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Starling Community Services.

Addressing Homelessness: A Spotlight on Waterloo Region's Local Shelters and Fundraiser Initiatives

Waterloo Regions Local Shelters Fundraiser Initiatives Addressing Homelessness Lutherwood 3

The number of people experiencing chronic homelessness has grown 28% each year since 2020, according to a report recently issued by the Waterloo Region’s Plan to End Chronic Homelessness.[i] While demand on our housing support systems continues to grow, there are dedicated people and organizations in our community striving to make a difference.

In our ongoing vision of communities where everyone experiences mental wellness, opportunities for employment, a place to call home, and a sense of belonging, we’re proud to highlight the shelters working to end and prevent homelessness – and how an upcoming fundraiser creates an opportunity for all of us to make an even greater impact on our community.

Finding Local Shelters in the Waterloo Region:

Waterloo Region’s network of shelters is committed to working together in a coordinated approach to help people find safe, permanent, and affordable housing. Some of these dedicated organizations include:

  • Cambridge Shelter Corporation: Cambridge Shelter Corporation helps individuals experiencing homelessness to make positive changes in their lives. They provide shelter, outreach services, and engage with the community to create solutions to meet the unique needs of each person.
  • House of Friendship: House of Friendship provides, food, addiction treatment, shelter for men, and long-term, permanent supportive housing for single adults. They help individuals who are struggling with poverty and/or addiction rebuild their lives and overcome homelessness.
  • Lutherwood Safe Haven Youth Services: Safe Haven Youth Services provides youth aged 12-18 with a safe place to stay in the Waterloo Region, along with crisis and respite services. Our compassionate staff works with each individual youth and their family to supply the resources and support they need to build life skills that prevent homelessness.
  • OneROOF Youth Services: OneROOF is a youth-centered organization that offers support and housing solutions to homeless and at-risk youth aged 12-25 in Waterloo Region. Their services include emergency shelter programs for youth aged 16-25 years, counseling, and help with education and employment.
  • YW Kitchener-Waterloo: YW Kitchener-Waterloo provides emergency shelter and transitional housing to women and families in need. They offer a safe and supportive environment, empowering women to regain independence and outreach programs.

If you need emergency shelter and would like to discuss your options, please call the Prevention and Diversion line at 519-624-9133.

Hockey Helps the Homeless Waterloo Region: 10th Annual Tournament

One of the organizations making an impact in Waterloo Region is Hockey Helps the Homeless
(HHTH). Over the last nine years, HHTH Waterloo Region has donated $1.9 million to our local emergency shelter network. Their upcoming fundraiser on October 27th marks the 10th Annual Pro-Am Hockey Tournament that brings together passionate community members who want to make a difference right here in Waterloo Region. All funds raised will go to support: The Working Centre, OneROOF Youth Services, YW Kitchener-Waterloo, Lutherwood Safe Haven Youth Services, House of Friendship, and Cambridge Shelter Corporation.

Poor Boy Lunch Hockey Helps the Homeless Waterloo Region
Hockey Helps the Homeless Waterloo Region 2022
Hockey Helps the Homeless Waterloo Region 2022 2

Getting Involved:

We’re proud to shine a light on the work of our local shelters, Hockey Helps the Homeless, and the dedication of our community who continue to support the belief that everyone should have a safe place to call home. Join us on October 27th and find out how you can participate in HHTH fundraiser or reach out to the highlighted shelters. These organizations are constantly seeking support, whether through volunteering, donations, or raising awareness of local homelessness support systems. By getting involved, you can take part in building a stronger, more inclusive community, and bring hope to those in need in Waterloo Region.

[1] The Region of Waterloo. (2023). Mid-Project Key Findings. The Plan to End Chronic Homelessness.

"I was in a cycle. I would be okay, then would struggle, then would crash and self-harm. Lutherwood had people there for me, always helping me. Instead of turning to self-harm, I learned to sit in my anxiety and feel it, to build awareness and resilience. Now, I am more confident and I know what I want in life. I miss the incredible staff there."