how we help

Our Priorities & Funded Programs


All That Kids Can Be

United Way invests in programs that encourage children and youth to reach their full potential by:

  • Increasing connectedness
  • Increasing engagement in learning, and
  • Increasing emotional and physical wellbeing

To learn more about United Way’s investments, refer to the Priority Area Framework.

Autism Ontario - Niagara Region Chapter

Summer Camp for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

The program supports children/youth with educational, recreational and vital life and social skill programming during the summer months. The program is offered for six weeks (one week sessions at locations throughout the Niagara Region. The program offers an opportunity to access camp experiences with adequate support for those with ASD. Children/youth with an ASD require a different camp experience and a higher level of support than children not affected by ASD. With verbal and non-verbal communication difficulties, varying social skill levels and behaviour challenges often experienced, the Chapter's summer camp program offers the required 1:1 to 4:1 staff to participant ratio and educational, recreational, leisure and skill building activities and experiences that meet the unique needs of the program participants.

Bethlehem Housing & Support Services

After School Program

The aim of the program is to provide children (age 7-12) with programing and activities promoting wellness. This is delivered through providing children with help with homework, nutritious snacks and programing to promote learning and development. The program is aimed at children housed within Bethlehem Housing and Support Services transitional housing.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Niagara Falls

Big Bunch

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Niagara Falls has historically had a consistent waiting list of between 30 and 50 children, some spending up to two years waiting for a ‘Big’.This program allows for a volunteer to commit to taking up to 3 children from the waiting list on outings at least once per month.Our professional casework staff continues to monitor a child as they grow and their interests change and evolve.When making a match, the interests of a child are strongly considered to ensure that a compatible match is made.

Game On! Eat Smart, Play Smart, Live Smart

Game On! Is an 8 week group mentoring program targeting boys in grades 7 & 8 throughout Niagara Falls. This program is usually delivered by ale volunteers currently attending university or college. Curriculum includes: Peer relationships – including the promotion of acceptance/tolerance of different views. Education and practice with assertive, over passive or aggressive, goal setting, decision-making and problem solving skills through discussions, role-play, and applications to daily life. While also learning valuable teamwork and leadership skills.

Go Girls! Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Niagara Falls provides an 8 week group mentoring program for girls in grades 7 and 8.This program is usually delivered by volunteer mentors attending university or college.Curriculum includes Peer relationships - including the promotion of acceptance/tolerance of different views. Education on and practice with being assertive, over passive or aggressive, Goal setting, decision-making and problem solving skills through discussions, role-play, and applications to daily life, teamwork and Leadership skills and journaling and self-reflection.

In School Mentoring

Big Brothers Big Sisters provides volunteer mentors for children and youth in a school setting. Mentees are identified by school staff, and are usually children who are facing barriers related to socializing, attendance, or behaviour.

Traditional Mentoring

Through regular outings, a relationship is developed between the mentor and the mentee, which is built on trust and common interests, and is supported by our experienced case-workers. The result is a life-changing experience for both the mentor and the mentee.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of North & West Niagara

Game On! Eat Smart, Play Smart, Live Smart

Game On! is a group mentoring which provides boys and young men with information and support to make choices about a range of healthy lifestyle practices. Through non-traditional physical activities in tandem with healthy eating support, the boys are engaged in life skills, communication and emotional health discussions designed to engage the boys in the pursuit of life long healthy lifestyles. Game On! addresses many of the issues facing youth today in a supportive and positive manner including topics such as bullying/peer relations, self-esteem and healthy living. The program is for boys in grades 6-8 and takes place within the elementary schools using trained facilitators. Each program runs for 7 weeks. There is no fee for this program.

Go Girls! Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds

The Go Girls! Program encourages the development of an active healthy lifestyle by building healthy eating habits, promoting positive mental activity, encouraging awareness of core values, personal interests, supports development of leadership, life skills and provides guidance in establishing and maintaining friendships and directly addresses bullying. The program is for girls in grades 6-8 and takes place within the elementary schools using trained facilitators. Each program runs for 7 weeks. There is no fee for this program.

In-School Mentoring

In School mentoring is based on the one to one big and Little relationship, but minimizes the time commitment of the volunteer mentor. It is a co-operative partnership between the public and separate school boards, the business community, volunteers and Big Brothers Big sisters. The program matches children and youth in grades 1-8 and grades 9-10. Volunteers see the child at their school during school hours for the school year for one hour per week. Activities include playing educational board games, crafts, sports, and reading. These activities foster skill development, self confidence and self esteem. Children are referred to the program by the school liaison(youth worker, principal, teacher) and the agency provides professional caseworker support. Volunteers are screened and participate in Child Safety Training.

Traditional Mentoring

The Big Brother Big Sister program is a community-supported, volunteer-based organization committed to the healthy development of children in need and their families through the provision of quality one to one volunteer relationships. Following a full screening, Volunteers are matched with a child to provide support, friendship and to act as a positive role model. They see each other at least once a week for 2-4 hours for a minimum of one year. Having an older adult role model that a child can look up to and respect can make s substantial difference to a child. Children come from various backgrounds which include single parent homes, and low or poor socio-economic backgrounds. Matches are closely monitored by professional caseworkers on a regular basis to provide support to the match and to ensure a successful match.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Niagara

After School Programs

These programs provide children an opportunity to build self esteem, socialization skills, physical activity, school help and healthy snacks.

