South Huron and Area

Your Impact in South Huron & Area

• support 17 programs and services for South Huron & Area residents
6,343 people helped in South Huron and Bluewater
220 people connected to the community by transportation services
52 individuals and families participated in physical/community activities to increase wellness          


A unique service in South Huron, the Exeter Connection Centre will be a welcoming place offering basic needs such as light meals, a shower, washroom facilities and laundry. Partnerships with numerous agencies offering support to local people in need mean those using the centre can access important services and supports under one roof.

Over the next three years, a community garden, collective kitchen programs and early years programming will be added, breaking down barriers and developing relationships between community members.


117 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:


Gwen lived with her young grandchildren in a small apartment. Her modest income was just enough to keep them housed, fed and clothed. Then the letter came stating the building was being sold and she had four weeks to move.
A million thoughts went through Gwen’s head; finding an affordable new place, the cost of moving, the deposits—all unexpected and unwelcome expenses when she was just getting by. Gwen wasn’t sure where to turn for help until she heard about the Urgent Needs Fund. 



United Way Perth-Huron supports 17 partners in Exeter & Area, providing valuable programs and services to residents in the community where they live. Together with committed volunteers and donors, United Way works to ensure a brighter future for even more local people. 

  • 3,380 people helped in South Huron & Area by United Way Perth-Huron’s pandemic emergency relief efforts
  • 4,739 people were given access to food
  • 22 children and youth matched with a mentor
  • 7 youth benefited from housing and support care
  • 50 women and their children received shelter after escaping domestic violence


Homelessness isn’t just about sleeping on the streets. A person may be in a temporary shelter, incarcerated without a place to go after or couch surfing. Homelessness affects almost every aspect of life including family well-being, employment and physical and mental health. People experiencing homelessness have shorter life expectancies, are more likely to be victims of violence and go hungry at least once a week. The odds often feel stacked against those experiencing homelessness due to complex, interconnected issues like mental illness, addiction and abuse.

During the 2018 Homelessness Enumeration, 100 individuals identified as experiencing homelessness in Huron County. However, 80% of homelessness is hidden—meaning there are many more people struggling to find a place to call their own.


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 Emergency shelter during cold months

50 Women and children provided with emergency shelter in Huron in 2020

Basic Income icon Basic Income & Living Wage advocacy

Supportive Housing Study icon Hub/Supportive Housing feasibility study

Long Term Housing icon Other long term housing advocacy and initiatives

7 Youth accessed Huron Safe Homes for Youth and gained a fresh start in 2020


Dan lost his job because of poor physical health.
Unemployed, and without a place to call his own, he struggled with his mental health. It got so bad Dan felt as though he didn’t want to live anymore. Before he did anything to harm himself, Dan reached out for help and found his way to Huron Turning Point.
Once Dan arrived, his life started getting better. The staff listened with compassion and helped him work through his challenges. Dan felt lucky to have a roof over his head and three meals every day. Even when he was on his own and working, affording rent and food had been difficult, so his stress was greatly reduced.
Now, Dan is hopeful. The other residents and staff have become like family to him and he has started working odd jobs because he loves to help. With another grandchild on the way, Dan is looking forward to putting down roots and building a brighter future.


United Way Southern Huron Community Committee

Dave Reid (Co-chair) Darren Boyle (Co-chair) David Baker Maureen Cole Lori Cribley-Clark
Ang Cullen Morgan Dykstra Donna Gregus Wendy Haggitt Dave Hughes
Andrea Loohuizen Elise Metcalf Andrew Middleton Benita Ruby Tanya Samson
Shawn Walker        

–> United Way Perth-Huron Manager Community Development, South Huron & Area: Lori Shatto


Changing Local Lives

“I was overwhelmed, exhausted, running from appointment to appointment, living with an abusive partner. A home health nurse connected me with a group of people in similar situations and I discovered the support and understanding I was looking for.
“My life started to change. I made different choices. I learned and challenged myself to be better. I worked three jobs because I knew I wanted to get ahead, to soar.
“Thanks to all the help and caring along the way, I can support my family on my own and keep working toward all I want to accomplish.”


River arrived at a local women’s shelter after an assault by her partner. She also struggled with addiction and recently lost custody of her young daughter.
River stayed in shelter on and off for about a year, never able to fully deal with her painful experiences. When she became pregnant again, River decided she needed to start working more on healing. She got counselling and started dealing with her addiction, as well as rebuilding a relationship with her parents. Eventually, River applied for Second Stage housing and found an apartment. She lived in that apartment for 18 months with her baby and regained access to her other child. 
Now, thanks to a United Way supported partner River has the skills and confidence to face the challenges in her life and keep building a better life.


Supported Partners serving Exeter & Area residents:

Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Huron ConnectYouth Perth-Huron Huron County Food Bank Distribution Centre
Huron Housing Advocate Huron Safe Homes for Youth Huron Turning Point Transition Home Exeter
Huron-Perth Centre for Children & Youth Huron Women’s Shelter iVolunteer Perth-Huron
John Howard Society of London & District KEYs — Keep Educating Yourself myPerthHuron
ONE CARE Home & Community Support Services Poverty 2 Prosperity Social Research & Planning Council
211 YMCA of Southwestern Ontario Youth in Action Grants


Exeter Town Hall

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