United Way Connection Centres


Making Connections

Connection Centres are an initiative led by United Way. They offer wrap-around supports including trauma-informed care, substance use and mental health counselling, as well as basic needs such as showers, laundry and food. Services are client-centred, providing dignity and choice with an unrelenting focus on securing permanent housing.

Help for those living unsheltered

Stratford Connection Centre Logo

Stratford

9 Douro St., N5A 3R2

Connection Centre - Logo South Huron

Exeter

70670 London Rd., N0M 1S1

North Huron Connection Centre

Wingham

23 John St., N0G 2W0


Understanding the Problem

People who experience homelessness are not distinct and separate from the rest of the population. In fact, the line between being housed and unhoused is quite fluid. In general, the pathways into and out of homelessness are neither linear nor uniform. Individuals and families who experience homelessness may not share much in common with each other, aside from the fact that they are extremely vulnerable, and lack adequate housing and income and the necessary supports to ensure they stay housed. The causes of homelessness reflect an intricate interplay between structural factors, systems failures and individual circumstances. Homelessness is usually the result of the cumulative impact of a number of factors, rather than a single cause. (Homeless Hub)

 

Common Causes of Homelessness

Systemic Barriers

Low income, unemployment, disability.

Housing

Eviction and/or unaffordable housing. Not enough to house population.

Discrimination

Race, gender, ability.

Challenges

Relational, behavioral, emotional or physical.

Exacerbating Factors

Untreated Mental Health

Lack of support and services.

Substance Abuse

Compromised health and safety.

Personal Crisis

E.g. illness, abuse, death of a loved one, divorce, job loss.

Pandemic

Lack of informal housing options (couch surfing and rentals) due to isolation preference and mass exodus from bigger cities

 

298 people are experiencing homelessness in Perth and Huron County

**Source: Huron County and City of Stratford Social Services Departments


The United Way Connection Centre Initiative

Services offered at Connection Centres

Cooling Warming

Cooling/Warming

Food and Meals

Food & Meals

Showers

Showers

Clothing

Clothes

Laundry

Laundry Facilities

phone

Phone, Computer, & Internet

Emotional support

Emotional Support

Social support

Social Connection

Referrals

Agency Referrals

Documents

Document Readiness

 

Values of Operation

Client Centered

Client Centred

Focuses on access to basic needs, prioritizes building trust with participants and bridging gaps toward more formal supports.

Dignity and Choices

Dignity and Choice

All services are voluntary, allowing participants the autonomy to determine service goals and empower them with dignity and choice.

Housing Focused

Housing Focused

Unrelenting in efforts to make the experience of homelessness as brief as possible and return people to permanent accommodation.

 

How it works

Building trust with service providers and volunteers can lead to opportunities to engage with more formal supports.

By offering informal services such as showers, food, care and concern, staff can work to build the trust of clients and then offer more formal Services such as Counselling, Legal Aid, Coordinated Access System. 

Moreover, additional social services that are combating/mitigating poverty can collect in one space for ease of referrals for the client. Navigating the system can be challenging.

CMHA Huron Perth can offer Professional social workers specializing in counselling and peer support, and working with vulnerable populations

  • Adult and Youth Substance Use
  • Problem Gambling & Behavioral Addiction
  • Peer Support
  • Housing
  • Court Support
  • Community Withdrawal Management

Examples of other potential onsite partners

  • Huron Perth Public Health
  • Healthcare services
  • Employment services
  • ODSP/OW services
  • Legal Aid
  • Library
  • Voting

 


How can YOU help?

The Connection Centre relies on the caring and concern of our entire community to continue to serve those experiencing homelessness.

Make a Donation Make a Donation Donate Now

Connection Centres are funded by United Way Perth-Huron, so their viability into the future is dependant on generous donations by the public. To donate and support the centres, please donate here – or give us a call at (519) 271-7730.

Donate Goods Donate Goods
Volunteer Volunteer

 

 

To donate goods or volunteer with a Connection Centre, please contact them directly at:

Stratford
~ Current donation needs list on the Facebook page.
~ Email: connectioncentre@cmhahuronperth.com
~ Phone: 226-921-1025

Southern Huron (Exeter)
~ Current donation needs list on the Facebook page.
~ Email: eptcan.noahsark@gmail.com
~ Phone: 519-235-2991

Northern Huron (Wingham)
~ For current donation needs, please email.
~ Email: connectioncentre@cmhahuronperth.com
~ Phone: 519-271-6730 ext. 245  

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