa Housing had evicted Fred on March 1st onto the curb and Fred became homeless. Fred has been homeless for over 6 1/2 months now.

Since May Fred has had many meetings with Ottawa Housing. One was with Michael Wilson former manager of the West End Division who is now on a year’s leave, and 2 meetings with the Jo-Anne Poirier, CEO of Ottawa Housing.

To date, nothing has been given to Fred to reinstate him back into Ottawa Community Housing.

Fred is still homeless and anxious to get housed. He wants a roof over his head again.

The sit in by Fred and his advocates and supporters at Jo-Anne Poirier’s office is to give Jo-Anne Poirier the message “stop stalling on Fred’s return to Ottawa Community Housing”, Enough is enough” and “we won’t quit until Fred has his housing back”. Housing is a right!

If Jo-Anne Poirier was homeless she would do something about it real quick I am sure! Fred has been homeless for over 6 1/2 months. Ottawa Community Housing needs to house Fred now! How unfair to treat Fred in this way, it sure is disgusting to say the least.

Fred pays $340. for his two storage rooms and only has $200. to live on.

Fred is running out of food now! If he was housed he could have his full pension and get over $900. and be in a better position financially. Winter is coming and Fred will soon be on the street. Everybody deserves a room over their head. Their own place to call home and to have their independence, and have their dignity.

We live in Canada a very cold place in the winter and winter is coming soon, it is just around the corner.

Sleeping on a cold sidewalk is not an ideal situation for anyone, but this will be Fred’s home soon, the mean streets of Ottawa. Ottawa is not a safe place anymore especially if you are sleeping outside at night.

No one deserves to be treated this way. His human rights are being denied here in a big way.

Fred’s situation is critical and should be treated as such.

Ottawa Community Housing, get your act together and let’s get Fred housed now! His quality of life depends on it.

Homelessness is a national disgrace and something should be done about it.

Don’t kick people to the curb Ottawa Community Housing. This is not your first unfair eviction by the way!

Nick at Night said it best – “Ottawa Community Housing is poorly adminstered”. I know Nick at Night is right!

As one song says “The heat is on”


UPDATE on the Sit-in

Advocates Jane Scharf and Sue Clark-Wittenberg showed up. Fred Timms was there. Sue’s huband Steven Wittenberg arrived at the OCH office also.

The sit-in started at 10:30 a.m. as scheduled.

Fred was interviewed by the media that morning. The media that showed up werre:

Scott Taylor from the Ottawa Sun

Tim Wieclawski from Metro News

Tony Spears from the Citizen

CFRA radio ran a news story on Fred

Roger Dubois from CBC tv

Sneh Dougall from the Carleton School of Journalism.

Thank you to all of the media for their support.

Fred, Jane, Sue and Steven made some noise by playing the harmonica, ringing bells, using a megaphone.

Jo-Anne Poirier came out to meet us for a few minutes and insisted she would call Andrew Kendall of the Housing Impact Team before his meeting with Fred the next day on Tuesday, September 16th.

If Fred does not get his housing by October 1st, Fred will pitch a tent city at the OCH headqaurters at 39Thursday October 2, 10 a.m. at 39 Auriga Drive, outside on the lawn and Fred will stay there until he gets his Ottawa Housing back either at 1065 Ramsey Cres or at 2651 Regina St (Regina Towers)

Will keep you posted at to what happens in Fred’s case.


August 27, 2008

August 27th -Fred will meet with Andrew Kendall of the Housing Impact Team on August 27th. Andrew will assess Fred’s needs for housing. Will keep you posted on what happens. Let’s hope that Fred gets housed as soon as possible.

Andrew Kendall spoke to Jo-Anne Poirier and she asked Andrew to send her a letter re the meeting between Fred and Andrew. Laurene Wagner informed Sue Clark-Wittenberg of this info. Laurene will keep Fred and Sue updated. Sue informed Laurene she will give OCH time to process all of this, but if it lags on too long without positive results in getting Fred his housing, the Fred Team will protest again at OCH until Fred is housed. Sue told Laurene that OCH broke the mediated agreement with Fred re his move to Regina and getting rid of his stuff by March 15th. Fred has been homeless for six months because of OCH.

September 3 – Fred and Sue Clark-Wittenberg will meet with Andrew Kendall. Will keep you posted as to what goes on at this meeting. Let’s hope that Fred gets housed soon! Fred and I met with Andrew. He is going to contact Jo-Anne Poirier CEO of Ottawa Housing.

September 5 – Fred bumped into Jo-Anne Poirier and she was going to meet with Andrew Kendall next week.

