Financial Empowerment Programs 2021

Oct 25 2021

Resuming tax clinics

Tax season is almost upon us. We appreciate your trust during the pandemic, and we will continue to keep the pace in responding to appointment requests for tax filing both virtually and face to face. We haven't stopped providing the year-round service and brought over 2,5 million to the community in accessed benefits. Currently we are busy recruiting a team of new volunteers to support our existing team. We are recruiting immigrant and refugee individuals with previous financial and accounting backgrounds (see the call to join the training) to make sure as many low-modest income individuals can take advantage of our free financial empowerment service. 

World Homelessness Day

Oct 10 2021

Unsheltered CampaignExtreme resilience in the face of abuse, trauma, loss, death, exclusion due to disability, poverty and health challenges - this is what we need to remember on the commemoration of the World Homelessness Day. There is a strong correlation between mental health issues and homelessness. We cannot tell which came first, but once both factors are present they form a vicious cycle which makes interventions/supports challenging and complex, usually violent and criminalizing in itself.

2021 Point in Time Count of Homeless called on Social Development Centre's staff and community connectors to join and collect stories about predicaments experienced of the unhomed and displaced that go beyond surveying and counting.

Volunteer with the LIVING Room COVID Safe Project

Oct 8 2021

Living room invitationAre you interested in volunteering or donating to our COVID Safe Living Rooms? You can contribute to this project by volunteering your time to help with installations of the LIVING room or by supporting our Story Exchange activities in the COVID Safe LIVING Rooms as a helper, cohost, co-facilitator, and community connector. We are also in need of ways to transport our set pieces to different locations in the Region and we are on the lookout for drivers with trucks, vans, or trailers that might be able to help out from time to time. If you are interested in being on our call list for help in these ways please fill out the following survey.

Board Announces Paid Indigenous Holidays June 21 and September 30

Sep 20 2021

Walking TogetherThe Social Development Centre Waterloo Region is providing June 21st, National Indigenous Peoples Day, and September 30th, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, as holidays with pay for staff. The Board voted for this unanimously, for three reasons:

First, we recognize the ongoing physical and cultural genocide of Canada’s Indigenous peoples –including murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls, the trans-generational legacy of crimes against humanity and trauma of residential

Life Stories: Point in Time Count of Homeless Sept 21-23

Sep 17 2021

A team of staff and community connectors of our organization are participating in this year’s Point in Time Count of Homeless across the cities in Waterloo Region. Our focus is particularly on ‘hidden homeless’, usually described as couch surfers or sleeping in different beds with friends and acquaintances for prolonger periods of time. Below you can see the distinction we make between hidden homeless and precariously housed residents, and if you know individuals who are currently homeless but not living rough, let us know at or 

Some people would agree to complete the survey for the Pint int Time Count and get a small compensation,

Displacement in Urban Core Mapping Project

Map of Displacement 2020 KW

Released May 12 2021 - Mapping Displacement in Kitchener-Waterloo: REPORT

Interactive Map of Displacement 2020

CKMS Interview with researchers Faryal Diwan and William Turman 2021

The 'hidden' sides of transit-induced gentrification and displacement along
Waterloo Region's LRT corridor, Brian Doucet

Life Stories of Displacement 2019

The Displacement Mapping project expanded on the 2019 Life Stories of Displacement study, and is funded by the Ontario Job Creation Partnership while being incorporated into a SSHRC-funded project that examines gentrification led by Dr. Brian Doucet. In addition to the 20 interviews collected in 2019, 30 interviews were added in 2020 exploring the impact on racialized, LGBTQ+, Indigenous and immigrant populations.

COVID Safe Pubilc Spaces

Living RoomBuilding Covid-19  awareness is an ongoing challenge for many groups.  Encouraging reflection about how we have adapted and changed to live with our new realities during a global pandemic here in our own neighbourhoods and communities is the purpose of the COVID Safe Pop Up Living Rooms. Social Development Centre has brough together two initiatives the Kitchener's Festival of Neighbourhoods and Covid Safe Pubilc Spaces to set up a site-specific pop up gatherings for a few hours within neighbourhoods that do not experience safety in many regards. We will practice the evolving COVID safe protocols and everyone can be as confident as possible that they are doing what they can to be protected from transmission, while unpacking deeper levels of what safety means to each of us. 

This is also an opportunity to for your community or neighbourhood to reflect upon changes and how to stay safe in public spaces. First stories are being recorded. Hear from Jimmy Swaka and his take on the community safety in times of the pandemic. 

To learn more about the project or to bring COVID-safe Living Room to your neighbourhood, contact Heather Majaury at 

Produced in partnership with Kitchener's Festival of Neighbourhoods (FON)! 

FON Comeback BINGO!

Jul 23 2021

Comeback BingoAs restrictions begin to lift, we want to get back to prioritizing connection by actively building strong and vibrant neighbourhoods. And to help renew enthusiasm, Festival of Neighbourhoods has designed a simple, family-friendly activity to challenge you and spark new connections over the next few months. 

This bingo card is chock full of prompts designed to initiate conversation and encourage curiosity for your neighbourhood and the people in it. The prompts are adaptable, so be creative! If you're on social media, keep @FONKitchener in the loop using #comebackbingo (we're on Facebook and Twitter). We wanna see your smiling faces! Submit your bingo card by September 28 to enter the raffle draw at our season finale event in the fall. Details can be found on our website page.

Housing Crisis and Impact on Services

Jun 14 2021

Housing Crisis 101WRCLS, in n partnership with the Social Development Centre Waterloo Region,  hosts an information session about the current Housing Crisis and how this may impact the clients you see June 16 at noon. Please register at Eventbrite to join in the lunch and learn. We will focus on Indigenous people's challenges in the area and how they may be impacted. We will touch upon what is currently happening within the region to mitigate circumstances for those who are currently homeless , precariously housed, or are within high-risk groups for potential housing loss. We will discuss resources and initiatives connected to the Social Development Centre Waterloo Region, especially through the Unsheltered Campaign as part of the Civic Hub and our ongoing support for A Better Tent City and LandBack KW.