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 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 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 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 25 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.

Summer Job Positions 2020

May 29 2020

The Social Development Centre Waterloo Region has openings for youth seeking experience in neighbourhood engagement and social development, done mostly online and in a virtual context. Two positions, each 8 weeks in length, with 35hr per week. The work would be cone between June 22nd and August 31st. These positions are open to Canadian citizens, permanent residents or person to whom refugee protection has been conferred; who have a valid Social Insurance Number at the start of the employment & are legally entitled to work in Canada; between 15 and 30 years who are facing barriers to employment or professional development.

Most Supports for the Most Impacted

May 20 2020

Lived Experience GroupsThis pandemic has been hard on all of us, but those living in poverty are more impacted and are feeling more frightened than ever that we are being forgotten by society as a whole. Four groups of people from Waterloo Region who have much in common, experiencing life while living with low incomes, living with disabilities, and people with a passion to improve our society’s overall wellbeing - the groups sent their account of life during COVID-19 and recommendations to federal, provincial and regional representaives how to improve financial supports during and after the pandemic. Awareness of Low Income Voices, Disabilities and Human Rights, Alliance Against Poverty and People's Action Group.