Game On! Eat Smart, Play Smart, Live Smart

This program was developed for boy’s ages 11 - 14 years dealing with the challenges of growing up and fitting in.Activities for these one hour per week, seven week sessions are run by volunteer leaders trained in a specially developed program which is offered within the school.The curriculum addresses topics such as bullying, developing healthy minds and bodies, importance of being physically active and making healthy decisions.

Go Girls! Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds

This program was developed for girls ages 11 - 14 years dealing with the challenges of growing up and fitting in. Activities for these one hour per week, seven week sessions are run by volunteer leaders trained in delivering the specially developed program which is offered within the school.Curriculum is focused on developing healthy minds and bodies, importance of being physically active and making healthy decisions.

In School Mentoring

A Big spends one hour a week with a Little, doing non academic activities in the child's school.It's about providing a child (identified by the school that would benefit from this program) with their own volunteer to talk to and mentor - sharing interests with them, encouraging them, helping them identify and build on their strengths, develop new ones. We ask for a one year commitment, quite often Bigs return to be matched for more than one year with the same child.

Traditional Mentoring

One to one mentoring program for a child (Little) provided by a screened volunteer (Big) within the communities of Greater Fort Erie, Welland, Pelham, Port Colborne and Wainfleet. The Big Brother Big Sister program is a community-supported, volunteer-based organization committed to the healthy development of children in need and their families through the provision of quality one to one volunteer relationships. Following a full screening, volunteers are matched with a child to provide support, friendship and to act as a positive role model. They see each other at least once a week for 2-4 hours for a minimum of one year. Having an older adult role model that a child can look up to and respect can make a substantial difference to a child. Children come from various backgrounds which include single parent homes, and low or poor socio-economic backgrounds. Matches are closely monitored by professional caseworkers on a regular basis to provide support to the match and to ensure a successful match.

Boys and Girls Club of Niagara

Fort Erie Kids Zone Program

Fort Erie Kid Zone programs are after school programs designed for children 6-12 years of age to encourage physical activity, develop social and leadership skills and character through participation in a wide variety of gymnasium, art, computer, games and educational clubs.Transportation and meals are provided as well.

Nightlight Youth Shelter

Nightlight Youth Services provides services to youth between the ages of 16-30 who do not have stable housing through emergency shelter, transitional housing, development programming, aftercare supports and the opportunity for mentorship.The program offers meals, laundry, goal planning, supportive counseling and the opportunity for other community groups to meet with youth on site and provide either programming or individualized support in a provided meeting space.


Child & Youth Services

Early Intervention Services provides direct service, information resources, parent/peer support, and advocacy. It prepares blind or partially sighted children for school and ultimately independence later in life. The program also increases the family's confidence and parenting skills by developing a network of support so that they can best meet their child's special needs. An Early intervention Specialist works closely with the family, caregivers, and educators by providing information about the diagnosis and its impact on growth, development, and learning. Services are provided in the most appropriate setting: home, treatment centre, or day care. Consultative services are provided to therapists, early childhood educators, teachers, and other professionals in the community.

Community Care of St. Catharines & Thorold

Niagara Nutrition Partners

Niagara Nutrition Partners is a region wide initiative that provides communities in Niagara opportunities to develop and coordinate Student Nutrition Programs in local schools. Programs are universal and 156 school sites fed snack/breakfast or lunch to 13,00 children per day in 2011. Provincial funding grants are capped at 15% but due to the high number of programs in Niagara each provincial grant funding is reduced to the 5-8% range. Schools must fundraise/collect donations to cover costs. All programs must follow nutritional guidelines established by the ministry. Depending on the type of program the cost per meal ranges from 60cents for snacks to $1.00 for breakfast.

Youth Support Worker

The main focus is to provide housing, financial stability and counselling to youth at risk to enable them to complete their education, maximize employment opportunities, and provide a more stable lifestyle for them. The youth outreach worker provides support and outreach to those who live in unsafe environments and shelters. Many have several issues stemming from birth and their early years. They have diagnoses such as ADHD, FASD, developmentally delayed, learning disabilities, abandonment, dissociative disorders, anxiety, depression, conduct disorders and most have substance abuse concerns either pharmaceutical, illegal or alcohol. This population presents with little if any life skills, have overwhelming sense and presentation of hopelessness. This program assists these youth to continue their education during these turbulent times and to become contributing members of society.

Community Living Grimsby, Lincoln & West Lincoln

Transitional Aged Youth: Preparing for the Future

This program coordinates life skills training after school and on weekends. We provide person-centred supports to meet individual goals. These include: street safety, work place preparation, first aid, team work, acheiving personal goals.

Community Living Port Colborne/Wainfleet

Camp Program

Fun In The Sun day camp program for children ages 5 to 12 – operated for seven weeks during July and August and march break.To provide a respite program for children who have a variety of disabilities (intellectual, dual diagnosis and physical).

Family Counselling Centre Niagara

Child Advocacy Counselling

The CAC Program Therapist works as part of a multidisciplinary team (including law enforcement, child protection, mental health, medical) to provide a single point of access to comprehensive support services to victims and their families. The therapist's role is to provide immediate crisis support to the victim and supportive family members; ongoing counselling to the victim with the goal of preventing long term negative trauma outcomes), supportive counselling to family members (parents, caregivers, siblings) to assist them to process their own reaction to the disclosure of the abuse, adjust to altered family dynamics, and support the victim, etc. The therapist also facilitates open communication with, and coordination of community services to assist the victim and family members to make other relevant agency contacts to assist them in a timely manner.