September 8th – I got an email from Jo-Anne Poirier which reads:

to sue clark <>
date Mon, Sep 8, 2008 at 7:25 AM
subject Re: Hello Jo-Anne
hide details 7:25 AM (4 hours ago)
Hello Sue, hope you had a nice weekend. When I ran into Fred, I advised him that we were meeting with Andrew Kendall this week to pursue options for support. We will keep you in the loop. Regards,

Jo-Anne Poirier
Chief Executive Officer
Chef de la direction
Phone: (613)-520-2271
Fax: (613)-731-6486

September 9, Tuesday – Andrew Kendall is supposed to meet with Jo-Anne Poirier.
September 11, Thuurday – Jo-Anne Poirier will call Sue at 1 p.m. Does she know about the sit-in, if she doesn’t – well Sue will let her know.
September 11, Thursday – Fred spoke to Andrew Kendall, Andrew will meet with Fred on Tuesday, September 16th.
September 11th, Thursday – Jo-Anne Poirier returns Sue’s call. Jo-Anne says that the media stories about her and the press release Sue does make Joanne feel like “Sue – it like you’re kicking me in the teeth” My husband overheard the phone call as I had it on speaker on. Jo-Anne says she is working with other community groups to try to help Fred. Jo-Anne told Sue she had contact with Canadian Mental Health Association that has the Housing Impact Team, Andrew Kenall is his worker there.
When I asked her if Ottawa Housing would reinstate him either to 1065 Ramsey or Regina Towers, she did not give me a definite answer. She said Andrew Kendall was very surprised in the press release that he suggested Regina Towers to Jo-Anne. I was at a meeting with Andrew and Fred and Fred insisted on being housed either places which are: 1065 Ramsey or at Regina Towers as was originally going to be his move. Fred agreed with what I said on the press release.
Jo-Anne then called Jane Scharf, Fred’s other advocate and she told Jo-Anne that she had plenty of time to look into Fred’s case and do something about it. Jane also told Jo-Anne that Fred is in a housing crisis.
Sue determines that Jo-Anne is passing the buck on trying to help Fred.
Sue says “Jo-Anne, pick up your socks and treat Fred fairly and give him back his housing now – reinstate him either at 1065 Ramsey Crescent or at Regina Towers now!
September 15th, Monday – Sit-in at Joanne Poirier’s office at 39 Auriga Drive in Ottawa from 10:30 a.m to 2:30 p.m. Let’s see what happens. This should be a very interesting day to say the least.
September 16th – Tuesday, Fred meets with Andrew Kendall at 10 a.m.
Let’s see what happens, will keep you posted!

Will keep you posted on any other further developments on Fred Timms case.

Enough is enough Ottawa Housing.


August 26, 2008



see for directions – off Dumaurier Ave which is off Pinecrest Rd





UPDATE – Fred’s meeting with OCH Monday, August 25th

August 26, 2008



Fred and some of his supporters showed up at the Ottawa Community Housing head office at 39 Auriga Drive in Ottawa on Monday, August 25th at 1 p.m.

In attendance were: Fred Timms, Sue Clark-Wittenberg; advocate, Jane Scharf; advocate, Steven Wittenberg; husband of Sue and one of Fred’s supporter, Ron another supporter, Liz another supporter and Amanda, Jane’s grand daughter.

The Ottawa Housing (OCH) had in attendance, CEO of Ottawa Housing; Jo-Anne Poirier, Denise Dupuy, West End Manager, Loreen Wagner; lawyer, and Steve Clay of the Caldwell office.

Jane brought up the long delays in getting Fred any real housing and that Fred has been in agreement with OCH to get his stuff out of his apartment before March l5th when he would be transferred to Regina Towers.

Fred said he was fed up of going from couch to couch to live and wanted to have stable housing, permanent housing and he should never have been evicted from 1065 Ramsey in the first place.

Sue Clark-Wittenberg brought up the issue that housing Fred was an urgent matter that needed to be dealt with as soon as possible.

Jane said that Fred had applied to the Housing Registry.

Jo-Anne brought up the housing resource called “Housing Impact Team” that deals with homeless people and tries to get them the accommodation they want and assesses their needs to suit them to the housing that would be most appropriate for them.

Jane told Jo-Anne she wanted this contact with Housing Impact Team to be expedited. Denise Dupuy called Andrew Kendall who works for the Team and he will speak to Fred Tuesday August 26th in the morning by phone.

The protest is still on for Fred on Tuesday, August 26 at 1065 Ramsey from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

That being said, Fred wants his housing soon and will talk to Andrew Kendall.

For info on the protest call Sue Clark-Wittenberg at 613-721-1833

Fred and his supporters will not stop fighting until Fred is housed. Fred will soon be on the street with nowhere to go. This blind man needs to be housed immediately. Fred has been homeless for over 5 months. No one should have to go through this.

