Merit Ottawa

Our work

We’re the educators, social workers, first responders, community services professionals, health care providers, faith leaders and counsellors actively working in Ottawa. We meet at the MERIT table to identify and address concerns that threaten the safety of the individuals, families, neighbourhoods and communities we serve.


Avert crisis and support individuals who are escalating their behaviour

Reduce the risk of harm, victimization and criminality

Improve prioritization of local community safety, social and health-related services

Mobilize and coordinate resources

Increase knowledge and awareness of social needs and solutions

Expand to other high-risk neighbourhoods in Ottawa

Add new partnerships

MERIT is the vehicle that brings specialists and community services together in a situation table model to address problems before they lead to a crisis situation. We administer and coordinate initiatives, provide training and develop tools to help partners share information and allocate resources.

Our approach


MERIT partners meet when required to discuss situations of elevated risk or where risk is high for harm and where early intervention might benefit an individual, family or community. Together, we discuss situations and highlight trends, gaps, system-level barriers and best practices to improve service delivery to vulnerable and at-risk populations.


MERIT partners bring forward individual cases that may require assistance from two or more agencies. If our discussion reveals that a multi-sectoral lens is required to address the situation, we combine our knowledge and expertise to assess the issue, stage interventions and find solutions.


Our work is highly confidential, so a person or family at risk remains anonymous at the table. If partners agree that an intervention is needed, we share minimal information to identify the services needed.


Next, we build an intervention team to create a plan to help the individual or family within 24 to 48 hours. Only agencies that have a direct role will participate in the intervention team and share personal information.


Our intervention team then meets with the individual or family to offer the services and supports needed to address the concern.


Started in 2016 as a pilot project, MERIT is Ottawa’s first situation table initiative.

Situation tables are created by bringing together professionals from various sectors and services to help people who are at high risk of crime, victimization or criminalization find the help they need.

Our partner agencies

Visit Our partners for a list of the agencies and professionals who sit at the MERIT tables.