Gillian's Place - West Niagara

Child & Youth Worker

Provides counseling services specifically designed for children and youth including: various counseling activities, advocacy, and community referrals.

Learning Disabilities Association of Niagara Region


Better Emotional & Social Times is designed to support children with learning disabilities and ADHD living in the Niagara Region. Through discussions, role-playing, games, interactive activities and direct instruction, children gain a deeper understanding of their learning disability and ways to advocate for themselves. With a low awareness of learning disabilities, it is imperative that individuals, even young children, learn how to be self-advocates to ensure they receive the support they deserve. Through learning LD basics, their own strengths and areas of need, children work on coping skills along with focusing on organization, emotions, listening skills, dealing with frustration and problem solving. A more active component has been added to this program to help children work on their coping and social skills in activities they will participate in at school (i.e. recess). The concept of mindfulness is also now included in this program.

Let's R.E.A.D

Let's R.E.A.D. is a 1-hour, 8 week (16 sessions) program for children who are struggling with a reading disability. This small group program has trained facilitators working with school-aged children on literacy skills essential to their academic development. One-on-one instruction is also provided throughout the program. As described below, this program is designed to meet the needs of children in more remote areas of the Niagara region.

Reading Rocks!

Reading Rocks is a one-on-one literacy program for children struggling with a reading disability. Participants are matched up with a trained volunteer-tutor who conducts an informal literacy assessment to collect pre-test information used to compare with post-test scores as well as to assist the tutor in program planning. The participant-tutor pair work together for one hour, twice a week for a total of 16 sessions. During these sessions, participants are increasing their literacy skills making them stronger readers, increasing their self-regulation through goal setting and increasing their self-esteem by working in a positive environment where they can reach their full potential. Participants and tutors create a motivational workstation, a stand-up board displaying the child's goals and accomplishments.

Reading Rocks Junior

Reading Rocks Junior (RRJ) is a program that responds to the need to prevent reading difficulties by addressing them as early as possible. RRJ is an 8-week, 16 session program that supports 4 - 6 year old children with pre-literacy activities delivered in small group and one-on-one instructional settings. By supporting children in the early years, research has demonstrated a significant decrease in the number of children requiring special education services in grade 3 and beyond.

Niagara Region Sexual Assault Centre (CARSA Inc.)

Child Assault Prevention Program (CAP)

The Child Assault Prevention Program (CAP) is an educational program delivered to elementary students. This program is designed to empower children by providing strategies that help to keep them safe, strong and free in the face of dangerous situations. These strategies are presented through problem solving discussion, role play and question and answer period.

Strive Niagara

Postponing Parenting

A preventative program where teen mothers speak to other high school students, grade 7 & 8 elementary school students and other community agencies regarding their experience as a teen parent addresses the reduction and empowers the speakers. The peer to peer presentations provides a setting whereby students can engage in frank discussions about the impact of parenthood and the life altering changes that accompany teenage parenting.

St. Catharines Outreach

The St. Catharines Outreach program is for children 0-6 through providing a quality licensed child care. This is an educational attainment and specialized programming for young student parents. Parents learn about parenting and child development, positive parenting practices, pre-employment programming, professional and personal growth development, and college recruitment.

Young Fathering Program

Young dads aged 14-25 can drop-in with their children and enjoy group chats, food and childcare. It’s free and happens every Wednesday. It is designed to help young fathers become competent, connected parents and supports them as they learn the skills necessary to help to raise their children, and as they become part of a family under trying circumstances. This helps to ensure the success of the family in becoming independent and successful. The program, which is new, has 16 weekly sessions of two hours per week.

Young Moms Outreach

STRIVE offers an alternative educational program to young mothers in Welland, Niagara Falls, and St. Catharines. This program collaboratively works in partnership with various community agencies, including the District School Board of Niagara, to provide optimal opportunities for our participants, who work towards achieving goals, attaining a high school diploma, developing and enhancing self-awareness and healthy life style opportunities.

The FORT (Foundation of Resources for Teens of West Niagara)

After School Program

The FORT’s after school program focuses on students in grades 6-8, ages 11-14. This program is designed to be proactive in dealing with any and all issues facing these young adults today. The FORT provides youth with free programs such as mental health counselling, positive body image, cyber bullying, homework help and tutoring, sports and music lessons, community engagement, cooking classes, volunteer opportunities for resume building, access to vital youth resources, social inclusion, and healthy living.

Teen Program

The FORT currently runs an after-school program at an elementary school in Smithville. This program currently runs 5 days a week from 3:00-9:00. This expanded program offers recreation and life skill programming for youth in West Lincoln. Youth will also be able to access services such as housing help, resume help, community referrals, crisis intervention and healthy snacks.


Home From School

Home from School is a community based housing preservation program that works in conjunction with Niagara Region Housing rent subsidy allowance program. Participants are at risk youth who are precariously housed and in danger of becoming homeless. This situation forces teens to choose between remaining in school or acquiring basic needs for food and shelter. As a result many at risk teens drop out of school and leave their home community. The initiative helps participants access resources and increase self-sufficiency needed to maintain school attendance, secure housing and develop a social safety net in their home community. Moreover the rent subsidy allowance puts market rent rates within their budget. Services include advocacy, life skills training, mentoring, emergency hostel access, family reunification where possible and community integration.

