No Fixed Address: A Talk About Homelessness and Encampments, 6:30pm on Thu 22 Feb 2024

No Fixed Address | A talk about homelessness and encampments | February 22, 2024 | 6:30pm | www.WRCommunityTownHalls.ca
What: No Fixed Address: A Talk About Homelessness and Encampments
When: 6:30pm to 8:30pm on Thursday 22 February 2024
Where: Online only, link sent with registration
Register: Tickets from Eventbrite

With the ever escalating housing crisis, a growing number of people are confronting the harsh realities of homelessness. Despite concerted efforts, community services and shelters are struggling to keep pace with surging demand, leaving many people without access to even these temporary solutions.

Faced with this stark reality, people must forge their own paths to survival, resulting in an increasing presence of makeshift shelters and tents, as residents seek safety and refuge from the often unforgiving elements.

As we grapple with the pressing need for both short-term and long-term solutions to address the root causes of homelessness, the struggle of those living outdoors remains. What can we do to better meet the basic needs, care, and well-being of these people? How can we enhance our approach to this issue, and what proactive steps are other municipalities taking to make a positive and impactful difference in the lives of those affected?

​On February 22nd, from 6:30 to 8:30 PM, join host Regional Councillor Rob Deutschmann in this first virtual town hall segment of 2024 focused on homelessness and encampments.

Featured guest speakers include:

  • Dr. Erin Dej, Associate Professor, Department of Criminology, Wilfrid Laurier University (Waterloo, ON)
  • Fiona York, CRAB Park Advocate (Vancouver BC)
  • Margaret Capes, Legal Education Coordinator, Community Law School (Sarnia-Lambton, ON)
  • Greg Nash, London Intercommunity Health Centre, Director-Complex Urban Health (London, ON)
  • Chantelle McDonald,London Cares Homeless Response Services, Director of Service (London, ON)
  • Kaite Burkholder Harris, Executive Direction, Alliance to End Homelessness Ottawa (Ottawa, ON)
  • Jaime Stief, Community Advocate (Kitchener, ON)
  • Mike Lethby, (Niagara Falls)

Additional information on our website at WR Community Town Halls.

Ride For Refuge at the Social Development Centre at 10am on Saturday 23 September 2023

What moves you? The Ride for Refuge, a family-friendly fundraising bike + walk in support of local charities serving people seeking hope, safety, and freedom. Join us!

What: Ride For Refuge: A Fundraising Bike and Walk
When: 10:00am to 1:00pm on Saturday 23 September 2023
Where: Meet at the Social Development Centre Waterloo Region
Location: 23 Water Street North, Kitchener, Ontario Map
Website: Kitchener Central sponsorship page
Register: https://rideforrefuge.org/register

kitchener central | sept. 23, 2023 | Social Development Centre WR | Ride for Refuge | what moves you? The Ride for Refuge is a family-friendly fundraising bike + walk in support of local charities serving people seeking hope, safety, and freedom. | register to fundraise | team up + bike or walk | donate / volunteer / #ride23

Say No To Encampment Evictions – Rally 5:30pm Wed 22 June 2022 at Speakers Corner

Say No To Encampment Evictions | Say Yes To Housing | Rally + March | Bring Your Signs | Stand In Solidarity with Our Unhoused and Vulnerable Neighbours | Wednesday June 22 5:30pm | Speakers Corner King & Benton | Downtown Kitchener

Download the poster (272 KB)


Say No To
Encampment Evictions
Say Yes To Housing

Stand In Solidarity With Our Unhoused and Vulnerable Neighbours
Stand In Solidarity With Our Unhoused and Vulnerable Neighbours
Rally +
March

Bring Your Signs


Wednesday 22 June 2022 | 5:30pm
Speakers Corner | King & Benton Map
Downtown Kitchener

Protest The Bulldozing Of Encampments, 1pm on Sun 28 Nov 2021 at Charles & Stirling

