Community Safety and Wellbeing Framework
Join an upcoming Community Collaborative Event to be part of a new way forward!
Join an upcoming Community Collaborative Event to be part of a new way forward!
41 Community Organizations Receiving Upstream Funding to Improve Community Health and WellbeingShare on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
Waterloo Region – A decision making process led by the community, for the community, is allocating $2.1M from the Region of Waterloo’s Upstream Fund and $2M from the Region’s Equity Community Capacity Building Fund. 41 organizations and groups will receive funds to improve the health and wellbeing of Indigenous, Black, racialized and other communities facing discrimination.
Investing in community safety and wellbeing has been an ongoing priority of Regional Council and the Upstream Fund was created to help address root causes affecting health and wellbeing. Together with the Equity Community Capacity Building Fund, those who are most impacted by systemic inequality are bring prioritized to remove barriers and improve safety and wellbeing across Waterloo Region.
“We know that Waterloo Region is home to many leaders and organizations who work every day to create a more equitable community for all” said Regional Chair Karen Redman. “By investing in their work, we will be able to create a better community for everyone.”
The Community Change Committee made up of 12 community leaders and residents reviewed applications from over 100 groups and organizations and allocated the funding, prioritizing grassroots organizations and groups that traditionally face barriers accessing traditional funding sources.
“The phrase ‘Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much’ has been proven to be so true.” said Fauzia Wafai, Community Change Committee Member. “The involvement of the community members has made the process transparent which in turn will develop the trust of organizations and give them confidence to do even better.”
Collectively, those receiving funding will undertake upstream and community capacity building around priorities such as Reconciliation, anti-hate, inclusive and safe spaces, employment skills, wellbeing, and system navigation.
“The Upstream Fund has the potential to shift the balance of power in our Region, and begin to prevent harm before it happens” said Community Change Committee Member Pamela Fehr. “I was repeatedly amazed at the critical and creative work occurring in all corners of the Region… our diverse committee jumped wholeheartedly into the fray to determine together what is most needed to create a safe and healthy community for ALL.”
With close to one million people expected to call Waterloo Region home by 2051, making the region safe and well for all takes a whole community approach. The Upstream Fund recognizes the value community led organizations and groups have in achieving this goal.
Investing in community-led change was a key call to action from community as part of the Community Safety and Wellbeing Plan process.
The Upstream Fund is a new $2.1 million annual fund approved in December 2021 by Council as part of the 2022 Plan and Budget.
Over the coming year, collaboration with the successful organizations will continue as the Region learns and share stories of their work and achievements – you can follow along with the process at engagewr.ca/communitysafetywellbeing. Find the full list of recipients here.
Upstream fund application review has started!Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
Phase 1: Now complete!
We are happy to say we have successfully completed the first phase of the Upstream funding model with the closing of the open call for submissions and the community collaborative events.
Over 100 applications totalling almost $12 million for Year 1 were received with a mix of one time and multi year proposals. The depth and breath of submissions really reflect this community’s commitment for change.
Phase 2: Community Change Committee and decision making in progress
The Selection Committee has completed the critical task of carefully selecting a community group consisting of 12 diverse community members to form the Community Change Committee. The Selection Committee (for the Community Change Committee) went through a robust selection process led by Gillian Wells, a community facilitator. The group represents a diverse range of experiences, skills, and identities. The dedication of the members of the Selection Committee who selected the Community Change Committee was commendable. While the Community Change Committee has a large task ahead of them, they bring not only lived experience and community representation but also a diverse set of decision-making skills to the process. We look forward to the process ahead.
See below for the bios of the members of the Selection Committee.
- Cathy Harrington has worked for many years in both her personal and professional roles in a variety of leadership and front line roles within Waterloo Region focused on the health, safety and well-being of communities, particularly in rural communities. For the past 12 years, Cathy has served as the Executive Director of Community Care Concepts, a non-profit organization which provides services and supports to help seniors and adults with unique needs to live independently in their own homes across Woolwich, Wellesley and Wilmot Townships.
- Charity (Anangkwe) Fleming is Anishinaabe, Sturgeon Clan from Northern Ontario. Charity is an alumnus from Wilfrid Laurier University and co-owner of Qualia Counselling Services, a series of mental health clinics that provides Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. Charity is also faculty with Wilfrid Laurier University, McMaster School of Medicine and the Ontario Association of Social Workers. Charity considers her greatest accomplishments to be her journey of spirituality, her marriage, and her four incredible children.
- Grace Ibrahima grew up in Trinidad, with very little formal education. As a young woman, she applied, and was accepted to a nursing program in England. Years after arriving in Canada, as a student in the Addiction Studies program at McMaster University, she was the recipient of the Part-time Student Centennial Award. She invested her monetary prize and partnered with the university to educate students from Eastern Europe about the devastating effects of addiction. Grace’s turbulent life journey was featured in many local media outlets.
- Ismail Mohamed is a Community Developer/Facilitator, Social Entrepreneur and Public Speaker who has been an advocate for community building. Ismail has also sat on a number of committees and worked on projects that reach small businesses, youth, elderly, under-resourced neighbourhoods, marginalized groups, and people with disabilities, hearing their voices and working to meet their needs.
- Jean Becker is Inuk, a grandmother, and a member of the Nunatsiavut Territory of Labrador. She has lived and worked in Southern Ontario for over 40 years. She is the AVP Indigenous Relations at the University of Waterloo and has worked in postsecondary education for more than 30 years.