Steps to Independent Living

This is a transition program to help at risk youth move to successful independent adulthood by acquiring life skills that enable them to become independent and self supporting members of the community. This is part of a two step program designed to support and enhance existing community services and works with youth on two levels. The Steps to Independent Living Program seeks to help youth acquire independent life skills and strengthen their social and emotional capacity necessary to live on their own. The program works with our Youth Reconnect and Outreach that seeks to reconnect youth to the community and establish a social safety net.

Youth Reconnect

The Outreach and Youth Reconnect Program focuses on reconnecting hostel youth to their community and supporting the development of personal independence. With the help of a community team consisting of representatives from education, mental health, Ontario Works and their prime case worker a community re-integration plan is developed. The program provides individual case management and support services to help youth get their lives back on track. The program focuses on four domains education & retaining, employment support, community reintegration and the development of a social safety net. The program assists youth to become independent and contributing members of the community.

YMCA of Niagara

Youth Action School Programs

The YMCA of Niagara’s Youth Action program is for all community youth ages 9 to 14. Youth do not have to be a YMCA member to participate. Programs are offered throughout the Niagara region, and consist of three components: School Programs, Friday Night Programs and Dances. Since 1985 Youth Action has been offering youth a safe and positive environment in which they can learn new skills, participate in a wide variety of activities and socialize with friends in a safe environment, while meeting positive role models. Youth Action School Programs incorporate the principals of YMCA Healthy Adolescent Development and provide youth with the opportunity to gain Developmental Assets that will help them become healthy adults, and give them the foundation to make positive life choices. To accomplish this all School programs are designed with specific outcomes in mind: participating in vigorous physical activity, positive social interactions with peers and leaders, feeling safe, welcome and included, introduced to structure and expectations, give input and have choice, and, most importantly, to have fun.

Young Carer's Initiative - Powerhouse Project

Powerhouse Project Summer Camp Program

Young carer's are children, youth and young adults who provide care for a family member due to a chronic illness, disability, mental health issue, addiction issue, or other challenging circumstance such as a language/cultural barrier or single parent family. Young carer's support the person they care for by providing personal care (dressing, grooming, giving medications), completing household chores (making meals, cleaning, laundry), caring for siblings, and providing emotional support (offering encouragement, being positive).

Summer Camp is a valuable childhood experience for children, particularly young carers. Many of our families are dealing with complex situations at home, which often has an economic impact affecting the types of activities they can participate in or provide their children. By offering a free summer camp experience specifically for young carers, we are able to give these kids opportunities they may not have had otherwise.

Through Summer Camp, young carers will have opportunity to meet others experiencing similar family situations as well as time to get away from it all while receiving a balanced program of physical activity, education and fun. Summer Camp gives young carers respite from their caregiving responsibilities, helps to reduce isolation, stress, anxiety and caregiver fatigue while encouraging peer support.

YWCA Niagara Region

Youth Life Skills

This program is designed to support girls as they transition from girlhood to adulthood. The programs and activities that the girls will access will give them knowledge and skills to deal with the challenges that they may face through this transitionary time. This will be accomplished through the S.T.E.P.S (Sisters in Truth, Equality, Power and Strength), the annual Power Being a Girl Conference, High school Lunch Drop in Program and the Youth Engagement Counsel. Each of these programs teaches the girls about healthy relationships, positive social behaviours, self esteem, leadership and making positive choices.


Poverty to Possibility

United Way invests in programs that meet basic human needs and move people out of poverty by:

  • Increasing employment and financial security,
  • Increasing food security, and
  • Increasing housing stability.

To learn more about United Way’s investments, refer to the Priority Area Framework.

Bethlehem Housing and Support Services

Community Support Program

Individuals and families, with a past history of homelessness, receive 1-1 support as they prepare to transition from Bethlehem Place into the community. Assistance is provided with securing and maintaining safe affordable housing.

Kenmore Court Community Support Program

The Kenmore Court building offers safe, affordable housing to 40 families and through a full time Community Support Worker (CSW), the program provides on-site and community outreach support services. Our Support Program addresses basic needs that help applicants and tenants, many who were victims of domestic violence, mentally and physically challenged, previously homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, to make a successful transition to having a stable home and tenancy.

Community Care of St. Catharines & Thorold

Food Program

The food program works towards Increasing food security for those who need their services. Participants are able to access the food bank 6x per year. Monthly service is available for vulnerable clients. Other services include, baby formula, fresh produce, handing out emergency food, a weekly meal in bag, after hours meal programs, community gardens of fresh produce and a recipe card to promote the use of healthy food choices from the food bank shelves.

Thorold Branch

Increased food security as participants access food bank 6x per year. Monthly supports to vulnerable clients and emergency food as needed. Daily access to bread, fresh fruits & vegetables as available; shelves labeled for healthier foods; diabetic section, Canada's Food Guide handouts; recipes & food tips using food bank items.

Community Care of West Niagara

Emergency Assistance

CCWN Emergency Assistance program provides financial assistance to registered families up to once every 12 month period. Funds are to support households to maintain housing through payment of outstanding bills related to rent and utilities. Medical, Dental, Transportation, Legal and other emergencies are assessed on a case by case basis. Referrals to other agencies are made and we advocate for clients needs.