Sunday November 28, 2021 at 1pm: PROTEST THE BULLDOZING OF ENCAMPMENTS | At the corner of Charles St. E & Stirling Ave! | 1. Bring a sign that speaks your heart! | "Stop criminalizing homelessness" | "Reallocate the police budget into life-giving services" | "Shelters are full: over 400 sleep rough" | "We want a compassionate community" | "Does this solve homelessness?" | 2. Bring a donation (only tents, sleeping bags, or cash). | Donations will be given to a nonprofit, working with unhoused people. | On Friday November 26, Waterloo Regional Bylaw, together with police, bulldozed the shelters of unhoused people living at Charles & Stirling. | Please wear a mask and respect social distancing (alternate paragraphs in black or white lettering on an orange background with an image of a powershovel destroying shelters)

Sunday November 28, 2021 at 1pm:

PROTEST THE BULLDOZING OF ENCAMPMENTS

At the corner of Charles St. E & Stirling Ave!

  1. Bring a sign that speaks your heart!
    “Stop criminalizing homelessness”
    “Reallocate the police budget into life-giving services”
    “Shelters are full: over 400 sleep rough”
    “We want a compassionate community”
    “Does this solve homelessness?”
  2. (image of the bucket of a power shovel over sleeping bags and other shelter material)

  3. Bring a donation (only tents, sleeping bags, or cash).

Donations will be given to a nonprofit, working with unhoused people.

On Friday November 26, Waterloo Regional Bylaw, together with police, bulldozed the shelters of unhoused people living at Charles & Stirling.

Please wear a mask and respect social distancing.

2020 Low Income Tax clinics at @SDCWR

Illustration of a man writing furiously while peeking out from behind a desk lamp Good Morning! Wanted to share that The Civic Hub will be running Low Income Tax Returns again this year starting 2 March 2019. Clinics are by appointment only. Our hours will be:

  • Monday and Wednesday – 10:00am to 8:00pm
  • Tuesday and Thursday – 9:00am to 5:00pm

We are also allowing drop-offs which can be completed at other times.

Please share with your contacts that the Climate Action Incentive, which all residents of Ontario are eligible to receive regardless of income, has increased this year. Amounts are as follows:

  • First Adult – $224
  • Spouse – $112
  • Child – $56
  • Family of 4 – $448

Canada Revenue Agency is helping provide volunteers to prepare the returns. I am looking for volunteers that would be interested in a receptionist type capacity, which would include booking appointments, greeting tax payers and collecting drop-off. Please share in case any of your contacts might be interested. I am looking for volunteers to cover three to four hour blocks, twice a week ideally.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Lesley Crompton
lesley@waterlooregion.org
+1‑519‑579‑3800 #5

Accountant by Charly W. Karl is used under a CC BY-NDCreative Commons — Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic license.

A note about Community Suppers from @AAP_KW

A note from Timothy Hegedus of Alliance Against PovertyAlliance Against Poverty:

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to let you know that the community suppers that used to be held at St Mark’s church on Wednesday evenings are now being held on Thursday evenings at Trillium Lutheran Church, 22 Willow Street, Waterloo, Ontario Map, phone 519‑886‑1880. (Trillium used be called St John’s Lutheran church.) It is fully accessible. The church is open on Thursday afternoons from 3:30 p.m. and dinner is served at 5:45 p.m. The Community Ministry Chaplain, Rev Susan Cole, is there between 3:30 and 7:00 p.m.

Please spread the word about this.

Thanks,
Tim

Alliance Against Poverty meets on the second Monday of the month, contact aap‑members@kwpeace.ca for more information.

Christmas Dinner Plans

This post was mirrored from Christmas Dinner Plans by the Kitchener—Conestoga Greens.

Even if Mr Ford hadn’t decided to put a stop to the $15 dollar minimum wage, it wouldn’t have raised minimum wage earners above the Low Income Cutoff (LICO) for Waterloo Region. Although we’re told we ‘recovered’ from the recession of 2008, Canadians earning minimum wage nearly doubled (from 6% – 10%) between 2017 and 2018. Minimum wage jobs don’t just have low pay, very often they are for precarious work.

Although Waterloo Region is a rich community, many members of our community are financially strained during the holiday season. (And for the rest of the year, too.)

