About the Unified Support Centre (USC)

The Unified Support Centre (USC) is a volunteer-based space consisting of the Food Centre service cluster, providing on-campus food support and advocacy, and the Foot Patrol service cluster, offering evening-focused safety related supports. The USC strives to offer direct, timely, and substantive support to the Carleton community. Check out our services or apply to join our amazing volunteer team below! Links to common USC forms can also be found at linktr.ee/usc_cusa

The USC offers all services from 2:00 PM – 2:00 AM on weekdays and 6:00 PM – 2:00 AM on weekends.

Food Centre Services

Food-related support and programming to help alleviate and address food insecurity at Carleton University.

Are you experiencing food insecurity? The USC provides hampers of food and essentials to students in need, offering both a pick-up and delivery option.

To request a hamper, students must complete the electronic Hamper Request Form. Students requesting a hamper for the first time must also complete the electronic Food Bank Intake Form, as this information is required by the Ottawa Food Bank. The USC suggests submitting your request between 36 and 72 hours before the desired pickup or delivery time to ensure an up-to-date item selection.

Students are limited to two hampers per month under the Emergency Essentials Assistance Program’s standard support. If that is insufficient to meet your basic needs, please complete the Enhanced Assistance Request Form anytime after receiving your second hamper from the USC in the last 60 days.

Hamper Pickups

If you can pick up your hamper, please do so! It helps reduce our volunteer drivers’ workload. Students living within a 30 minute walking distance of campus are expected to retrieve their food hamper from the USC unless they are actively quarantining or require accessibility-related accommodations. If you would like to borrow a collapsible cart to transport your hamper’s contents, please let us know when you retrieve your hamper!

Hampers of food and essentials must be requested at least 24 hours prior to pick up through the Hamper Request Form. Students can retrieve their hampers from University Centre 314 during the USC’s operational hours from 2:00 PM – 2:00 AM on weekdays and 6:00 PM to 2:00 AM on weekends. 

Hamper Deliveries

To enable us to accommodate all delivery requests, hamper deliveries are restricted to students that do not have an in-person class that ends after 2:00 PM. If you attend an in-person class in the afternoon, please schedule a hamper pick-up on that day of the week! To verify your eligibility, the USC requires the submission of a Delivery Approval Form once per semester prior to requesting a hamper delivery.

Once you are approved for deliveries, please select the delivery option in the Hamper Request Form. A Tuesday afternoon delivery can be requested between Thursday at 12:01 PM and Monday at 12:00 noon. A Friday afternoon delivery can be requested between Monday at 12:01 PM and Thursday at 12:00 noon. Please be prepared to retrieve your hamper of food and essentials during your scheduled delivery time; our drivers will contact you when you are next on their route.

The USC Food Centre holds food drives and other food-related initiatives and events to support its Emergency Essentials Assistance Program, offers food-related educational programming such as food preparation events, and increases awareness of the presence of food insecurity and poverty in our community.

Foot Patrol Services

Evening and safety-related supports to ensure that all students feel comfortable on and off campus.

Want some company or feeling unsafe heading home in the evenings? Call (613) 520-4066 or drop by our office to request a safe walk and two of our volunteers will be happy to walk with you anywhere on campus and up to 1 hour off campus. We can also accompany you on OC Transpo buses and light rail. The Safe Walk service is available during our operational hours from 2:00 PM to 2:00 AM on weekdays and 6:00 PM to 2:00 AM on weekends.

If you’re uncomfortable with being accompanied by two USC Foot Patrol volunteers in uniform, we can still help. Just ask us for a plainclothes safe walk and we’ll remove our vests and utility pack.

Prefer not to walk with two volunteers? Off-campus in a sketchy neighbourhood? The Walk and Talk line offers an alternative to the USC’s safe walk service by giving you the option to chat with a USC volunteer over the phone until you reach your destination. Give us a call at (613) 520-4449 during our operational hours from 2:00 PM to 2:00 AM on weekdays and 6:00 PM to 2:00 AM on weekends!

Organizing an event, a trip, or a personal outing? Don’t have a first aid kit to bring with you? The USC offers first aid kits to any Carleton University student or group that wants to borrow one for up to a month at a time.

Choose between the small, car, standard, daypack, compact, and survival backpack kits, each with a different inventory and size to match your needs, by viewing the Borrow a First Aid Kit Inventory List. To sign out a kit, please complete the Borrow a First Aid Kit Request Form or drop by the USC office in 314 University Centre during our operational hours!

The service is free, though we do require a $10 or $20 deposit depending on the kit you choose (this can be waived in exceptional circumstances). The deposit is returned whether first aid supplies are used or not, all we ask is that you return the kit itself and any multi-use kit supplies in the same condition that you acquired it on or before the agreed upon return date!

The USC Foot Patrol’s Guardian Program can attend larger (usually off-campus) events to provide support and direction to attendees, help ensure all individuals return home safely event, and offer planning, organizational, and safety related advice to event organizers if desired (we’ve been to a lot of events, we can advise on what works/doesn’t).

