Southern Huron

Your Impact in Southern Huron

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 Southern Huron have the chance for a brighter future including…

  • 187 people accessed transportation
  • 259 people called 211 to connect with services
  • 66 people received financial assistance in a time of pressing need
  • 47 women escaping violence sheltered
  • 4 youth accessed housing and supports
  • 4 men accessed transitional housing


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 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, Archie has the support he needs:

It was a bitterly cold February and Henry found himself living on the streets, a tent his only shelter. He was able to get food, but a warm, safe place to call his own seemed like a dream until Henry connected with a transition home, where he settled into his own room with regular meals and the support he needed. Thanks to the caring staff, Henry made connections with more supports to help him on his journey out of homelessness, but he still doesn’t have a permanent home.

Southern Huron Connection Centre

United Way’s South Huron Connection Centre is a welcoming place offering basic needs such as light meals, a shower, washroom and laundry facilities. 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.

56 unique individuals accessed the Connection Centre

Community Renewal Company

The Community Renewal Company initial focus is developing and operating affordable rental supply, supportive housing options and innovation in social service access and delivery, including community hubs. The renewal company will also play a critical role in the community development ecosystem, supporting and building relationships between non-profit service providers and their supporters and advocates

Urgent Needs Fund

66 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 in case something like this were to happen:


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. 


Eliminate Chronic Homelessness

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.

The Huron Homelessness Enumeration of 2021 reported 169 individuals 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.

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 Emergency shelter during cold months


When Clarice arrived at the local Connection Centre, she was struggling to get her life back on track. With each visit, the caring staff built a relationship with her and she shared her story. Clarice revealed she was struggling with an abusive partner and wasn’t sure where to turn. Staff put her in touch with the services she needed to help find a place to live, a job and mental health supports.

Now, Clarice is doing better. She continues working on improving her mental health and has her own apartment. Clarice is giving back too! She volunteers at the Connection Centre, helping sustain the sense of caring and community she felt from the first moment she arrived.


United Way Southern Huron Community Committee

Bonnie Baynham (Co-chair) Benita Ruby (Co-chair) Bonnie Baynham Dawn Crook
Wendy Haggitt Andrea Loohuizen Elise Metcalf Sheila Preszcator
Shawn Walker      

–> United Way Perth-Huron Manager Community Development, Southern Huron: Michelle Millar


Changing Local Lives

“I am the grandmother to three young boys who lost their mother in 2021. She used the Recreation Arts and Sports Program to help pay for their sports, specifically hockey as it is their passion in life to play.

“Since my daughter passed away and I have taken these boys into my home, I have tried my best to keep their lives as routine as possible. Because I am retired and live on very little income, I reached out for help. This program has done wonders for my grandsons and I am so thankful that they were able to continue to help my boys. They have been through so much and it means so much to me to be able to keep them in their hockey so they can see their friends and coaches and try to be “normal” for a few hours each week. Thank you!”


Supported Partners serving Exeter & Area residents:

211 BBBS of South Huron Connect Youth Perth-Huron Emily Murphy Centre
Huron County Homelessness Strategy Huron County Food Bank Distribution Centre Huron Perth Public Health Huron Safe Homes For Youth
Huron Turning Point ONE CARE YMCAs of SWO  

Want to read more?

Southern Huron impact trifold cover
Southern Huron Trifold Pamplet (PDF)


Exeter Town Hall

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