Advocacy Training and Action

Apr 6 2017
Disabilities and Human Rights Group logoNext meeting of the Disabilities and Human Rights Group is coming up next Wednesday, April 12 from 1:30-3:30 pm at 74 Frederick St. in Kitchener. There is always some parking spots available at the Trinity United Church parking lot between Queen and Duke, but you can join us through a teleconference - either through your computer or phone. Call 519-579-3800 to get connection information. Exciting points on the agenda: Awareness of Low Income Voices ALIV(e) has joined Social Development Centre's civic engagement support program, advocacy training for peer groups and gearing up for a forum on May 17 Measuring Responsive Leadership. 

Civic Analytics for Decent Lives

Apr 4 2017

Our Decent Lives project reflects the guiding principles of the civil analytics, explained by Canada 2020 authors Don Lenihan and Thomas Pitfield: "While we agree that civil analytics will change the nature of policy discussion, we believe it will do so in ways that expand the opportunities for meaningful debate, dialogue and collaboration...  Getting the right mix of people around the table to sort through these issues is a critical condition for the success of civil analytics. These people won’t be just data scientists. Depending on the issue, the process will need experts of various kinds. Ordinary citizens are important too. In a democracy, they are the “experts” on values and priorities."  We are developing assessment tools with data collected and interpreted by many experts in our community. Be curious and get in touch with us to learn more. 

Tenants Rights Enforcement Information Sheet

Mar 29 2017

Tenants Rights Enforcement videoStaying Housed and keeping a home is becoming more challenging with the persisting lack of available, adequate and affordable rental units.  Renter's Toolkit: Finding and Keeping a Home is a new resource for renters produced by the Region of Waterloo Community Services in collaboration with organizations and agencies providing housing supports in the region. Our contribution to the initiative grew out of the community engagement work in neighbourhoods with tenants and property standards enforcement agencies. Tenants' Rights Enforcement Information Sheet is a product of collaboration with Kitchener ByLaw and Fire Safety, Waterloo Region Community Legal Services and Police Services, R.E.N.T. and KW Tenant Group to assist renters primarily in Kitchener how to navigate multiple systems of support.

2017 Inclusion Challenge

Mar 11 2017

2016 FON Clothes LineThis year we invite everyone to take the Reach! Challenge, by designing neighbourhood gatherings in a way that breaks down invisible, but oh so real, barriers for people to participate. We know that sometimes there is a fine line between someone ‘wanting’ or ‘being interested’ in connecting with their neighbours and their not feeling comfortable, able or welcome to come out to neighbourhood gatherings. We are excited to be preparing a tool about how to be intentionally inclusive, accessible and welcoming based on our 24 year's long experience with Festival of Neighbourhoods. Read more in our March E-Neighbour

Cherry Park Neighbourhood Connection

Mar 7 2017

Unleash the Power of NeighboursMessage from Cherry Park: Unleash the Power of Neighbours! on March 24 at St Mark’s Lutheran Church. Cherry Park Neighbourhood Association and Social Development Centre are hosting gathering to explore what drives people’s action in their neighbourhood. They have been working together to create buzz around a special engagement process thanks to the Neighbourhood Connection Award won at the 2015/2016 Festival of Neighbourhoods Finale. We will support the current leaders and volunteers to connect with interested neighbours who want to explore what excites and inspires people to get involved and how to best nurture future engagement.

Living Wage: What Employees Say

Feb 23 2017

Employee Survey 2016 LWWRSocial Development Centre has been a member of the Living Wage Waterloo Region Steering Committee since its inception. In 2015, we led the evaluation process to learn what employers who joined appreciated most about the initiative. In 2016, we conducted a survey to learn about employee experience working for living wage employers. This is a report that incites action. Learn more about the Living Wage Waterloo Region and the ways to get involved. 

Pedestrian Connection Traynor to Fairway

Feb 17 2017

Door to door in Traynor-Vanier"It can take me 2 hours to get to FoodBasics and back with my walker because I take two busses. The bus transfer does not even last long enough."

"With two little kids for whom 30 minutes is too much to walk and going by bus around is too long for basic groceries."

"It is important to get to work early in the morning when not even buses go."

While the City of Kitchener is collecting input for a feasibility study regarding a pedestrian connection over ION tracks in Traynor-Vanier neighbourhood, our team made door to door visits and talked to 176 tenants to contribute valuable input about travel patterns in the area.

Benefits for All Ontarians

Feb 13 2017

2017 Pre-budget submission to the Ontario Ministry of Finance: "It is not necessary to undertake a complicated pilot project to prove people are better off with more income. This has already been proven time and again. We urge you to consider the ethics of this plan and to not delay increasing basic assistance to people who face real desperation. Increase or augment social assistance rates to at least 80% of the Low Income Measure and increase Discretionary Benefits to at $15 per person... It is important that the provincial budget reflect what is important for people in a coherent, integrated and understandable way. A piecemeal approach that offers small gains for various groups will not reflect a rational perspective of what is necessary and appropriate for the investment of shared tax dollars to benefit Ontarians individually and collectively." 

REACH! Theme of the 24th Festival Season

Jan 13 2017

This year's theme asks ou to “Reach!” We want to encourage you to engage and extend yourself into your  neighbourhood, to reach out. You might find that doing so might increase your capacity, or your “reach”. Challenge yourself this year to reach out a little further! Read more in thE-Neighbour.

Winter Sidewalk Safety

Jan 9 2017

Disabilities and Human Rights Group LogoThe new year and the snowy weather are upon us. Disabilities and Human Rights Group is resuming its regular activity and the next meeting is on Wednesday, January 11 at 1:30pm-3pm at 74 Frederick Street in Kitchener. Besides the continuation of the winter sidewalk safety discussion, the group will be setting priorities for 2017 and identifying further challenges in support system navigation to strengthen its capacity for advocacy. Some of the identified areas to work on are: access to information, inclusion and strong neighbourhoods, housing, transportation and mobility, health care, Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Standards. The group relies on the knowledge gained through experience and works from what people can do and contribute. Everyone is welcome to join.