Food Program

The CCWN Emergency Hunger Relief (Food) Program provides each client household 3-5 days of food and household items. Although clients are allowed to come in once a month(12x per year), there are times where clients require supplemental food support between visits as well. Our clients come from all walks of life and are facing hardship such as job loss, illness or are on a form of income assistance. CCWN offers a varied and nutritious selection of fresh, frozen, and prepared foods.

Meals on Wheels Fort Erie

Meal Delivery Program

We provide nutritious food meeting the Canada Food Guide recommendations, to aged and/or convalescing individuals in Greater Fort Erie. The food is prepared by the Gilmore Lodge retirement home, and delivered hot by our approximate 100 volunteers 5 days per week. A frozen food offering is also available for weekend use. Our delivery people also provide a security check, and stay for a friendly chat whenever possible. Subsidized meals are provided to people who cannot pay any, or all of the meal costs.

Meals on Wheels Niagara Falls

Meal Delivery Program

The traditional Hot Meals program is available Monday - Friday with noontime delivery.Frozen Meals are delivered weekly.These give the clients greater flexibility in menu choices and mealtimes.This program has grown immensely.Congregate Dining events are held monthly in several apartment buildings.Participants are limited to those who qualify for the Meals on Wheels service. Lunch Out events are held monthly in a local restaurant, also limited to those who qualify for service.

Meals on Wheels Port Colborne/Wainfleet

Meal Delivery Program

Hot & Frozen nutritious meals are delivered by volunteers who also provide a regular social contact and check on the health and safety of the clients during each visit.Clients include individuals who are 18+ and are convalescing from an illness/surgery, living with a disability, seniors who no longer can provide for their own nutritional needs and caregivers of these individuals needing support.

Niagara Regional Literacy Council

Literacy for Life

Fully trained volunteer tutors assist adult learners to upgrade reading, writing, numeracy, computer and life skills. Residents of St. Catharines, Niagara Falls, Welland, Thorold and surrounding areas may be included in this literacy program. All learners have access to materials that are appropriate to their literacy goals, including job specific manuals for those who are seeking employment or advancement in the workforce. Assistance towards re-entry into the school system is also provided, including preparation for GED. Computer classes provide basic computer instruction for groups of up to 12 learners. For other topics most instruction takes place on a one-to-one basis. Services are provided free of charge. Confidentiality is assured.

Niagara Women's Enterprise Centre

Multi-sector Training Program Retail Professional

This is a certificate program targeted to unemployed women who are newcomers to Canada and Niagara. It is delivered at YMCA Employment and Newcomer Services in St. Catharines, in partnership with both St. Catharines Folk Arts (Multicultural Centre) and the Y. This 7-week certificate program includes a four-week co-op placement with a retail or other career-goal business or placement provider. With United Way funding, we are able to add one additional intake of this program per year, with an emphasis on supporting newcomer women to find their first job in Canada.

Port Cares

Reach Out Food Centre

The meal program provides hot meals a minimum of 3 days a week to adults and children. The Program provides food security via the food bank; school aged kid’s lunch kits and meal program to residents of Port Colborne and Wainfleet. Our food bank provides fresh and nutritious food supplies to households in need.A member’s card is given to all individuals at intake. Staff also provides information and resources to access additional community and social supports.

Start Me Up Niagara

Food Plus

This program builds a sustainable food security strategy for/with people living in poverty. Congregated weekend, holiday meals, daily refreshments, cooking classes, nutritional information, employment readiness such as placements, training, volunteering, growing, distributing local produce and attending special community events.

Income Matters

This program assists people to secure/ maintain income from social assistance programs & to maximize the income available to them through other programs. Maximizing income is an effective personal poverty reduction strategy.

The Hope Centre

Financial Literacy & Individual Supports

The Hope Centre provides financial literacy coaching (individual support and group sessions) to clients with low income and budgetary restrictions. This program focuses on teaching clients to make informed money management decisions, improve financial outcomes, build financial security, and provide trusteeship and income tax clinics. This program also assists clients facing utility disconnection (hydro, gas and water) through the Emergency Utility Assistance Program.

Food Security

Food insecurity exists when 1 or more members of a household do not have access to adequate food due to lack of money. To close that gap,The Hope Centre ensures access to food for individuals and families experiencing food insecurity through our Food Bank, Community Gardens & Soup Kitchen. Food preperation training is available to clients to improve their capacity to feed their families. We also provide facilities for Harvest Kitchen (dinner program) and work with community partners in food drives each year.

Housing Stability

The Hope Centre provides four housing programs. Emergency shelter beds for those who are homeless, transitional housing for individuals moving on from the shelter system providing the neccessary supports to be further housed, and Housing First. Housing First is a supportive appartment for the chronically homeless & hardest to serve individuals. Prevention Work is our 4th program ensuring all clients remained housed & gain access to a variety of services and supports in our Hub to increase their quality of life.

Westview Centre 4 Women

Food & Financial Security

Westview Centre4Women is open to all who identify as women, open and affirming. Located in the hub of the lower income area of St. Catharines, WC4W, strives to break down the barriers of poverty by collaborating with local agencies and providing resources. Featuring a weekly drop in program, gives us the opportunity to introduce a 3 day per week cycle of hands-on sessions tailored to increase resource access and expand survival skills. Our "helping hand" approach is offering employment, daycare, housing support, literacy classes, financial security, food support etc. Has proven successful and empowers our women.