The Community Change Committee will meet from October 20 to November 15 to review funding applications. This group is also being facilitated by Gillian Wells and supported by Regional staff. The Community Change Committee will use the Council approved Upstream Fund Terms Of Reference and Community Safety Wellbeing Plan priorities to make funding allocations and decisions.
A transparent, rigorous and accountable process will be followed. Decisions on applications will be communicated to applicants in late November. An update will be presented to Council in December.
Director, Equity, Diversity and Inclusio
Applications for Upstream Fund Close on Friday September 23Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
As we approach the deadline for 2022 applications, we wanted to remind the community that part of breaking down barriers and shifting away from the status quo is embedded in the application process.
You can apply online, by phone, via email, over coffee, in a DM, with a video... In fact nothing explicitly says that interpretive dances are off the table.
The point is not to minimize the seriousness and importance of this work, but to remind you that the process for this fund is meant to be inclusive, so if you need support it is available.
If you have any questions about the application process, would like a proofreader, or would just like to check in before you hit the submit button, please contact us by phone (Stephanie Duench - 226-750-6951) or email (Katie McDonald - firstname.lastname@example.org).
For information on eligibility, including the Draft Terms of Reference, Visit our information page.
Applications Now Open for Upstream FundShare on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
Community Collaborative EventsShare on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
Register now for Community Collaborative Events Series
Bring your questions, big ideas, ongoing projects and interest in a more equitable community to the upcoming Community Collaborative Event Series. These events will enable you to connect with others who are working to create change in Waterloo Region to improve the health and wellbeing of our community with a focus on Truth and Reconciliation, anti-racism, and other areas of equity and inclusion.
At these events, community members will be able to come together to collaborate, share resources and to learn more about the diversity of work happening in the community. They are also an opportunity to hear more about funding programs available to you including the Upstream Fund, Waterloo Region Racial Equity Fund, ROW Equity Fund, and the Immigration Partnership Fund for Immigrant Economic Wellbeing.Upcoming DatesBetween August and September, several virtual events and in-person events will be held at community locations across the Region
How to RegisterYou can register to attend one (or more) of the events by following the registration link below. We are asking a few questions at registration to help us effectively plan for these events.
Telephone: If you would like to register via phone, please contact Stephanie Duench at 226-750-6951
Email: If you have any questions about the registration or need support, you can contact Katie McDonald at email@example.com
We are committed to helping with all accessibility requests, including language translation.The full application for the Upstream Fund will be available by Aug 10 (stay tuned for more information)These collaborative events mark an incredible step forward in our Region – this community driven approach will provide resources, collaboration and partnerships that will enable groups across our community to come together to effect positive change and reduce inequities.This work will be led by the community, for the community.
Update May 13, 2022: Upstream Fund and Mental HealthShare on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
Upstream Fund - A New Opportunity for Action
Thank you for all your contributions to the Community Safety and Wellbeing Plan (CSWP) so far! We heard from many of you how important it is to stay in touch and build on the new relationships created during the engagement sessions. We are reaching out to you as part of that commitment and to work together to implement the many actions and suggestions that came forward.
We heard many times in the engagement sessions how important community organizations and groups are in creating a safe and well region. We also heard that they need more support. We hope a brand new Council approved fund, called the Upstream Fund, will help with this and support the community to grow their efforts. The $2.1 million annual fund will support community driven action that aligns with the Community Safety and Wellbeing Plan. This will support a variety of action including Truth and Reconciliation, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and improving the Social Determinants of health for all.
In the spirit of collaboration, throughout the month of May, we are inviting you to be a part of a community conversation that will inform the decision-making on how the fund will work. If you are interested in hosting a conversation or participating in one held by a community group (to be determined) or the Region (Thursday, May 19, 6-7:30pm or Thursday, May 26, 2:30-4pm), please let us know by filling in your contact information. In addition, you share your ideas now by filling in this survey found below by June 30th, 2022 (EXTENDED).
Mental Health Update
Another key area of concern that came up across community engagement conversations for the CSWBP, was the need for alternative mental health crisis response in Waterloo region. The Region is committed to supporting partners in exploring an alternative mental health & addiction crisis response model for the community. We are partnering with mental health providers to engage in conversations as part of a co-design approach to developing this model. If you are interested in being a part of this process, please let us know by contacting Fanis Juma at FJuma@regionofwaterloo.ca.
Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Region of WaterlooFB
Director of Corporate Strategy and PerformanceJS
- Final Report (FULL) Community Safety and Wellbeing Plan (2.54 MB) (pdf)
- Community Safety and Wellbeing Plan Council Presentation January 26, 2022 (8.11 MB) (pdf)
- Framework of Wellbeing and Safety in Waterloo Region (567 KB) (pdf)
- Nomination Form for Upstream Funding (342 KB) (pdf)
- Proposal for Upstream Funding (324 KB) (pdf)
- 2022 Funding Recipient List.pdf (79.4 KB) (pdf)
Notice of Collection
To the extent that the foregoing information constitutes personal information as defined in the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, R.S.O. 1990, chapter M.56 as amended, the information is subject to provisions of that Act and will be used to collect community feedback on the topics posted on this forum.
Questions about the collection of personal information should be directed to Deb Bergey, Manager of Community Engagement at firstname.lastname@example.org.