Let’s hope the Housing Impact Team and with the help of Ottawa Housing give Fred a home to live in.

Housing is a right!

Thank you for your support

August 25, 2008

Thank you for all of your support. The support has come from the media and the public. Thank you to for posting our press releases. It is very much appreciated.

The more support Fred gets the sooner Fred will be housed and with your help we can do that!

Homelessness is a national disgrace

August 24, 2008

Commentary by Sue Clark-Wittenberg

Why are there so many people in Canada homeless like Fred Timms? The governments do not put enough money into affordable housing and the housing that is funded in many times is not administered the right way.

In Fred’s case the administrators at Ottawa Community Housing lacked a vision with pertaining to such problems as how to deal with hoarding issues and how to assist someone with those issues and support them rather than throwing them to the curb which has happened. Evicting Fred has given Fred more problems that he had when he was housed with Ottawa Housing i.e. nowhere to live, feeling of insecurity, more depression, anxiety, feelings of hopelessness at times.

Canada is wealthy country and yet we have homeless people dying on our city streets in the winter, the homeless shelters in the winter are often filled to capacity, and the governments in many cases turns a blind eye to the most vulnerable people in our society.

I was homeless in Ottawa and Toronto and lived in homeless shelters for a time. Shelters are only a band aid solution to peoples’ real need of having their own home.

Fred is very courageous to stand up to Ottawa Housing. He has been treated unfairly and he says he will fight as long as it takes. Way to go Fred! Fred has a strong spirit and he is angry at how he has been treated.

Fred is a gentleman and kind. After 5 months of being homeless, he has retained his dignity and self respect and his pride. Ottawa Housing could not take that away from him.

He is a very intelligent man and knows what he wants and can articulate that very well. I believe few people will ever forget Fred Timms’ name. He is warrior in his own right, one to be commended for surviving Ottawa’s Housing’s unethical and uncaring attitude towards him. He is a strong person with lots of fight left in him yet.

Don’t under estimate Fred, he says it the way it is and knows what to do to get his housing. It won’t be long until Fred is housed. You can bet on it!

A poem about homelessness

August 24, 2008

Man of The Street–A Poem About Homelessness

by anonymous

Did you see the man standing in the middle of the street?
The one with the sign.
It says “Will Work for Food”

I barely caught a glimpse if him as I drove right by.
I pass by him often, not really giving much thought.
Car after car passes by also.
I’m thankful for what little I’ve got.

Yet, I still do wonder about that man standing there.
Why day after day he looks motionless,
probably wondering if anyone will stop to care.
Then one day I noticed out of the corner of my eye.
A stranger threw some change at him,
Quarters, nickels and dimes.
Quickly he bent over to pick up the mess,
hastily picking up what he could, and leaving the rest.

He stood back up and stretched out his back.
He looked to the sky to see the clouds turning black.
A downpour soon followed, yet he didn’t leave his spot.
That day I again passed him being thankful for what little I’ve got.

He still stood there with his sign “Will Work for Food”
More cars drove by some making gestures that were awfully rude.
The water splashed upon him as the puddles around him grew deep.

His clothes were so soaked; his shoes were we as well right down to his feet.
Yet he still remained there, and when the sun came out,
He wiped off his sign, and he faced due south.
That was the time I left a parking lot, looking for an
alternate way out.

There he was standing there, his face was so sad.
Again, I was thankful for what little I had.
As I waited for my turn at the light up ahead,
somehow he caught my attention; it was a moment I wouldn’t forget.

For it wasn’t a man at all but a woman, her face was red.
I thought it was from the sun, then I looked closer then to myself I said,
“She’s crying. What has happened to this world?”
“Doesn’t anyone show compassion? This woman’s dignity has been totally unfurled!”
I decided to act, and I couldn’t let this go on.
I got her attention, because this whole thing was just so wrong.

I pulled off to the side, and she came slowly up to me.
She explained that she is a single mother of three
She just lost her job, and there’s no-one to help.
She hasn’t anyone really, just her kids and herself.
I asked where they are staying. She said they live in a shack.
It was an abandoned building on the north side of the tracks.

I told her it’s not safe to stay there. She said, “What should I do?”
“My kids are all hungry, and there’s no money for food.”
I convinced her to come and get a bite to eat.
I hoped I could help get her and her kids off the street.
I placed a few calls, and not too long after that
a woman from the local shelter met us at the restaurant.
and soon drove with the lady from the street to show her where the kids were at.

When I look at that corner now where the woman once stood,
I wonder who will be next holding a sign made of wood. (Maybe me?)
I never saw that woman again, and I hope she knows she taught me a lot.
And I am still thankful for what little I’ve got.