YWCA Niagara Region

Adult Life Skills

The Adult Life Skills program, offers a variety of workshops and longer term programs that build basic living skills. It also addresses other issues that create barriers to successfully living independently and led the participants into crisis.

Emergency Shelter, Culp Street

This program offers a 20 bed emergency shelter for homeless women and their children. During their stay, the women and their children are provided with the supports they need to secure housing, access to the community resources necessary to assist them with their current situation, three meals a day with snacks as well as access to staff 24 hours a day.

Transitional Supportive Housing

At Epworth Terrace, single women are housed for a one year period. They are provided with on-site one to one weekly support sessions and life skills programs that address their individual needs. It is often the first step for women leaving the shelter system but need more support than independent housing will provide. The women that come to live at Epworth Terrace often have multiple barriers and this program offers them opportunity to move through these barriers to a place of independence.

West Niagara Transitional Supportive Housing

In partnership with Grimsby Affordable Housing Partnership, this program provides up to 3 years of transitional supportive housing in the communities of Grimsby, West Lincoln and Lincoln. Through the support of staff, the participants are able to work on goals that move them to a place of stability and the ability to maintain permanent housing. Through the delivery of life skills programs, the participants build their skills to further enhance their capacity to achieve their goals.


Strong Communities

United Way invests in programs that create safe and inclusive communities with vulnerable adults by:

  • Increasing connections to supports,
  • Increasing neighbourhood and community engagement, and
  • Increasing personal wellbeing and safety.

To learn more about United Way’s investments, refer to the Priority Area Framework.

Autism Ontario - Niagara Region Chapter

Adult Social Club

This club is for adults diagnosed with high functioning autism/aspergers who do not require 1:1 support. Social events are organized each month with the goal of having adults with autism or aspergers meet fellow members of their community and have fun taking part in events tailored to their interests.

Bethlehem Housing & Support Services

Bethlehem Place Support Program

Bethlehem Place (BP) is a supported transitional housing program located in a high needs downtown neighbourhood at 58 Welland Avenue in St. Catharines with 27 family apartment units and an on-site Early Learning Family and Child Resource Centre. Approximately 48 households reside at BP and transition to housing in the community per year. The BP Support Program is for adult women and men as well as their children, with histories of homelessness, poverty, abuse, trauma, domestic violence, and family breakdown, physical and mental disabilities. These individuals generally have unhealthy social networks. While living in the building for one year, the BP program provides on-site, 1-1 case management support, peer group workshops, life skills and parenting programs, connectivity and referrals to community support services. Goals for participants in the BP program are to increase housing stability, build self-sufficiency, and work towards healthy relationships, safety and well-being through community engagement and personal capacity building while transitioning to sustainable community housing.

Canadian Mental Health Association

Walk In Mental Health Counselling - Fort Erie Site

Individuals receive mental health counselling at their time of need, a session at a time in same day service. Mental health counsellors are available to assist individuals (16+ years of age) in meeting immediate needs for problem solving, goal setting, and linking to appropriate community supports. Based on an assessment of individual’s needs, follow-up services may include short-term brief solution-focused counselling sessions, telephone counselling and support with bridging to longer-term resources.

Walk In Mental Health Counselling - Niagara Falls Site

Individuals receive mental health counselling at their time of need, a session at a time in same day service. Therapeutic conversation is the main program element, with practical skills, resources and information provided to increase well-being and psychological safely. Mental health counsellors are available to assist individuals (16+ years of age) in meeting immediate needs for problem solving, goal setting, and linking to appropriate community supports.

Walk In Mental Health Counselling- St. Catharines Site

Individuals receive mental health counselling at their time of need, a session at a time in same day service. Intervention strategies providing lasting impact after one session are delivered through therapeutic conversation, with practical skills, resources and information provided through psycho-education. Session can also lead to intake into other agency programs if needed.


Culture, Sports and Recreation

This program consists of recreational/sport programs led by CNIB, efforts to improve accessibility of mainstream recreational programs, and partnerships with organizations offering blind-specific sports for children and youth ages 6-21. This includes a range of camp programs for children, youth, and adults with vision loss that provide the opportunity to pursue active living recreation, explore new activities and build skills and relationships in a fun and accessible setting.

Peer & Home Based Support

For some people who are blind or partially sighted, day-to-day activities, such as reading the mail or running a quick errand, can be a challenge, and feelings of isolation and loneliness can be a real problem. Vision Mates change that by connecting with participants in their own community, at times that work best for both.
Research indicates that peer support, talking and sharing experiences with other people reduces the isolation and depression so often felt by people with sight loss. By having interactions with others, people gain self-confidence and improve their quality of life.

Community Living Grimsby, Lincoln and West Lincoln

Physical & Mental Empowerment and Abuse Prevention Training

This program provides workshops on physical activity in the hopes of encouraging life long health, activity and wellness. It also provides workshops on personal and mental empowerment and abuse training to improve emotional health, build confidence and prevent abuse.

Recreation and Life Skills Development

The Recreation and Life Skills Development Program provides a wide range of recreation and like skill activities for adults living with a development disability and residing in West Niagara. In partnership with other community-based organizations, this program works towards integrating individuals into mainstream services and activities where possible that are focused on recreation and life skill development. A support worker coordinates various skill development training sessions. Sessions run day & evening and address the various levels of skill and ability of participants. Sessions focus on maximizing independence, participation and inclusion.

