Living Below the Line

Jun 10 2022

Living Below the LineCivic Hub Waterloo Region is the proud host for the development and rehearsals of the anti-poverty engaged theatre production rooted in lived expertise! Living Below the Line is a stereotype-busting work about struggle, resilience and hope, co-created by Watercourse Theatre and fourteen individuals living in poverty. Over the course of five free, regional public presentations between June 17- 25, these new actors will share their stories. Scenes include perspectives on stigma, a mock quiz show, and superheroes! “These stories are important truths, shared from the heart. I am honoured to help bring them to the stage,” says Catherine Frid, Artistic Director of Watercourse Theatre.

Community Climate Justice cChallenge WR

May 18 2022

cChallenge BannercChallenge WR will start June 2nd, and deadline for participants to join is May 30th. This partnership with cChange from Oslo is a response to many conversations about the lack of representation of BIPOC, low income and persons with disabilities in climate related decision making in Waterloo Region. This pilot is about equity and hopes to ignite some lasting change in systems and culture. "By challenging individuals to commit to a single change and encouraging them to reflect on it over 30 days, the cCHALLENGE serves as an experiential learning tool that gives participants a deep understanding into climate change and sustainability...

Welcome Housing Lived Expertise Working Group Members

May 6 2022

Housing Lived Experience Working GroupThe Social Development Centre has partnered with the City of Kitchener to initiate a Lived Expertise Working Group on housing. Over the next two years the working group will be advising the City of Kitchener’s Housing for All Strategy to implement and monitor some of the affordable housing actions and programs that better address the challenges of people experiencing marginalization. 

This working group is a pilot project to model how Lived Expertise engagement can evolve and look like in the future. Building on the City’s desire to ensure representation of those with lived experience, our model of Lived Expertise encompasses advocacy, community accountability, and transformative power. The working group will continue refining this model to make recommendations for other institutions engaging people with lived experience in decision making and hands-on collaboration.

55 AGM Save the Date

Apr 25 2022

Leveling the Playing FieldSDC continues to adapt to the ever-changing context and relationships as the scope and depth of the needs of underserved and underrepresented communities becomes more evident every day.  We need also to take a deeper look at our own capacity to respond to multiple calls for assistance and collaboration, as well as, to determine our sphere of influence with greater precision and clarity. Your input on these topics at the Annual General Meeting will be invaluable - register for June 28th, 6pm-7:30pm on Zoom.

Financial Report 2021 - Strat Plan 2021/24 Board Candidates Info Package 2022 - Become a Member - Donate

Many Faces of Urban and Rural Displacement

Apr 20 2022

SPNOAs a follow up to the displacement studies we collaborated with the University of Waterloo School of Planning, the Social Planning Network of Ontario is launching a call for a coordinator position to implement similar studies in four communities in Ontario - deadline for applications is April 29 2022. Halton Region, Kingston and District, Oxford County and the Region of York will engage and work alongside tenants with lived experience of precarious housing, collecting the narratives of those who have been impacted in both urban and rural settings and mapping instances of eviction and displacement. See the attached project summary that addresses gaps in data and knowledge about displacement in rural and urban settings and development of lived experience leadership and tenant organizing. 

Tax Clinic Restarts

Mar 28 2022

The Tax Clinic restarted Wednesday March 30th by appointment only and you can reach us at 519-579-3800 extension 5 to leave a message or tax-clinic@waterlooregion.org. Currently we will focus on returning clients.

Housing Lived Expertise Working Group Recruitment

Mar 14 2022

LEWG RecruitmentThe City of Kitchener and the Social Development Centre Waterloo Region (SDCWR) are recruiting members for a 2-year pilot project called the Housing Lived Expertise Working Group to support the implementation of the Housing For All strategy. 12 Community Connectors Needed representing underserved groups and communities. Applications due April 1st, 2022. The project is funded and supported by the Community Housing Transformation Centre. 

What will the working group do?

  • Support the implementation and monitoring of the City’s Housing For All Strategy. READ IT HERE! 
  • Advocate for the priorities of underrepresented communities in the City’s decision making around housing and homelessness.
  • Co-create a more ethical model of community engagement that centres lived-expertise.

Response to Ontario's Housing Affordability Task Force

Feb 24 2022

On February 8th 2022, Ontario's Housing Affordability Task Force released a report with 55 recommendations to radically change the Province's approach to development. The Social Development Centre Waterloo Region (SDCWR) has reviewed these recommendations and has two major concerns: omission of affordable housing and significant cuts to public engagement and democratic processes

On Affordable Housing: Despite having affordability in its name, this report does not propose any meaningful recommendations to increase affordable housing in our community. For example, there are no recommendations to build or fund non-market housing, combat the financialization of housing, or address visible/invisible homelessness. This report then offers no support for the folks in our community who are unsheltered,

How is COVID Changing Us?

Feb 22 2022

How is Covid changing us?What a year, 2021, and how COVID is changing us! The Kitchener Festival of Neighbourhoods concluded it 28th season in 2021 with an online Annual Celebration. The Independent Living Centre of Waterloo Region acknowledged the adaptations and activities of the Central Frederick Neighbourhood to keep inclusion front and centre and setting a great example for all of us by hosted virtual craft events. Living Rooms toured Kitchener neighbourhoods, Neighbourhood Exchange happened at A Better Tent City and Auditorium Neighbourhoods - meeting of two worlds! And having fund with the COVID Comeback BINGO made us laugh so hard... take a look at the videos we shared at the Celebration. We continued finding interactive ways to engage and connect - things you and your neighbours have to try in 2022! Give us a shout at festivalofneighbourhods.ca.

Tenant Protection and Enforcement of Tenants Rights

Feb 10 2022

"In the field of Eviction Prevention in the Cities of Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge, we certainly know there is a desperate need for tenant protections. The first protection we provide in our work is educating tenants on their legal rights and responsibilities.  With the current housing crisis in the region, tenants must educate themselves so they are not illegally evicted, taken advantage of or abused. Our most vulnerable community members are 2SLGBTQ+, BIPOC, new comers, immigrants, refugees, seniors and low income," Hollee George, eviction prevention worker at the Social Development Centre Waterloo Region.

With that, there is a need for rent control in order to maintain affordable housing, and rent arrears assistance for working people. The cost of rent is rapidly increasing in the region and there are households that simply don't qualify for existing arrears programs because their incomes are too low to guarantee follow through of potential payment plans. Read more about what solutions are suggested.