Guardian Program team members are selected from USC volunteers who have shown the greatest degree of commitment, responsibility, and ability to remain focused in stressful situations. Guardian teams can be requested to wear professional or casual dress and all Guardian Program volunteers are Standard First Aid and CPR/AED C trained. Please note that Foot Patrol Guardian teams are not to be used to replace security or a dedicated medical first responder team and will not physically intervene in confrontational situations.

A Guardian Program event team can be booked without charge by organizers of any event involving Carleton University students (it does not need to be an official event occurring through Carleton University). The event does not need to occur during our operational hours. We request that organizers contact us a week in advance to book an event team. We will do our best to accommodate requests on shorter notice but cannot guarantee our attendance.

Please note that regular USC Foot Patrol teams can also be booked to attend or drop by smaller (usually on-campus) events to offer safe walks and/or information on the USC, as requested by event organizers.

Additional Services and Initiatives

The USC offers a variety of additional initiatives to support the well-being of the Carleton community.

The USC operates two locked, self-serve phone charging stations located at the fourth floor University Centre and at Tory Tunnel Junction. Contact us at 613-520-4066, usc@cusaonline.ca, or by dropping by our office in University Centre 314 if you experience any issues with either device! 

Please note that the Carleton University Students’ Association (CUSA), the Unified Support Centre (USC), and Carleton University are not liable for any lost, damaged, or inoperable devices resulting from use of the CBL-008W phone chargers.

The USC audits and restocks all CUSA first aid kits on a bi-annual basis, ensuring all CUSA service centres, offices, and businesses have a stocked and accessible first aid kit. Please contact us at usc@cusaonline.ca if a CUSA first aid kit does not contain an item listed on the kit inventory list located on the inside of the lid.

ASIST is a comprehensive, two day course consisting of audiovisuals, discussions, and simulations designed to teach you how to help someone with thoughts or plans of suicide. You will learn how to recognize signs of suicide, provide a skilled intervention, and develop a safety plan to help someone choose to stay alive. The ASIST framework, and its instructors, are regulated by LivingWorks.

Members of the Carleton community can register for an upcoming course by completing the ASIST Registration Form! Please email the USC team at usc@cusaonline.ca with any inquiries. 

USC Foot Patrol teams patrol campus in the evenings. Don’t hesitate to say hi or request a safe walk!

The USC completes semesterly safety surveys of the interior and exterior of Carleton University, reporting hazards and other safety issues to Carleton University’s Joint Health and Safety Committee, Facilities Management and Planning, and Campus Safety Services through a comprehensive, itemized list.

Please note that Carleton University’s Joint Health and Safety Committee is primarily responsible for ensuring the safety of Carleton University’s campus. The USC conducts our semesterly safety surveys to provide a student-oriented perspective of campus conditions, using our volunteer base to identify and raise awareness of a variety of potential hazards. We encourage any member of the Carleton University community to submit on-campus health and safety concerns to Carleton University’s CU Worksafe Guest Portal’s Good Catch Report.

The USC distributes a variety of visibility, safety, and school related supplies and informational materials with the support of our partners at DrinkSmart and Safer Roads Ottawa. Interested in a mini-first aid kit, snap on visibility bracelets, or some extra highlighters? Drop by our office during our operational hours! Please note that available items may change over time.

Join Us!

All of the USC’s services are made possible by a dedicated team of In-Office and Volunteer Driver volunteers. Fill out the USC Volunteer Interest Form, email us at usc@cusaonline.ca, or drop by our office in University Centre 314 during our operational hours to get involved!

The application process involves obtaining a Vulnerable Sector (Level 3) record check, signing a USC In-Office Volunteer Contract, and completing a half-day training session. The USC staff will help you through each step of the process – please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions!

Volunteer shifts occur from 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM (on weekdays), 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM (7 days a week), and 10:00 PM – 2:00 AM (7 days a week) during the academic year. During the summer semesters, volunteer shifts occur from 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM and 8:00 PM – 12:00 midnight, 7 days a week. Volunteers are expected to commit to one recurring four hour shift a week of their choice and are welcome to help out more!

USC Volunteers are offered discounted or free training courses (depending on the course), the opportunity to win monthly prizes, and volunteer appreciation events. Sign up today and meet an amazing team of fellow students!

Have a driver’s license, access to a car, and a willingness to help deliver hampers of food and essentials to students in need? Reach out to us to join our Volunteer Driver team today!

Volunteer Driver applicants are asked to obtain a Vulnerable Sector (Level 3) record check, sign a USC Volunteer Driver Contract, and complete a 45 minute training session prior to joining the team.

Volunteer Driver shifts generally occur on Tuesday and Friday afternoons. Volunteer drivers are required to complete a minimum of two shifts per month and must schedule their shifts prior to the beginning of the month.

In addition to being offered discounted or free training courses (depending on the course), the opportunity to win monthly prizes, and volunteer appreciation events, volunteer drivers are reimbursed for their gas expenses and receive a $150 honorarium upon completing eight delivery routes at the end of a four-month semester.

Support Us

The USC is in constant need of food and monetary donations to maintain and expand operational capacity. Every contribution helps us support the Carleton community!

The USC distributes both non-perishable and perishable food, personal hygiene items, feminine hygiene products, and safer sex supplies to students in need. 

