Stratford and Area

Your Impact in Stratford & Area

• United Way helps support 20 programs and services for Stratford & Area residents
and served 12,269 people last year
84 youth accessed counselling, supports and mentoring
551 individuals visited the United Centre to access supports & services


Stratford Connection Centre

The Stratford Connection Centre is a housing-based intervention combining the efforts of professional service providers and well-trained volunteers to begin or continue a wellness journey for individuals experiencing significant challenges, including but not limited to poverty, homelessness, addictions and mental health, all in one location in downtown Stratford.

Clients will be able to Refresh and Restart: Laundry ∙ Showers ∙ Washrooms ∙ Food ∙ Social connection ∙ Emotional support ∙ Information & referrals ∙ Document Readiness


Meet basic needs. A place to use a washroom and shower. Have a cup of coffee with access to clean water, and/or an indoor space out of the cold or heat.

Build social ties. Build trust with service providers and volunteers, leading to opportunities for more formal supports.

Connect to social services. Volunteers and staff can help clients navigate entry into formal support with existing agencies.

Build pathways out of poverty that provide dignity and choice, empowering clients.


The Connection Centre is an important project for vulnerable local people. It will provide an opportunity beyond offering a warm place to sit or take a shower — although that’s certainly important — the centre also offers the possibility of longer-term change for people in need. We’re happy to be working together with our partners to make this plan a reality.

– Choices for Change Executive Director
Catherine Hardman

The City of Stratford is proud to be working with United Way and Choices for Change on this project. We see the challenges faced by local people in need. The Connection Centre is a collaborative approach that allows us to address the ongoing issue of homelessness in an innovative way. Ideally, we will see long-term permanent housing solutions through these efforts.

Director of Social Services for the City of Stratford
Kim McElroy


Community Renewal Company

United Way is committed to addressing long-term housing needs as well as providing more immediate assistance. Through incubation of a new Community Renewal Company, United Way is working toward building supportive housing, ensuring our most vulnerable are cared for.


589 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:


Gayle was busy with her two young sons, always juggling her two part time jobs and all the challenges that come with being a young mom. Grandma Betty was the glue of the family, always ready to pick up a sick child from school, run an errand, drop off kids at a play date or start dinner when Gayle worked late. Things were tight, but the family of four made it work. Then Betty’s increasing fatigue was explained through a dire diagnosis. The family’s world turned upside down. Gayle decreased her work schedule to care for her mom, but the bills started to stack up in the corner of the kitchen.


United Way Perth-Huron supports 20 partners in Stratford, 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. 

  • 4,042 people helped in Stratford & Area by United Way Perth-Huron’s pandemic emergency relief efforts
  • 1,445 individuals, families, seniors and youth accessed counselling and mentoring services
  • 45 children who witnessed violence received counselling
  • 91 men accessed Institutional Visiting and Reintegration Support Program services or emergency transportation
  • 3,913 people were given access to food
  • 565 seniors and those with mobility challenges connected to the community by transportation services
  • 57 youth benefited from housing and support care 

Changing Local Lives

Thanks to a United Way supported partner, Stephanie has the support she needs:

Stephanie’s father was dealing with serious mental health issues and Stephanie had to leave home. She was connected with a local youth shelter that offered a safe place for her to stay and recover.
Stephanie struggled with depression and had trouble leaving her room when she first arrived. Through counselling and a safe environment, Stephanie was able to start working through her emotions and gain a sense of comfort and stability.
Now, Stephanie has a full-time job and is on the list for supportive, independent housing in her community. The future looks brighter for Stephanie and she is able to celebrate the small victories along the way.


  Stratford & Area cover graphic

Stratford & Area Impact (PDF)


Supported Partners

Community Outreach Services (Knollcrest Lodge) ConnectYouth Perth-Huron Emily Murphy Centre Family Services Perth-Huron
Huron County Food Bank Distribution Centre iVolunter Perth-Huron John Howard Society of London & District KEYs — Keep Yourself Educated
Local Community Food Centre myPerthHuron ONE CARE Home & Community Support Services Social Research & Planning Council
Stratford/Perth Shelterlink 211 United Centre YMCA of Stratford-Perth
Youth in Action Grant Autism Ontario
(United Centre Tenant)
Blankets for Canada
(United Centre Tenant)
(United Centre Tenant)
Legal Aid Ontario
(United Centre Tenant)
Stratford Symphony Orchestra
(United Centre Tenant)
Stratford Connection Centre 
(Choices for Change)


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