St Marys and Area

St Marys Rail Trail

Your Impact in St. Marys & 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, over 1,500 vulnerable people in St. Marys and area have the chance for a brighter future including…

  • 1,127 visits to access food
  • 170 people received counselling
  • 113 youth accessed the St. Marys Youth Centre
  • 88 seniors accessed transportation
  • 60 people called 211 to connect with services
  • 7 men accessed post-incarceration supports
  • 6 children escaping violence counselled 


Lack of Housing: A single bedroom rental is over $1,200/mo. 171 people are experiencing homelessness in Stratford, St. Marys and Perth County.

 Low Income: 57% of people with incomes in Perth-Huron earn less than a living wage ($35,262 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: Stratford/St. Marys police received 586 calls related to intimate partner violence in 2021.

 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, Irene has the support she needs:

“Being retired and widowed made it hard to make ends meet. My bank account emptied out pretty quickly and I had to continually think about what bills I might have to put aside so I could afford to buy groceries. It was an ongoing monthly stress in my life until I discovered the NOURISH Equal Access Food Market.

“Even with the little money I had, I could buy healthy food. I wish I’d heard about NOURISH sooner!

“I still have to be careful what I spend, but thanks to United Way and NOURISH I feel I’m better off and the future looks brighter.”

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

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:

Maggie was sad and happy that her grandchildren were with her now. She was thrilled to be able to see them every day, but she was sad that her daughter was in such a bad place. Chris and Clare had arrived suddenly two days before with nothing but the clothes they were wearing. Maggie’s mind raced, thinking about her modest savings, wondering how she could afford the cost of clothes, toiletries, some toys and extra food. Probably $120 would do it, but she had to budget carefully over a couple months; so extra on groceries now, one extra set of clothes…

St. Marys Community Developer and Support Worker

The St. Marys Community Developer and Support Worker works to help support those living in and around social housing — understanding their challenges and connecting them with services while strengthening networks and awareness, ensuring the community becomes a happier, healthier place for everyone to live.

Addressing Food Insecurity

Food insecurity is linked to learning difficulties, obesity, reduced productivity for kids at school and poorer mental health. NOURISH helps mitigate the effects of poverty by offering wholesale prices on fresh veggies, fruits and meat to residents facing food insecurity; providing a dignified shopping experience to 70 attendees every month.

Action: St. Marys NOURISH Equal Access Food Market

  • Mitigates the effects of poverty by offering wholesale prices on local fresh veggies, fruits and meat to lower income residents
  • Provides a dignified shopping experience
  • Third Thursday of every month
  • Averaging 70 attendees every month

United Way St. Marys Community Committee

Rob Edney (Co-chair) Leslie Edney (Co-chair) Amanda Davis Kelly Deeks-Johnson Don Dingwall
Brent Kittmer Jenny Mikita Kim Ross Jones Spencer Seymour Paul Lloyd Williams
Pamela Zabel        
–> United Way Perth-Huron Resource Development Associate: Janine Wass

Changing Local Lives


Erin was desperate for a sense of security. She’d been living with her mother, Pam, but due to Pam’s ongoing struggles with mental health and addictions, the family had been without a stable home for several years.

Erin decided to move to Huron County to live with a friend, but shortly after she arrived, Erin began struggling with her own mental wellness. After a stay in hospital, Erin was referred to housing assistance supports. Thanks to this help, Erin was able to secure financial assistance to meet her basic needs and eventually a Rent- Geared-to-Income housing unit. To address her mental wellness, Erin was referred for a psychological assessment and she was able to find more of the help she needed.

Thanks to United Way and a supported partner, Erin lives independently in her community and credits the ongoing support and advocacy she received with showing her a brighter future.


Reg and Tasha were struggling. The parents were having trouble with the six kids in their blended family being unable to go to school because of the pandemic and not being able to access the food programs there they normally accessed.

They arrived at the doors of a local food hamper program because they’d heard food was available for families and they received a basket, while also discovering food was available any time if they needed it. The staff sat down together and discussed all the available supports and how the family could access them.

Now, Reg and Tash are doing better. Thanks to caring and support from United Way and a supported partner, the couple got immediate help in a time of pressing need.


Supported Partners in St. Marys

Alzheimer Society of Perth County ConnectYouth Perth-Huron Emily Murphy Centre Family Services Perth-Huron
Huron County Food Bank Distribution Centre Huron Women’s Shelter iVolunteer Perth-Huron John Howard Society of London & District
KEYs — Keep Yourself Educated Living Wage Ontario myPerthHuron NOURISH Equal Access Food Market
ONE CARE Home & Community Support Services Stratford/Perth Shelterlink Social Research & Planning Council St. Marys Youth Centre
211 YMCA Three Rivers Youth in Action Grants  


Stratford Perth Community Foundation


St Marys Water Tower

Ortho Tri-Cyclen Online Buy Ovral L Buy Dronis Online Buy Tamoxifen without Prescription

Share this: