A campaign led by community advocates to provide 24/7 alternatives to shelter for all unsheltered people in Waterloo Region.
Unsheltered Testimonies — hear from the unsheltered themselves, as we work to decriminalize homelessness, ensure access to washrooms and warming locations, support temporary settlements during the pandemic, and make sure that women in the region have access to barrier free overflow shelter spaces.
If you want to join in & get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you want to send us a monetary donation through direct bank autodeposit, please mark Unsheltered Fund and email email@example.com.
CALL FOR DONATIONS
Drop off hours changed:
- Monday-Friday noon to 3pm
- Social Development Centre WR
St John Church downtown Kitchener
23 Water Street North
Entrance from Duke Street
Recent actions by the Region of Waterloo and community partners:
Unsheltered Campaign 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 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 consultations to transform the system responses to homelessness and we will 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.
The 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 opening of the conversation. To get in touch with the Unsheltered Campaign team email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Civic Hub Waterloo Region website. More Unsheltered Testimonies can be found at this page.
- ABTC, Unsheltered, Food Not Bombs, WR Yes In My Back Yard, and Social Development Centre Waterloo Region all had delegations at the regional council meeting on August 11th to address the report proposing to address the COVID overflow for single homeless men from Radisson Hotel and Kaufman YMCA/House of Hope before this winter; as well as, proposes a creation of alternative modular housing for 2021. The delegations can be heard in the meeting webcast, starting at 1hr and 50 min.
- & ABTC August 11, 2020, Laura Hamiton
- Unsheltered Presentation August 11th 2020, Lesley Crompton
- Final Audio Transcript Regional Council Aug 11, 2020, Heather Majaury
- and you can hear the voices of the people interviewed as a podcast.
- The Region has also secured the shelter overflow location at St Marks Lutheran Church, that will be operated by YWCA with 60 beds for men, before Indwell starts re-construction into 40 deeply affordable housing unites at the site in Spring of 2021.
- The Region will secure 200 dorm style shelter units for single men mostly in Waterloo and Cambridge locations. Since the summer, there are eight double rooms for couples with YWCA and the barriers to access and restrictions to shelters are being lowered.
- In 2021, two regional parcels, one in Waterloo and one in Cambridge, will be the first sites to accommodate modular builds at affordable rents for low income residents through Federal funding for Rapid Housing Initiatives.
- St John Kitchen encampment was the only encampment that had access to drinking water, porta-pottie and the eviction date has been extended to August 24. Unsheltered Campaign, 519 Community Collective and many community members mobilized their own resources to support the family of 10 that has lived at Fackoury’s but the acceptable alternatives were not available for everyone. The move was extra difficult as it was set up for the weekend when no staff was available for assistance and to cover the extra costs of storing people’s belongings, and putting them up into a motel.
- City of Kitchener and the Region of Waterloo are reviewing the public land inventories as potential locations for supported encampments/settlements while St Mary’s Catholic Church congregation has moved the eight winterized wooden cabins to the LOT42.
- House of Hope open for 28 men at Ray of Hope with House of Friendship, to shelter men who were at YMCA location until the end of July.
- Charles Street Terminal has more supply of refillable water bottles and food thanks to the donations from community members
- Charles Street Terminal is going to shorter hours and will be closed in August as the Kitchener City Hall washrooms open.
- City of Kitchener approved zoning bylaw suspension for 12 months for A Better Tent City at Lot42 (35 community members in cabins and tents)
Thank you all who sent your letters to municipal councils. We can do better to support all the unsheltered this summer and the coming winter!
In the MEDIA
- Social media channels:
- Regan Brussé , Blue Sky Horse on CKMS-FM 102.7 Radio Waterloo Community supporting unsheltered encampments
- Regan Brussé & Social Development Centre WR Media Release April 11: We need a fighting chance for our unsheltered!
- Aleksandra Petrovic with Brian Bourke on 570 News speaking about the needs of the unsheltered in Waterloo Region. Tune in at 47m 27s
- Listen to Community Connections interview with Regan Brussé at CKMS-FM 102.7 about the Unsheltered Campaign.
- Heather Majaury’s second letter to the elected representatives on April 9, and you can hear her read it to you at: 2020 04 09 Heather Majaury Letter in support of the unsheltered
Download: 2020-04-09-Heather-Majaury-Letter-in-support-of-the-unsheltered.mp3, 6 MBytes, 6m03s
You can donate to the Civic Hub or Unsheltered Campaign funds at our CanadaHelps portal.