MYTH: Poverty is not an issue in Waterloo Region. More than 1 in 10 people in Waterloo Region live in poverty. REALITY: Although Waterloo Region is a great place to work, live and play, poverty is an issue in our community. In 2006, approximately 10.2 per cent of residents (48,000 people) in Waterloo Region were living with low income. Imagine - you could fill the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium seven times with this many people! Did you know... • 12.2% or 13,750 children 0 to 17 years in Waterloo Region are living in low income.2 • 451,411 meals were served in 2011 through meal programs throughout Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo.3 • In May 2013, there were 8,727 cases on the Ontario Works (OW) caseload. This is a 39% increase in the caseload from September 2008.
2013 Poverty Myth Busters for Waterloo Region (page 3)
Download the PDF

That’s why the Green Party supports raising the minimum wage to a living wage, and implementing a Guaranteed Livable Income (universal basic income set at 10% above LICO). You can find out more about Basic Income from our friends at Basic Income Waterloo.

Unfortunately that’s not going to happen until we start electing more Greens. In the meantime, people are living in poverty and Christmas is coming.

The following is a list of free Waterloo Region Christmas Dinner options for people in need. If you (or anyone you know) is in need of a good dinner over the holidays, please share. (And if you’re able I imagine these organizations would welcome volunteers.)

I’m not sure who originated this list (I received as a paper handout), but most of the dinner locations listed here are for the City of Kitchener. If you know of any others in the rest of the region– Cambridge, Waterloo or the Townships, please share and I’ll add them to the list.

Friday December 14th, 2018

Trinity United Church – Christmas Dinner Community Can Dine – Elmira, Ontario
6:00pm-7:30pm
21 Arthur St. N., Elmira Ontario

Saturday, December 15th, 2018

Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church – Regular Saturday Supper
open 5:00pm-8:00pm – Supper served 5:30-7:30pm
57 Stirling Avenue North, Kitchener

Sunday, December 16th, 2018

KCI Christmas Dinner
10:45am – 1:30pm

787 King Street W., Kitchener (enter off King Street)
Tickets available at St. John’s Kitchen or St Mark’s Church
(Limited tickets available last week of November and first week of December)

Thursday December 20th, 2018

St. John’s Kitchen – Festive Dinner
11:30am to 1:00pm
97 Victoria Street North, Kitchener

Friday December 21st, 2018

St. John’s Kitchen – Regular Hours
11:30am to 1:00pm
97 Victoria Street North, Kitchener

Saturday December 22nd, 2018

Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church – Regular Saturday Supper – open 5:00pm-8:00pm
Supper served 5:30-7:30pm
57 Stirling Avenue North, Kitchener

Sunday December 23rd, 2018

Caper’s Sports Bar – Christmas Dinner
Noon – 3:00pm
1 Queen Street North, Kitchener
*Toy and Clothing giveaway

Monday December 24th, 2018

St. John’s Kitchen – Festive Dinner
11:30am to 1:00pm
Meal by St Vincent de Paul
97 Victoria Street North, Kitchener

Ray of Hope – Festive Dinner
7:00pm-8:30pm
659 King Street East, (Back Door) Kitchener

Tuesday December 25th, 2018

St. John’s Kitchen – Christmas Dinner by Friends of St John’s Kitchen
11:30am to 1:00pm
97 Victoria Street North, Kitchener

Ray of Hope – Regular Dinner
7:00pm-8:30pm
659 King Street East, (Back Door) Kitchener

Wednesday, December 26th, 2018

First United Church Christmas Buffet
11:30am-1pm
16 William Street, Waterloo

Thursday, December 27th, 2018

St. John’s Kitchen – Festive Dinner
11:30am to 1:00pm
97 Victoria Street North, Kitchener

Friday, December 28th, 2018

St. John’s Kitchen – Festive Dinner
11:30am to 1:00pm
97 Victoria Street North, Kitchener

Saturday, December 29th, 2018

Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church – Regular Saturday Supper
open 5:00pm-8:00pm – Supper served 5:30-7:30pm
57 Stirling Avenue North, Kitchener

