Basic Needs Guide

Everyone needs help sometime...

Living on a fixed or limited income is hard work. It can be a real struggle just to provide housing and food for your family. Unexpected expenses can throw your budget into chaos. The sudden loss of work, an accident or a fire can force families to have to live on a drastically reduced income. These stresses can affect both your physical and mental health.

Waterloo Region has many support services that respond to basic needs. There are food hamper and hot meal programs, others that help with some housing costs, places to sleep if you’re on the streets, and discretionary benefits from social services to help with things such as emergency dental costs. There are also distress-lines that can help if you just need someone to talk to.

This guide will help you to connect with these services. You can explore your options and decide which programs fit your needs. The choices are yours to make. Bear in mind that many of the people who work and volunteer with these agencies have "been there" and appreciate the challenges you face.

This guide will also explore programs that go beyond basic needs to help you to develop additional skills, for example, learning to budget or updating your education. Other programs can help you with things such as the job hunt, resume writing, and interview skills. Perhaps your dream is being self-employed - there are groups that can help you with that too!

The SPCKW/CICWR’s purpose for writing this guide is to offer a starting point by providing you with the connections needed to find resources within your community. The first steps involve learning about these groups, making choices, and reaching out to the ones that feel right to you.

The guide does not list every program available so please call our enquiry line at 519-579-3800 if you don’t find the service you need.