Updates from the Social Planning Council
of Kitchener-Waterloo

On June 22, we hosted our 48th Annual General Meeting. We promised you an evening of music, dance and engaging conversations. It was everything we had imagined!

Four inspiring community stories were shared (watch the video) and the 2nd Decent Lives forum  was a wonderful mix of enthusiasm, insight and trust so people were connecting easily and deeply. For our 2014 Annual Activities Report see this Powerpoint presentation. Hope you get in touch and help us work on the priorities we have set for the year.

Board members elected for a new or renewed term are: Nathan Pike, Arlene Garrick, Brad Ullner, Michelle Cutts, Dunja Miskovic and Lauren Oliva. They will be joining Iliana Pressman and Malcolm Waisman who are continuing their two year terms.  Welcome to all new board members!

An exciting announcement was made at this year’s AGM. We are launching a new Community Council to help provide a strong citizen foundation to assist SPC achieve its social development mandate. The Board is seeking 10 members to join the Board on the Council by September 2015. We have received a very good response and still have a few openings. For more information see Community Social Planning Council Membership and Purpose and Application Form

ACTION NEEDED: If interested please complete and submit an application to spckw@waterlooregion.org, by mail to 300-151 Frederick St. Kitchener ON, N2H 2M2 or fax to 519-578-9185

Blue Book Directory of Community Services 2015
The 33rd Edition of the Blue Book Directory of Community Services for 2015 is available. It is an invaluable resource for anyone who supports people and provides information & referral. It is also a useful guide from which your staff, students and volunteers can become familiar with agencies, groups and programs throughout the Region. Even in the Internet era, it is nice to have a hard copy of the book in your hands and in your office.

ACTION NEEDED: Order your copy before September 1st and tell us "Iliana sent me" and Iliana will deliver your copy personally in any location in Waterloo Region. This will save you the shipping and handling cost! Download the order form now!

Kitchen Table Talks 2015"Everyone deserves to live a decent life". The question is, how do we make it happen in our communities and right in the neighbourhoods in which we live. There is a lot of important work to be done and we want to hear from you and your neighbours, friends and colleagues. 

Kitchen Table Talks are informal, small group conversations in a familiar locations with people you know. The discussions so far have been stimulating and thought provoking. Some examples:"To have decent life, I want to contribute and have a sense of self-determination." "Are neighbourhoods more important when a community reaches a certain size?" "My neighbourhood is where I am most familiar." "My neighbourhood is strong because I can trust the people around me." "So much depends on someone's income and what we can afford, the location and quality of housing, access to food and to services. How can we make it more fair?"

ACTION NEEDED: Take a look at the Kitchen Table Talk Hosts' Kit and get in touch if you want to host or participate in one! Contact Trudy Beaulne at spckw@waterlooregion.org or 519 579 1096 Ext *3006.

No step entrance - Visitable Housing We are excited to raise awareness of how making our community more accessible is the right thing to do. Read a recent article published in the Record Real Estate on VisitAble Housing. There is much interest, particularly among real estate professionals who have clients looking for more accessible homes. The first wave of the retiring boomers is well upon us. After two well received workshop presentations to K-W area realtors, we have been invited to present our VisitAble Housing workshop to members of the Real Estate Association of Hamilton-Burlington which will be happening this fall.

In addition, we are currently working on a comprehensive analysis of the regulatory environment, engineering requirements and costs associated with building homes with these features from the get-go. It can cost as little as a few hundred dollars compared to thousands of dollars to renovate a home later. Last year we hosted a workshop for municipal planners, engineers, building inspectors and developers and we are gearing up for a follow up workshop with answers to all of the questions raised in that first session. Our aim is to provide practical information that will help overcome any challenges in designing and building homes that anyone can visit.

We invite you to give input on how our community could benefit by  having all housing be 'visit-able'. We invite you to complete a brief survey about your experience and opinions. Your input is vital to determine the potential impact VisitAble Housing would have on day-to-day living in the region.  Feel free to pass along this linjk to others for whom it may also be relevant.

