Do you want to find solutions to social issues? Be informed and get involved: become a member of the Social Planning Council of K-W. As a member, you will be kept informed of our activities and about what is happening in the community. Members are invited to provide input and take leadership on issues. Members can vote at our Annual General Meeting and sit on our Board of Directors to guide the future of the organization. Fees vary for individuals and organizations. Complete the membership form here.
Continue reading to find out what residents of Waterloo Region said about the role of a non-government organization such as ours that helps people work on social issues in our community (2014 Omnibus Survey Preliminary Results, PMG Intelligence).
The Social Planning Council continually reaches out to the community to discuss social issues and to get input to validate our understanding of issues. In Fall 2014, a region wide survey was done with 752 residents to better understand what issues are important and, to find out if residents believed it is important having a local non-government organization such as ours that engages people around social issues (2014 Omnibus Survey Preliminary Results, PMG Intelligence).
People told us the most important issues in the community are:
- Homelessness and poverty,
- Growing income inequality,
- Citizen participation in decision making,
- Access to information about where to find helpful services.
These were rated as “very important” by more than 40% of respondents and as "somewhat important" by over 30%.
Most respondents agree (77%) it is important to have a local non-government organization that can help people act on the social issues we face in our community.
The most valued services this organization should provide to the community were:
- Resource centre where people can get help (85%)
- Training and education (68%)
- Community Information services by phone, internet and in person (63%)
- Community forums and other ways for the public to get involved (61%)
- Communication to keep people updated on important issues, e.g. newsletters, social media (58%)
- Consultation to groups wanting to take action (54%)
- Taking a lead on identifying and addressing social issues (52%)
- Anticipating future community needs (52%)
- Social research (51%)
- Community reporting (42%)
- Incubator space for new groups (34%)
This input has validated the work we do and the role we play in the community. We are doing a more fulsome analysis of this data and additional comments that were made and will be reporting back to our membership how we will be using what has been learned to plan our services for the future.
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Survey Respondent Profile
Out of 752 people surveyed, 79 % resided in KW, 14 % in Cambridge, and 8 % in the townships. The average age of respondents was 52 years, with all ages were represented from under 25 (7%) to over 75 years (8%). The greatest number of those surveyed work full time (42%) or are retired (26%). Nine percent are employed part time and 11% are unemployed and not seeking work due to different reasons such as being a homemaker or having a disability. Four percent of respondents are students. Over half (53%) of respondents have a college or university degree. Women make up 65% of the respondents and 90% report their ethnicity as Caucasian. The distribution of respondents by household income (before taxes) is as follows:
Up to $40,000 - 19%
$40,000 to $80,000 - 34%
$80,000 - $100,000 - 18%
$100,000 - $150,000 - 6%
$150,000 and over - 4%