Community Living St. Catharines

CPS: Therapeutic Support Services

A team driven program that promotes individuality through meaningful recreation and leisure activities and life opportunities. Offering life skill development and learning opportunities to promote empowerment, independence and inclusion for all individuals.

Distress Centre Niagara

24 Hour Crisis Line

24-hour telephone crisis service operating 365 days per year. Trained volunteer crisis workers respond to a variety of calls and offer emotional support.

Epilepsy Niagara

Client Support Services

Includes individual and family counselling, goal setting, doctor's appointment attendance (upon request), advocacy, accompaniment to tribunals, referrals to other agencies, program creation, implementation, evaluation and re-evaluation.

Family Counselling Centre Niagara

Core Counselling Program

The Family Counseling Centre (FCC) assists individuals, couples and families who are experiencing issues/problems resulting in challenges coping with everyday living. Presenting issues may include but are not limited to; stress, depression, anxiety, trauma, parenting and relationship issues.Through counseling individuals have the opportunity to gain a greater understanding, an enhanced perspective and to acquire knowledge, insight and skills to cope more effectively in their lives.

Walk-in Counselling

The Walk-In Clinic is a drop-in counseling centre that employs a first-come, first serve access model. Professional qualified therapists, who hold a Master of Social Work or an equivalent degree, are available to provide single session therapy to individuals, couples and/or families at no cost.A single session is often all that is required to provide new perspectives or insights needed for change to occur.

Family Mental Health Support Network

Family Coping Skills Workshops

Topics include but are not limited to: understanding the symptoms of mental illness; developing a healthcare plan; useful community resources; setting limits; problem solving as a family unit; improving two-way communications; effective ways to advocate for your relative; non-violent crisis intervention training; psychiatric medications and self-care for the care-giver. Guest speakers supplement the facilitators. Facilitators are mental health professionals as well as family members. Individual counseling and advocacy is available on a fee for service basis.

Individual Counselling Program

The individual counselling program helps to provide support and education to families of persons with serious mental illness. These services are offered to those, who aren’t able to attend due to employment or caregiver responsibilities. This program allows the family to develop and implement an action plan to stabilize and resolve the crisis. This enhances their family members own coping skills so that their mental health is not adversely impaired and their everyday responsibilities are not interrupted.

Fort Erie Multicultural Centre

Early Essential Needs Program

Upon arrival in Canada refugee claimants need hospitality (food, basic referral, destination information and family connection support) and in the early months thereafter, refugee claimants living in Fort Erie need help with the legal claim process which includes filing immigration forms, transportation assistance for attending mandatory legal appointments and medical exam, and general support and assistance with migration issues, and accessing local housing, healthcare and education.

Gillian's Place - West Niagara

Housing & Counselling

The Transitional Housing & Counselling Program provides support, within a feminist framework, to women and children who have experienced abuse. Our temporary transitional housing is integrated into local communities, with the objective is to obtain safe, affordable, and permanent housing for clients. The project is also committed to providing professional counselling services, advocacy with third parties, and helping to connect clients with community resources to assist women and children to develop, with dignity, the abilities and skills necessary to lead independent lives.

Links for Greener Learning

Links for Greener Families

The Links for Greener Families program will be a series of hands-on, healthy living workshops designed and delivered to help new Canadian families reduce stress/isolation and improve their health and wellness while adjusting to Canadian culture. The workshops will cover a variety of topics based on the participants’ interests but will focus on a combination of healthy eating, sharing traditional food
preparation and physical activities. Garden workshops, food preparation, preserving and tasting parties as well as understanding the Canada’s food guide and navigating a typical Canadian grocery store.


Graffiti Removal

The Program is designed to provide paid employment for people with a developmental disability and reduce/eliminate graffiti in our community. The program also provides participants with skills and knowledge to assist them in obtaining future employment.

Resource Centre

Mainstream's Resource Centre is a Day Program that provides an individualized, person centered approach to learning and community opportunities for adults who have been diagnosed as having a Developmental Disability.

March of Dimes Canada

Assistive Devices Program (ADP)

The program provides essential Assistive Devices to persons who live with permanent disabilities. Working with community partners, the consumers’ needs are met to ensure they can live as independently as possible.

MS Society of Canada - Niagara Peninsula Chapter of Hope

Supports for Wellness Program

The MS Society offers a variety of programs to support people affected by multiple sclerosis effectively manage and cope with the disease. MS can be quite challenging at times, but through the member support programs offered by the MS Society, no one has to face these challenges on their own.

Niagara Centre for Independent Living

Advocacy/Individual Disability Support

Assist people with disabilities access needed resources and support to achieve self identified independent living goals. Flexible and individualized. Usually access program in crisis . Criteria-self identified disability. Multiple /complex disabilities and barriers.

Niagara Region Sexual Assault Centre (CARSA Inc.)

Hospital Response (24 Hours)

This program provides crisis intervention, information, medico/legal advocacy on a 24 hour on-call basis. These services are provided to sexual assault survivors and their families who present at the St. Catharines Sexual Assault Treatment Centre, SCGH.

Port Cares

Community Navigator

The Navigator is part of the Client Services Team that help clients access a personal social safety net that helps to enhance quality of life . The Program focuses on supporting low income households. Clients are assessed in order to create an individualized support plan referring clients to income maintenance, mental health services, medical services addictions, food security, homelessness prevention, utility arrears, education, employment skills & other supports.

