Goderich and Area

Your Impact in Goderich & Area

Together we improve lives through support for basic needs, service connection, advocacy, research and cultivating innovative initiatives.

United Way Perth-Huron helps here in the community you care about. Thanks to United Way, its partners and donors, vulnerable people in Goderich & Area have the chance for a brighter future including…

  • 1,096 people called 211 or visited 211ontario.ca to connect with services
  • 543 women and children supported and sheltered
  • 158 youth supported with financial assistance for extracurricular activities
  • 42 participants in Destination Prosperity
  • 15 youth provided with shelter and support


Lack of Housing: A single bedroom rental is over $1,200/mo. 169 people are experiencing homelessness in Huron County.

 Low Income: About half of people with incomes in Perth-Huron earn less than a living wage ($37,674 annually).

 Mental Health: By the time Canadians reach the age of 40, 1 in 2 have experienced a mental illness.

 Access to Services: Navigating the local social service network is challenging, especially for our most vulnerable.

 Intimate Partner Violence: In Huron County, police received 423 calls related to intimate partner violence in 2022.

 Food Insecurity: 1 in 6 Canadian children live in a food insecure household. Food prices rose 7.4% in one year.


Holistic Approach

United Way is committed to cultivating innovative initiatives addressing root causes of local social issues. We research and advocate for a living wage, affordable housing and improved social assistance rates and services.

We also understand that long-term goals don’t solve the challenges of a person facing eviction next week, or the parent with empty cupboards and hungry children right now. To that end, we also fundraise and invest in programs to help ensure people get the immediate help they need.

Changing Local Lives

Thanks to United Way and a supported partner, Marcia has the support he needs:

Marcia’s husband was sexually, emotionally, and physically abusive to her and their two children. The family moved many times and Marcia became increasingly isolated.
The abuse continued to escalate, and after an encounter left her with a broken arm, Marcia decided “no more” and escaped one night, taking the kids with her.
After so many years of trauma, Marcia and her children struggled with fear and paranoia. Desperate for help, she connected with a United Way supported program and the family began their journey to healing.
Now, Marcia’s family is doing better. The children are adjusting to their new life and Marcia has become a tireless advocate for her family’s well-being. She continues working on building a brighter future.

So does Owen:

Three years. That’s how long Owen experienced homelessness, but if you talked to him, he couldn’t really remember the last time he felt safe and had a place to call his own.
The trauma he experienced after years living rough magnified his mental health challenges, leaving Owen Struggling to live independently even after he was housed. But unlike in the past, Owen wasn’t alone.
A team from a United Way supported program gathered around him, helping him build relationships with neighbours, improving his well-being and making Owen feel he was part of a caring community. Slowly, the pieces of his new life began coming together.
Now, Owen is doing much better. Thanks to continued support, he is able to keep his housing and feels more confident the future will be brighter after living through so many dark days.

Goderich Youth Collective Leadership Program

A YMCA-run program funded by UWPH, the 16-week Goderich Youth Collective leadership program focuses on healthy and active living, both mental and physical. Participants will learn new skills, discover community resources, and make new friends in a safe and welcoming environment. A YMCA membership is not required and enrollment is free. The first launch engaged Goderich area youth, with later offerings intended to include youth across Huron. For more information, contact program coordinator Danielle Mackay at danielle.lee.mackay@hotmail.com.

Community Renewal Company

United Way Perth-Huron’s Community Renewal Company is the region’s first entrepreneurial not-for-profit affordable housing provider. The Community Renewal Company will build and operate housing for people experiencing homelessness, people of low income, and people able to pay market rates, creating sustainable developments where residents of all backgrounds live together.

Urgent Needs Fund

217 local residents accessed assistance

The Urgent Needs Fund is designed to support local residents in a time of crisis with funds for essentials such as rent, groceries, car repairs, medication and child care. United Way is also working for long-term change, lifting people beyond poverty while still ensuring their immediate, basic needs are met:

Sam and Kate’s daughter needed emergency treatment in London. At first, everything was okay. Kate’s employers both said she could return to work when her daughter felt better and Sam was sure they could get by, but it was tough living on one wage. The savings they scraped together disappeared quickly and Sam and Kate knew they would have to start making tough choices about paying the for utilities or buying healthy food. Then the family car broke down. Sam and Kate weren’t sure where to turn for help until they heard about the Urgent Needs Fund.

Increasing Access to Services: Lack of Housing in Goderich

Homelessness isn’t just about sleeping on the streets; it affects almost every aspect of life including family well-being, employment and physical and mental health and almost 80% of homelessness is either hidden or unreported. The Goderich and area community remains committed to addressing the #UNIGNORABLE issue of lack of housing.
United Way Perth-Huron supports the community’s efforts to address lack of housing through support of the Huron Homelessness Initiative, including programs providing shelter for women, children and youth as well as emergency shelter during the cold months of the year.

Meeting Needs

Housing Advocate icon Housing Advocate to find housing & provide ongoing support

Prevention Services icon  Prevention and support services for youth & women

Turning point for men icon  Three new beds for Huron Turning Point transition home for men

Emergency shelter icon Emergency shelter during cold months

56 individuals used the “Out of the Cold” program and/or were supported by the Huron County Housing Stability Worker in 2022


Goderich and Area Community Committee

Beth Blowes (Chair) Danielle Bettridge Randy Carroll Tabitha Fisher
Bernice Glenn Wendy Hutton Barbara Kane David Mackechnie
Gloria Workman      

–> United Way Perth-Huron Manager Community Development, Goderich & Area: Michelle Millar


Supported Partners in Goderich & Area

211 Connect Youth Perth-Huron BBBS South Bruce North Huron BBBS South Huron Emily Murphy Centre
Huron County Huron County Food Bank Distribution Centre Huron Perth Public Health Huron Safe Homes For Youth Huron Turning Point
Huron Women’s Shelter John Howard Society ONE CARE YMCAs of SWO  


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