Disability & Resilience Virtual Celebration

Nov 19 2020

UN Day 2020

December 3rd 2020, UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities online celebration: Disability, Poverty and Resilience. How are people with disabilities coping during the pandemic? More importantly, what can we learn from their experiences before and during COVID to help us cope as a community when facing income, housing and food insecurity, isolation and lack of safety. Please RSVP to get the link and phone number to join the conversation at 11am on Wednesday, Thursday 3rd. Disabilities and Human Rights group is continuing the tradition of making each individual experience count withing the larger social and systemic context. 

Neighbourhood Exchange 2020

Nov 18 2020

conversationsThis year, neighbours  ‘zoomed’ together on Sunday, November 15th in an interactive online celebration that recognized how neighbourhoods created community connections with health and safety in mind through an unpredictable year.  Neighbours also discussed ways to continue creating connections and imagined what their neighbourhoods will be like as we move into a future of possibility.  A new “Neighbours Exchange” program was part of this year’s Festival Of Neighbourhoods celebration (see videos!); two neighbours from different areas of the city were matched to take each other on short walking tours of their respective neighbourhoods and their experiences were shared as part of the online gathering. Read more in the Media Release about the 27th Annual Celebration.  

Transforming Responses to Homelessness

Nov 12 2020

Medical Student's Days of ActionSocial Development Centre and Unsheltered Campaign groups supported Days of Action 2021, annual advocacy initiative of the McMaster's School of Medicine. You can read more in the two-pager outlining the final asks to all municipal councils in the region, as well as the full background paper. The student group met with a total of 13 councillors to discuss these asks and to raise awareness of the needs of the housing-insecure populations. Currently, Region of Waterloo staff and regional partners are holding consultation sessions to transform the system responses to homelessness and we will again make a case that lived experience voices have the most intimate and intricate knowledge of current obstacles and future solutions and need to be integrated into the planning process.

Virtual Festival Celebration Nov 15

Oct 16 2020

2020 CelebrationThe 2020 Annual Festival Of Neighbourhoods Celebration is coming on Sunday, November 15th, beginning at 1:00pm!

Festival Of Neighbourhoods invites you to share your activities and ways to remain inclusive and engage your neighbourhood both on and offline. You can fill out the online RSVP form at or email allison.brown@waterlooregion.org with your ideas.

Unsheltered - Needs and Choices

Oct 1 2020

Slide presentation on Unsheltered needsThe first virtual forum on Affordable Housing and Homelessness, titled Everyone deserves a place to call home, was hosted by Wellbeing Waterloo Region and partners, including the Social Development Centre. Unsheltered Campaign has grown out of the pandemic community response to fill the gaps in needs of the homeless who remain outside of the shelter system. The forum recording is available now, but for now, take a look at the slides presented by the community advocate Heather Majaury and listen to the Unsheltered Testimonies played at the openingo of the conversation. To get in touch with the Unsheltered Campaign team email unshelteredcampaign@gmail.com or visit Civic Hub Waterloo Region website. More Unsheltered Testimonies can be found at this page.

AGM 2020 Grassroots Connection October 14

Sep 4 2020

2020 AGM2019 was a year of adaptation and moving forward. In July, the Civic Hub was launched, we started the Oral History project on gentrification and displacement, supported Waterloo Region Multicultural Connection & sense-making process with the Wellbeing WR survey, and started inviting lived experience groups to collaborate and work together. 

2019 Activity Report - 2019 Financial Report - 2020 Activity Update 

Join the Virtual AGM with Big Blue Button platform (orientation at a glance) or let Lesley@waterlooregion.org know if you would be coming in person to the Civic Hub WR, proper distancing and precautions taken.

Multimedia Specialist to join 27th Annual Celebration

Aug 24 2020

Annual Celebration MultimediaKitchener’s Festival of Neighbourhoods team is seeking a candidate with experience in creation of audio/visual promotional material to assist in planning, hosting and disseminating stories about neighbourthood activities and gatherings during the pandemic for the first online Festival of Neighbourhoods Annual Celebration to happen on November 15, 2020. 

Ontario Trillum Update

Aug 5 2020

For individuals filing after the June 1, 2020 deadline, the Ontario government decided not to pay the July - Sept benefits on 2018 tax return.  The sales tax portion of the benefit was paid in July.  For individuals, that amount would be $313.  The energy (rent) and property tax portion will not be paid until the 2019 tax return is filed.  The 2019 return must be filed by Sept 30, 2020 or other provincial benefits such as Ontario portion of Canada Child benefit will be cut off.

We Can Do Better for Unsheltered in the Region

Jul 31 2020

Petition on 24hr emergency shelters

Our community is coming together to support people living outside, in encampments or in unsafe locations, without access to water, washrooms, or appropriate care during the pandemic and current hot weather. Of course, we have to do better. This is the letter the members of the Unsheltered Campaign have sent to all the councillors in the region. Will you raise your voice so all residents who were negatively impacted by income insecurity, lack of affordable housing, trauma and marginalization, can find a place, with the people they trust, to call home?

Recent actions taken by the Region of Waterloo, City of Kitchener ByLaw Enforcement, Regional Police Services and community partners:

Equity in Bill 184

Jul 21 2020

Homes 4 AllThe coalition of lived experience groups in the Waterloo Region appreciate the opportunity to share our views and submit the following comments and recommendations to the proposed Bill 184. With the changes brought on by COVID-19, we are the most vulnerable, lack financial supports, at high risk to meet rent payments and in constant fear of eviction. Prior to COVID-19, the housing crisis in the region posed a major concern, and the pandemic has further exacerbated the conditions. These constant stressors contribute to poor mental health and other health conditions that add costs to the economy by pushing more residents into homelessness and hosuing precarity. We need equity in the legislation that provides needed protections for tenants, as well as for landlords. Read our suggestions below and our response.