For the Weary - SONICA Exibit in theMUSEUM

Jan 31 2021

Mary Neil For the WearyThe Social Development Centre of Waterloo Region produced Life Stories of Displacement & Homes for All, a series of podcasts where local residents who live on low incomes and have experienced marginalization in its many forms, including housing, spoke about their stories. Mary Neil, a community musician, listened to them all and she got angry: "I got angry at how the system is failing. I got angry at how people could be treated like dirt. I got angry about unfair stereotypes and unjust circumstances." And she wrote the song "For the Weary" that is now part of the SONICA exhibit at theMUSEUM - you have to listen and see. More at Unsheltered Testimonies page.

Peace by Peaceful Means

Jan 27 2021

BaobabPeace for All Canada (PAC) is presenting a series of live webinars and recordings on Gender Based Violence in partnership with African Women Alliance and supported by the United Way Waterloo Region Communities  and the Social Development Centre Waterloo Region. January 28 and 29, as well as February 1 and 2, 11 am to 12 pm the following topics will be discussed: Covid and gender based violence; Culture, religion and gender based violence; Physical, emotional and physiological impact; and Barriers to prevention and response withing African communities. You can learn more by downloading the flyer and joining the virtual meeting (password in the flyer). 

A Better Tent City

The community continues to rally around a much needed demonstration project, a no-barrier alternative to shelters. Why is this A Better Tent City? There is a willing landlord, 24 insulated cabins and an indoor warming space, garbage and recycling, kitchen, washrooms, shower and laundry, a safe and caring place. Find out more at the Civic Hub website.

A Better Tent City has been recognized as Canada’s Top 100 Recovery Projects by the Future of Good.

ABTC Video

Video made by Ken Galloway "A Better Tent City" ends with these words:

"We are people who support our homeless brothers and sisters, while collectively tackling homelessness in practical ways. Help us evolve into an organization that drives social entrepreneurship, education, 

healing and change."

Cash donations are urgently requested to support construction of 10 new private, secure indoor living quarters and the costs of wiring and heating the outdoor cabins. 

Listen to the Current CBC KW - Tiny homes offer shelter for the homeless in Kitchener, Ont.

You can donate by e-transfer to or through CanadaHelps ABTC Fund.

Call for Participants: Displacement Out of the Core

Dec 1 2020

Outer Core DisplacementThe Social Development Centre Waterloo Region and School of Planning at University of Waterloo have completed the study that looked at the loss of affordable housing and displacement due to gentrification and rapid development happening in the urban core areas in Kitchener-Waterloo. For this project, we are looking to hear from people living outsiede of the core neighbourhoods in Kitchener, especially those in underserved communities with lived experiences of displacement due to development, renovations and change during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Disability & Resilience Virtual Celebration

Nov 19 2020

UN Day 2020

December 3rd 2020, UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities online celebration: Disability, Poverty and Resilience. How are people with disabilities coping during the pandemic? More importantly, what can we learn from their experiences before and during COVID to help us cope as a community when facing income, housing and food insecurity, isolation and lack of safety. The recording of the online celebration is live!

Disabilities and Human Rights group is continuing the tradition of making each individual experience count withing the larger social and systemic context. 

Neighbourhood Exchange 2020

Nov 18 2020

conversationsThis year, neighbours  ‘zoomed’ together on Sunday, November 15th in an interactive online celebration that recognized how neighbourhoods created community connections with health and safety in mind through an unpredictable year.  Neighbours also discussed ways to continue creating connections and imagined what their neighbourhoods will be like as we move into a future of possibility.  A new “Neighbours Exchange” program was part of this year’s Festival Of Neighbourhoods celebration (see videos!); two neighbours from different areas of the city were matched to take each other on short walking tours of their respective neighbourhoods and their experiences were shared as part of the online gathering. Read more in the Media Release about the 27th Annual Celebration.  

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.