Sunday December 30th, 2018

Ray of Hope – Lunch
Noon-1:30pm
659 King Street East, (Back Door) Kitchener

Monday, December 31, 2018

St. John’s Kitchen – Regular Hours
11:30am to 1:00pm
97 Victoria Street North, Kitchener

Tuesday, January 1st, 2018

St. John’s Kitchen CLOSED

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2018

St. John’s Kitchen – Regular Hours
11:30am to 1:00pm
97 Victoria Street North, Kitchener

PETITION: Ontario nonprofits and fair wages

From the Social Development Centre Waterloo Region:

A much needed minimum wage boost has come to Ontario. The nonprofit sector requires similar consideration to make the transition to higher labour costs as small businesses do. One step is to adjust Transfer Payment Agreements (TPAs) to accommodate higher labour costs in the next fiscal period as discussion begins on the 2018-19 Ontario Budget, as requested by the Ontario Non-profit Network’s pre-budget submission (PDF, 333 kBytes), supported by the Social Planning Network of Ontario. Many smaller non-profits without TPAs also require consideration for increased funding support to adjust to new employment standards and fair wage practices take effect.

http://www.socialplanningtoronto.org/helpontario
A needed minimum wage boost is coming to Ontario. Nonprofits will need a little extra help so we can continue to make a difference in our communities. | The province has offered a 22% reduction in the Corporate Income Tax Rate for small businesses. | Help us help Ontario. | Nonprofits need increased support to keep providing important services.
Help Us Help Ontario

GRT Affordable Transit Study

From our friends at the Social Planning Council of Cambridge and North Dumfries:

From: Social Planning Council of Cambridge and North Dumfries <info@spccnd.org>
Date: Friday, 1 September 2017
Subject: Affordable Transit Study – Help Get the Word Out

Hello everyone,

The Region of Waterloo is looking for volunteers to participate in a research study.

The purpose of the study is to evaluate the effects of different reduced fare transit passes. People who are selected for the study could get:


  • Off-Peak Pass: $23 per month
  • 20-Ride Pass: $25 per month
  • Combo Pass: $48 per month
  • Unlimited Pass: $65 per month

Please help spread the word and advertise in your offices / through your communications.

Community members can sign up to attend study information and registration sessions through Eventbrite links that can be found on the GRT website.

Please see the GRT webpage for more information/details of the study:

Transit Affordability Study – Grand River Transit

Our mailing address is:
Social Planning Council of Cambridge and North Dumfries
55 Dickson St,
Cambridge, ON N1R 1T8
Canada

Proposals to address the lack of affordable housing in Waterloo

I have been drawing attention to the lack of affordable housing in the city of Waterloo, and how the updating of the zoning bylaw now underway could do much to bring more lower-end-of-market rental units onstream.

I have three main proposals:

  1. Reduce the amount of parking required when a condo or apartment building is built. And don’t always require a parking space for accessory apts created in a home. Parking makes construction much more expensive. And in a home, the lack of room for a side-by-side parking spot now means an apartment cannot be allowed – this needs to change.
  2. Remove many other obstacles that now exist to creating apartments in houses and detached garages.
  3. Bring in Inclusionary Zoning in all new developments. This means that every building, subdivision, etc, would have to include a given percentage of affordable units. This leads to a mix of income levels in the same neighbourhood, as opposed to ghettoization.

These three measures could open up the rental housing market substantially.

Here are links to some my recent articles on affordable housing in Waterloo.

Letter to Waterloo Chronicle: City officials have to hear about it on new zoning | Waterloo Chronicle (22 July 2016)

Mention in Waterloo Chronicle (interview with editor Bob Vrbanac): Concerns over new zoning bylaw | Waterloo Chronicle (14 July 2016)

Waterloo Chronicle: Editorial: Take the time to listen (13 July 2016)

Submission to the city’s public input portal on zoning review: Letter to the City of Waterloo on Zoning and Affordable Housing | KWPeace (16 July 2016)

If you think these are good ideas, please write to the papers and your city councillor. There will also be a second round of public input in fall 2016.