For more information about this survey or our VisitAble Housing project, please contact Sydney Atwood at 519-579-1096 X 3011sydney@waterlooregion.org or visit our website at www.waterlooregion.org/visitable

ACTION NEEDED: Complete the survey so we have your input - Link to the survey -- https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VisitAbleHousing 

New Electoral Boundaries This Federal Election, as we have done in previous  elections, our ream is working to be your gateway to up to date and reliable information so you can be informed and make the best choice possible when you cast your vote. We are publishing important information about local candidates, where and how to vote, issues worth voting for, all-candidates meetings and more at  http://www.waterlooregion.org/federal-election-2015!   Stay tuned for the sessions we are co-hosting with our community partners. Dates will be announced as soon as locations are confirmed in Kitchener Centre, Waterloo and Kitchener-Conestoga ridings.

Through our twitter feed you can find candidates' handles or subscribe to a list of local candidates https://twitter.com/SPCofKW/lists/federal-candidates-2015.

Assessing Federal Party Platforms Through a Local Lens

We are planning a working session to review all available party platforms using a locally developed set of criteria from our Poverty Elimination Framework. Contact us if you would want to join this work session - roll up your sleeves and explore how the policy promises meet the priorities for meeting people's needs already identified in our community.

ACTION NEEDED: Make sure to read about all the issues and campaigns building momentum before the elections, spread the word and let us know what is important for you in  this election. If you want to join the federal party platform analysis session, contact Aleksandra@waterlooregion.org.


Summer is here! Neighbourhood blitzes are being planned and the Festival of Neighbourhoods outreach team can give a little help if you want to bring your neighbours. Get in touch with entries@festivalofneighbourhoods.ca. Your neighbourhood could win prizes, including a $21,0000 neighbourhood improvement grant from the City of Kitchener, one of the three partners in the Festival, along with the Social Planning Council and John MacDonald Architect Inc.

Take a look at the 2015 Festival Map and all the great activities others have already organized across Kitchener! Put your neighbourhood on the map! Host an activity that brings your neighbours together. Good things will happen if you do.

Traynor-Vanier Neighbourhood Connection

People care a lot about their neighbourhoods! Tenants, property management staff, many volunteers and youth have been patient and persistent in building trust and connections in Traynor-Vanier since October 2013 when they won the Neighbourhood Connections Award. The property is cleaner and more beautiful, repairs are being done, tenant group is meeting regularly, tenants are coming together for activities such as March Break Fun, Soccer Club, Community Cleanup, Mobile Computer Lab and Family Drop-in. This February, the property management opened a recreation room for the tenants and they collected donations to make a cozy community space. “My kid has found friends”, “I had nowhere to go in my wheelchair before you started with the outdoor activities”, “Life’s better working together”, “We can plan for the future of our children” are snippets from the stories we are hearing daily. 

ACTION NEEDED: If you would like to volunteer or donate some furniture or toys, get in touch with KWTenantGroup@gmail.com.

Associum/Gain Offer for MembersOn behalf of our member organizations, we have negotiated special rates with ASSOCIUM/GAIN, a buyers group for non profits.  We have been a member of ASSOCIUM/GAIN for many years and have saved significantly on office supplies and other operational costs, including employee benefits.

Find out how much you could save on your own office supplies and support systems. Contact: Jenn Poirier - Director of Operations, ASSOCIUM, jpoirier@associum.com; Tel: 416-867-9350 ext. 234 | Toll: 888-761-1164 |  Click here for more information.

We are a non-government, public benefit community leader committed to
promoting social development in Waterloo Region.  
Our vision is for a healthy, fair and sustainable community
where all can participate in finding solutions.

THE INVITATION IS OPEN - BECOME A MEMBER IN 2015: Get involved and ignite your action! We work to keep important social issues on the radar and to make sure everyone can be informed and involved in planning and action for issues important to them. 

Members are individuals and organizations who support our work. Join the team today and help keep the community informed and active on issues that matter. Complete the SPCKW membership form here - an invoice will be sent with your membership confirmation. 

You can now subscribe to our  homepage news or continue to visit www.waterlooregion.org for updates on our community work and to find useful information prepared by our Community Information Centre team.

We always welcome your thoughts about our work and what you think is important in our community. Share your ideas and comments at info@waterlooregion.org so we can continue to build community knowledge together! 

Donate buttonIf you are able to support the work we do you today, this will be an investment in the future of our community. Donate now for a brighter future for everyone

Copyright ©2015
Social Planning Council of Kitchener-Waterloo
The Community Information Centre of Waterloo Region
all rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
151 Frederick St  Suite 300
Kitchener, ON  N2H2M2

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