Donations are always welcome and can be dropped off at the USC office (314 University Centre) at any point during our operational hours from 2:00 PM – 2:00 AM on weekdays and 6:00 PM – 2:00 AM on weekends. For large donations that are only available for pick-up, please contact usc@cusaonline.ca.

The USC is constantly in need of the following non-perishable items:

  • Canned Soups (non-vegetarian & vegetarian)
  • Broth (non-vegetarian & vegetarian)
  • Canned Beans (both baked beans and unseasoned)
  • Canned Chilli 
  • Pasta Sauce
  • Dry Lentils or Beans
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Canned Vegetables
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrushes
  • Shampoo
  • Floss
  • Pads

Please note that we’re unable to accept the following items due to food safety concerns and allergy risks:

  • Chilled items that have been stored at room temperature
  • Expired perishable food and essentials
  • Expired non-perishable items that are more than one (1) month past their date of expiration
  • Unsealed or partially used donations (i.e. an open box of rice or a punctured bag of pasta)
  • Unsealed perishable donations (i.e. a takeout contained from a restaurant)

Monetary support helps the USC offer, upgrade, and develop the diverse set of services that our team offers 7 days a week!

The USC has partnered with Carleton University’s Department of University Advancement to hold an Emergency Essentials Assistance Program Support Fund FutureFunder crowdfunding campaign for donors interested in supporting the USC’s efforts to minimize food insecurity on campus. Donations made through the FutureFunder portal are eligible for a charitable tax receipts.

Donors that wish to support another USC service or who do not wish to use FutureFunder may provide the funds directly, though the USC is unable to provide a charitable tax receipt at this time (a standard receipt is provided upon request). To make a direct donation to the USC, please send the funds by:

  • e-Transfer to neeharika.saha@cusaonline.ca
  • Cash delivered to the Unified Support Centre office during our operational hours
  • Cheque, addressed to:
    • Neeharika Saha
      Carleton University Students’ Association, Unified Support Centre
      314 University Centre
      1125 Colonel By Drive
      Ottawa, ON K1S 5B6

Please include a note indicating which USC service cluster (Food Centre or Foot Patrol) to support using the funds.

Donors seeking to pioneer or support the development of specific initiatives are asked to contact the USC staff team at usc@cusaonline.ca to discuss their options!


The USC is always interested to hear your feedback! USC Feedback Form responses are anonymous, and will only be read by the USC staff members. If you’d like to reach out to the USC directly, please email us at usc@cusaonline.ca.

Other Safety, Crisis, and Support Resources

Campus Safety Services:

  • 24-Hour Emergency line: 613-520-4444 (4444 from any campus phone)
  • 24-Hour Non-Emergency line: 613-520-3612 (3612 from any campus phone)
  • carleton.ca/safety

Ottawa Police Service

  • Emergency: 911
  • Non-Emergency: 613 236-1222 
  • Victim Crisis Unit: 613-236-1222 ext.5822 
  • www.ottawapolice.ca

Ottawa Food Bank Assistance

The USC’s Crisis and Support Resources Guide offers a convenient list of both on and off-campus resources available to Carleton students and the greater Ottawa community.

Resources are divided by category, and each resource’s hours and contact information have been previously verified. Please note that resources were verified by Foot Patrol pre-COVID-19, therefore this information may not be currently accurate.

For questions, comments, concerns, or to suggest a resource for a future version of this guide, please contact usc@cusaonline.ca or leave anonymous feedback through our Resource Guide Suggestion Form.

Neeharika “Neeni” Saha – USC Services Fulfillment & Development Administrator

Neeni was born in India, grew up in China and Dubai, and moved to Ottawa to complete an Economics degree with a Minor in Business Administration at Carleton University. She joined Foot Patrol as a volunteer in 2018, was hired as the Foot Patrol Volunteer Coordinator in the summer of 2020, and assumed the Food Centre Administrative Coordinator role in summer 2021. Having worked to integrate both spaces into the USC, Neeni is excited to build on existing frameworks to continue developing support services for students. She hopes to see you at the USC soon!

Laura Brown – Volunteer Coordinator

Laura joined the Carleton Community in 2018 to pursue her Bachelor of Business Commerce with a minor in Japanese. She began volunteering at the Unified Support Centre (USC) in September of 2021, was offered a Sentinel volunteer leader position in January 2022, and obtained the Volunteer Coordinator role in the Summer of 2022! Her love for traveling, learning languages, and creating new, fun experiences has been a focus throughout her academic and professional journey so far, and she looks forward to enhancing the USC’s volunteer community through a variety of initiatives! When she’s not working or studying, Laura enjoys spending time with friends, watching TV, baking, cooking, and playing video games

Liam Callaghan – Operations Coordinator

Liam joined Foot Patrol in his first year to get involved, meet new people, and help out where he could. Eight amazing years and two degrees later, he’s happy to have contributed to the Foot Patrol team as both a volunteer and its Administrative Coordinator and he is dedicated to further supporting the Carleton community as the USC Operations Coordinator!


Unified Support Centre
314 Nideyinàn (formerly UC)
1125 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa, ON K1S 5B6