Care and Precautions for Unsheltered NOW

Petition on 24hr emergency shelters

We Can Do Better is a letter that followed an email campaign in Waterloo Region to support and sanction homeless encampments until we create homes for all, July 15 2020. 

We need a fighting chance for our unsheltered residents, Press Release April 11, 2020.

Find out more about the UNSHELTERED CAMPAIGN for temporary 24/7 emergency alternative shelters now: As a part of the Community Support Control Group’s pandemic response, all shelters in the region are open 24/7 and the A.R. Kaufman YMCA in Kitchener expended its daytime activities into overnight space so people can shelter in place. Currently, to counter the spread of the virus among the unsheltered, there are a few public washroom locations open in Kitchener and Cambridge, and two day drop in locations that they are not open seven day's a week. Unsheltered people have no easy access to water, hadwashing, enough food or a place to rest. Read the UNSHELTERED TESTIMONIES being published about life on the streets during the outbreak of COVID19. The letters sent by residents to ask about the plans to bring people indoors during the pandemic usually do not receive responses from the Regional Chair or the Mayors. We need over 250 additional 24/7 spaces in the region and we need them now for the basic human rights to shelter, healthcare, safety... and life. The PETITION for opening public and private facilities, funding and staffing of the additional shelter spaces is still open. 

The Right to Housing is The Right to Life

Read the full report on Homelessness as Global Human Rights Crisis.
Read also the National Protocol of Homeless Encampment in Canada.

Coronavirus Community Update

Updated June 17

Coronavirus Community Update

State of emergency expended until June 30.

Region of Waterloo's new dashboard for COVID19 data tracking.

Persons who receive Disability Tax Credit eligible for additional emergency benefits up to $600. Advocates says in excludes majority of persons living with disabilities.

CERB available until the end of summer.

30-day limit on prescriptions in Ontario expected to end by July 1.

Tax Filing and Benefits update: It was announced that Canadians currently receiving  GST/HST and/or Canada Child Benefit  and have not filed their tax return by June 1, 2020 will continue to receive these benefits  until September.  June 1, 2020 is still the deadline for those owing taxes for 2019 and the tax payment is due September 1, 2020.

In line with our core mandate, we will open up with current local, provincial and national advocacy campaigns to create better future for all.

Postponing Tax Clinic until further notice

Mar 15 2020

We will be closing Social Development Centre, Civic Hub and postponing tax clinics until until further notice as a precautionary measure, for our staff, volunteers and community members. We hope to resume scheduling of the meetings as soon as it becomes possible. For the time being, email us at info@waterlooregion.org or leave a messate at the tax clinic extension at 519-579-3800.

Homes 4 All

Mar 5 2020

Homes 4 AllSince November 2019, a number of lived experience groups and community members concerned about the housing crisis and homelessness in the region, have been gathering weekly to learn, share information, tell stories and take on small steps and meaningful actions towards solutions. Through collective storytelling, they have created a set of recommendations, an info sheet, content for a radio show, and Forum Theater sessions to support each other as we unpack hurt and trauma of being precariously housed and absent in mainstream decision making to address the humanitarian crisis in the region as a consequence of prolonged insecurity of income, housing, (mental) health and addictions care. Please read the recommendations shared with all affordable housing strategy teams in the region and subscribe to the ‘Homes 4 All’ podcast/radio show at CKMS Radio Waterloo 102.7. There are meaningful grassroots solutions, and we all have a role to play. Tell us what you can do. 

Grassroots Connection, 2020 Annual General Meeting

Feb 27 2020

2020 AGMHigh speed Grassroots Connection to tech sector in Waterloo Region. What would that look like? Join us as we explore technology sector in support of social justice work in the community on April 7th, during our Annual General Meeting, 6:00pm to 7:30pm at the Civic Hub. If you are in environment, arts, peace, culture, spirituality, housing, democratic reform work, we hope you get connected to our work and become a member, or you decide to impact our strategy by joining the Board. Find all about our work in 2019 in the Activity Report and let's connect soon!

2020 Tax Clinic

Feb 11 2020

2020 tax clinicWe will be hosting free income tax clinics starting March 2nd and running to April 30, 2020.  We are offering bookable appointments and drop-off services.  Our hours will be Monday and Wednesday 10 am - 8 pm and Tues and Thurs 9 am - 5 pm. Call or email to schedule a time:  519-579-3800 or tax-clinic@waterlooregion.org. To ensure that your return is completed accurately, please prepare all of the necessary documents as it applies to your situation from the tax clinic check list. Please note that if you are not receiving Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP), we can assist you in applying for it, even if not all the household members have filed taxes. 

Positions Open - Interactive Mapping Prototype Project

Jan 2 2020

ON Trillium LogoThe objective of the Ontario Job Creation Program is to support Partnership projects that provide participants with opportunities to gain meaningful work experience, which will improve their long-term employment prospects. Qualified individuals with a university degree or relevant experience, currently on Employment Insurance or having been on Employment Insurance in the last three years, are invited to apply for the positions Urban/Social Planning Research Assistant and GIS Mapping/Web Developer

3rd Multicultural Connection

Dec 2 2019

Multicultural Connection WRThe Multicultural Connection continues to offer networking and supports among ethnocultural groups in Waterloo Region. With guests from Cambridge, the Portuguese Club and the Islamic Centre, the Arab Women and Afghan Associations, as well as Peace for All International, we have heard experiences of well rooted and more emergent groups. The challenges explored were how to ensure youth participation for sustainability, and advocacy for accessible funding from local, provincial and federal funders. The dialogue continues through the collaboration of the Immigration Waterloo Region, Volunteer Action Centre Waterloo Region and Social Development Centre Waterloo Region.

Gathering of Gatherings 2019

Nov 19 2019

2019 Celebration Group PhotoCitizens from neighbourhoods across Kitchener, city councillors & staff, and representatives of various supporting businesses and agencies came together in a spirit of celebration to share ideas on how to make their neighbourhoods stronger, and to be inspired by the stories of others. Participants struck conversations while enjoying ice cream and snacks, and visiting informational stations that highlighted the key aims of the Festival of Neighbourhoods and recognized the energy and efforts of participants. The Celebration was organized as a “gathering of the gatherings”, staying true to the overall aims of the Festival for bringing people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to meet and engage with one another. Read about the recognition to neighbourhoods comitted to inclusion in our November E-Neighbour and see more on the new Festival of Neighbourhoods Website!

2019 Annual Giving Campaign

Nov 16 2019

2019 Annual Campaign

We are fortunate to live in a prosperous community but the benefits of living in Waterloo Region are 
not shared equitably. Some of us are missed, forgotten or left behind. We need greater representation 
of diverse voices at the decision-making tables to address unaffordable housing, income insecurity,
and social exclusion. You can join the movement by supporting the work of Lived Experience Groups
through Peer Internship Projects
,
or help us bring the grassroots, ethnocultural and volunteer-led
resident groups under the roof of the Civic Hub Waterloo Region