About the Unified Support Centre (USC)

The Unified Support Centre (USC) is a volunteer-based space consisting of the Food Centre, an on-campus food support and advocacy service, and Foot Patrol, a safe walk and safety-oriented service. 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’s operational hours are:

Dedicated Food Hamper Retrieval: 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM on weekdays*

Foot Patrol Services: 6:00 PM – 2:00 AM, 7 days a week

*Food hampers may also be retrieved during Foot Patrol service hours.

The USC is dedicated to creating an accessible, no-questions-asked, same-evening intake housing support service exclusively for Carleton University students.

Please help us make student housing support at Carleton University a reality by supporting our FutureFunder campaign!

Food Centre Services

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

Are you experiencing food insecurity? The Emergency Essentials Assistance Program provides food hampers to students in need and offers both a pick-up and delivery option (depending on class schedule and residential location).

To request a hamper, students must complete the electronic Hamper Request Form. Students requesting a food hamper for the first time must also complete the electronic Food Bank Intake Form, as this information is required by the Ottawa Food Bank. Additionally, students requesting a hamper delivery must submit a Delivery Approval Form.

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 after receiving your second hamper for the month.

Food 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!

Food hampers must be requested 24 hours prior to pick up through the Hamper Request Form. Students can retrieve their hampers from University Centre 314 during dedicated USC hamper retrieval hours from 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM on weekdays, or during Foot Patrol service hours from 6:00 PM – 2:00 AM.

Food Hamper Deliveries

To enable us to accommodate all delivery requests, food 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 your hamper for pick-up on that day of the week! To verify your eligibility, please submit 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. Delivery requests must be submitted before noon on the day prior to the scheduled delivery. Deliveries occur in four-hour windows. Please be prepared to retrieve your food hamper during your scheduled delivery time.

The USC Food Centre also holds food drives and other food-related initiatives and events to support the Ottawa Food Bank, 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. Safe walk services are available during our operational hours, seven days a week from 6:00 PM to 2:00 AM.

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 from 6:00 PM to 2:00 AM seven days a week!

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.

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 email us a completed First Aid Kit Sign Out Form at usc@cusaonline.ca or drop by the USC office located at 314 University Centre during any of 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 in the same condition as you acquired it on or before the agreed upon return date!

At this time, the USC requires events to be approved by Carleton University’s Risk Management Committee to offer its Guardian Program Event Team service.

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.

The USC organizes semesterly ASIST courses for the Carleton community, taught by Breanna Pizzuto and Jenny Jackson from Talk Tools Training.

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 Unified Support Centre’s programs are made possible by a dedicated team of volunteers. Volunteers help out during in-person shifts and/or as Volunteer Drivers. Fill out the USC Volunteer Interest Form, email us at usc@cusaonline.ca, or drop by our office in University Centre 314 during any of our operational hours to get involved!

The application process involves obtaining a Vulnerable Sector (Level 3) record check, signing a USC 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). Volunteers are expected to commit to one recurring four hour shift a week, and are welcome to help out more!

USC Volunteers are offered discounted or free (depending on the course!) training courses, 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 licence, access to a car, and are willing to help deliver food hampers to their destination? Reach out to us to join our Volunteer Driver team today!


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 – Full-time 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!

Office Hours

M: 2-10pm
T: 2-10pm
W: 10am-6pm
TH: 10am-6pm
F: 10am-6pm

Alana Machaffie – Volunteer Coordinator

Growing up in Waterloo, Alana hoped to move to a slightly bigger city as she got older, so moving to Ottawa to attend Carleton was a no-brainer! She’s currently heading into her fourth year of her Bachelor’s in Criminology and Criminal Justice, and volunteered with Foot Patrol for three years before being hired as the USC Volunteer Coordinator in the summer of 2021. When she’s not working or studying, she enjoys playing video games and spending time with her cats!

Office Hours

T: 10pm-2am
W: 6pm-2am
SUN: 6pm-2am

Liam Callaghan – Operations Coordinator

Liam joined Foot Patrol in his first year to get involved, meet new people, and help out where he could. Seven amazing years and one Criminology and Criminal Justice degree later, he’s happy to have contributed to the Foot Patrol team as both a volunteer and its Administrative Coordinator! As Liam finishes up his Master of Arts in Legal Studies this year, he is dedicated to further supporting the Carleton community as the USC Operations Coordinator.

Office Hours

W: 6-8pm
F: 6pm-2am
SAT: 6pm-2am
SUN: 11am-7pm

*Work from home


Unified Support Centre
314 University Centre
1125 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa, ON K1S 5B6