Life Made Accessible NAAW 2023

May 23 2023

Life Made Accessible 2023 National AccessAbility Week (NAAW) is celebrated from May 29th to June 4. Disabilities and Human Rights (DHR) Group is launching a series of conversations entitled "Life Made Accessible: Building Stronger Communities and Workplaces Together". The Podcast Series will be the first sound bites to start the conversation on employment, education, workplace and poverty, only some of the areas in which we still need to advance inclusion, accessibility and collaboration with persons living with visible and invisible disabilities.

Listen to members of the Disabilities and Human Rigths Group speak about their experiences with accessibility, read the transcripts of the stories they share, put up the posterand join the conversation with DHR members! 

Open House May 11th

Apr 21 2023

Open House May 11 2023Social Development Centre projects have been featured in local media recently, however, there is much more we can do to better represent our work. People who are expressing interest in joining our Board at the Annual General Meeting this June 29th are asking us good questions about the practical side and the underlying philosophy of the organization. If you are interested in hearing more about how to become a Board member or to understand what SDC stands for, be our guest! RSVP here please, and if you cannot come, let us know through the short survey if we can share more information with you in other ways.

We have a jingle invite you can also share in your networks!

Prototyping the Plan to End Chronic Homelessness

Apr 20 2023

The number of people experiencing homelessness in Waterloo Region is increasing due to the lack of political will to change our approaches to financialized housing market as well as the current approaches to residents living in shelters and those unsheltered. Homelessness is a complex problem and requires deep collective thinking about the complicency of institutions, service providers and housed people in ongoing human rights violations of the homeless residents. Region of Waterloo staff and community partners will co-create a Plan to End Chronic Homelessness (The Plan) in 2023 so we can move from the current position of blaming individuals or upholding systems of harm towards a whole community being engaged in responses rooted in human right to housing. Social Development Centre is jining the Region staff and Overlap Associates in creating this roadmap for strategies that are rooted in reality and respectful of lived experience of unhomed residents. Together with the lived experts we will set the stage for hands on collaboration with partner organizations to test some of the responses and learn from prototypes that can involve processes, structures and services informed by lived experience.

Continued Support for Eviction Prevention

Mar 6 2023

UWWRC logo

Eviction Prevention Waterloo Region was the recipient of the 2022 Spirit Award 2022 from the United Way Waterloo Region Communities. The funding extends into 2023, making it possible for tenants who are BIPOC, 2SLGBTQ+, living with disabilities, immigrants or seniors to have a fighting chance to keep their homes. This is a project that brings many community partners together and directly addresses the risk of homelessness for the most underserved groups. Future partnerships with regional municipalities are needed to mitigate the impact of inadequate enforcement of tenants rights, and introduce tenant supports and relocation strategies.

Virtual and In-Person Tax Filing Support 2023

Feb 28 2023

Volunteer Tax Clinics 2023"Lesley Crompton Tax Prep Services" provides free tax return preparation for low-income individuals and families (income <$45,000 per individual). Returns can be done virtual, drop off or in-person at the Civic Hub Waterloo Region Appointments are required for all returns and can be booked through email at lesleyacrompton@gmail.com or 519-572-2570.

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Also, there is a Year Round Virtual SDCWR Tax Clinic are available to those that qualify. Last year you must have: income less than $35,000 as an individual or $45,000 as a couple. MUST have a simple return; no self-employment. To confirm if you are suited for our clinic, email us at taxclinic@waterlooregion.org, or call us at 519-579-3800, ext. 5. Emails are preferred. 

Community Wellbeing Survey Feedback

Feb 22 2023

Wellbeing Survey 2022The 2022 Community Wellbeing Survey preliminary results were released by the Canadian Index of Wellbeing Team, and SDC has completed its feedback report. Close 5,000 surveys were submitted, while SDC's community connectors collected over 280 responses from underrepresented and hard to reach populations. With the onset of the 2022 Wellbeing Survey process, SDCWR joined other partner organizations in mobilizing their staff and community connectors to take part in:

  • planning of the engagement strategies for the hardest to reach populations (low income, homeless and precariously housed, persons with disabilities, BIPOC, immigrants)

Displacement in Ontario and Tenant Organizing

Feb 16 2023

The Many Faces of Displacement provincial project is well on its way in collaboration with the Social Planning Network of Ontario. Each of the regions involved in the project are close to finishing gathering stories of displacement and eviction in their communities, York Region, Cornwall and Area, Kingston and Oxford County. All of the regions gather weekly to discuss the stories they are hearing and the themes that are coming up repeatedly, as well as the similarities and differences they are seeing across the regions.

LEWG Members Embarking on New Projects

Feb 9 2023

Lived Expertise Working GroupThe Group has completed a string of interviews to unpack current barriers and solutions to lived expertise work, such as trauma and diversity, accountability to the process by both municipal partners and lived experts, and the persisting tokenism. The Working Group members are proud and enthusiastic about co-creating the approach being used and have identified even more opportunities to keep improving the process and the collaboration with municipal staff and councils.

Homeless Creating Solutions for the Homeless

Feb 3 2023

YouTube Beyond the BulletinWe may not need another research on homelessness and supports to homeless in Waterloo Region for a long time. A lot has been said and remains ignored to the large extent today. The project we are starting in collaboration with the Region of Waterloo with Prof. Brian Doucet at University of Waterloo and Prof. Laura Pin from Wilfrid Laurier University is rooted in participatory action research approach. Contradiction? The reason we are grounding it in self-reflective approaches, participatory methods and prototyping is to allow for the lived experience voices to be heard, responded to and their wisdom actioned upon by the regional and city governments. After the January court ruling on the 100 Victoria encampment, there is a greater recognition of the violations of the human rights to shelter, safety and life, we wish to contribute to a greater awareness of the urgency to act in collaboration with lived experts on initiatives similar to the hybrid shelter in Waterloo or access to warming centres during weekends and holidays. Together with the partners on this project we hope to do this work with, not for, the people who gained invaluable insight and resilience through struggle, hardship and ongoing criminalization. As the project evolves through the regional planning to end chronic homelessness, take a listen of the podcast Prof. Brian Doucet recorded with Beyond the Bulletin. 

Grassroots Organizing Boost 2023

Jan 2 2023

“The Upstream Fund has the potential to shift the balance of power in our Region, and begin to prevent harm before it happens” said Community Change Committee Member Pamela Fehr.

Social Development Centre's Civic Hub program is among 41 groups and organizations who received funding through the Upstream Fund in 2023. Revival of Civic Hub partner groups self-governance, financial capacity and anti-oppression, anti-racism practices will be the focus of our team's work to incubate and nurture community-based grassroots initiatives. Community Safety and Wellbeing Plan