Positive Living Niagara

Beyond the N.O.D. Niagara Opioid Overdose Prevention and Naloxone Distribution Program

The Beyond the N.O.D. (Niagara Overdose Diversion) program is an opioid overdose prevention program. A trainer engages with active opioid users in the community and provides a brief training on how to prevent, recognize and ultimately respond to an opioid overdose.Upon successful completion of this training curriculum, participants receive a kit containing naloxone (an antidote to an opioid overdose).
Should an overdose take place, the person can effectively save a life.

Community Fund Program

This program provides assistance to individuals and families affected/ infected with HIV/AIDS who are facing economic difficulties. The assistance may include one or more of the following and are of an emergency support nature: medical equipment, medication , nutritional assistance, health care, transportation. These are services that would not normally covered by existing medical/insurance benefits.

St. John Ambulance, Niagara Falls

Search & Rescue Program

Search and Rescue (Hug-a-Tree) is a safety program trageting local primary schools and youth groups. The Hug-a-Tree proactive, preventative survival program engages children ages 5-12 in learning invaluable outdoor survival lessons in case they are ever lost in the woods. The program consists of a video on survival if lost in the wilderness, along with a presentation on the prevention of getting lost and how to make the find much easier for searchers, demonstrating these situations with our tracking dogs and their handlers.

Start Me Up Niagara

Reaching Out Program

Start Me Up Niagara will improve onsite services to clients in crisis by procuring the ongoing services of a mental health professional from a local agency. New services will include:
- Crisis intervention / prevention: De-escalating mental health crisis, conflict resolution, etc.
- Intensive Case Management: Supporting those living with serious mental illness and coordinating with our centre staff.
- Counseling: Short term counseling services and support while developing a plan for long-term solutions.
- Appropriate referrals and follow up: Providing referrals to appropriate health care providers, mental health services and agencies and providing support and following up for participants willing to work on goals and life skills.

SMUN Centre

SMUN Centre is a busy place open to all 365 days a year that hosts 30,000 visits annually. Provides continuum of support - stabilize- participate- grow for people facing significant life challenges. Uses practical inclusive problem solving method that encourages people to take personal responsibility for their own well being. "Meet people where they are at and help them get to where they want to be." Low barrier access, time tolerant. Comprehensive support program. Unique in Niagara.

The Hope Centre

Community Wide Strategies

The heart of The Hope Centre's Community Hub is the resource walk in centre providing one central location for clients to access an array of services & programs from various agencies: CMHA,CASON,DSBN,YWCA,WARM,OATC. Embracing the 'no wrong door' approach to service, The Hope Centre helps clients find the right services to meet their needs & ensures a warm transfer among different programming for a wrap around approach.

Victim Services Niagara

Mobile Emergency Response System

This program enhances the safety of victims who are at high risk by known offender. Used for victims of Stalking, Hate Crime, Human Trafficking, Domestic Violence and Sexual Assaults.

Victims Crisis Support Service

Victim Services Niagara (VSN) provides 24/7 on-scene emotional support and practical assistance by specially trained volunteer Crisis Responders to Victims of crime, tragedy and disasters upon referrals from Emergency Services.

West Niagara Palliative Care Services (Rose Cottage)

Visiting Volunteers

Volunteers will visit individuals living in their own home or any care facility to provide free one on one support, and companionship to those of any age living with a life limiting illness. Each volunteer is HPCO certified.

Women's Place of South Niagara

Court Support Program

This program provides legal information, assistance completing legal forms, counselling, safety planning and referrals to victims of woman abuse.The program supports shelter residents and the community on an outreach basis.Women with safety concerns are accompanied to family andcriminal courts, lawyers appointments and the police.The program is a link to the Niagara Regional Police Service Domestic Violence investigators Unit and the Crown Attorney to support a woman testify in court.

Nova House

Provides shelter and services for women and children experiencing abuse. Services include: 24-hour support line, counselling and emotional support for women and children/youth who are being or who have been abused, development of safety plans, transitional and housing support, family court support (including accompaniment to court and legal appointments), public education programs, and referrals. Services are available on an in-shelter or office visit basis.

Serenity House

Provides shelter and services for women and children experiencing abuse. Services include: 24-hour support line, counselling and emotional support for women and children/youth who are being or who have been abused, development of safety plans, transitional and housing support, family court support (including accompaniment to court and legal appointments), public education programs, and referrals. Services are available on an in-shelter or office visit basis.

Volunteer/Public Education Program

The program ensures we have the involvement of the community in the aspects of governance, program and service delivery by offering a variety of volunteer opportunities in our shelters (e.g. clerical, child-care, housekeeping, Board of Directors and committees) or preparation and participation at fundraising events. The Public Education Program delivers presentations about domestic violence to prevent, or provide earlier intervention, and inform about the programs and services we provide.


Street Support

Sex Trade on My Terms (STOMT) has two components to the program, outreach and a drop-in. The outreach engages street-level sex trade workers in their environment, to be informed about resources and receives hygiene packs. The drop-in provides a safe place for sex workers to spend time away from problematic environments.

Women's Addiction Recovery Mediation Program

This program offers women with addiction issues ongoing support through a group setting led by a trained facilitator. This gives women opportunity to access intervention and prevention services. Group has an open sharing and support format, along with a psycho-educational component exploring life-skills. The program ensures that women have the ongoing supports needed to remain in their sobriety. The group setting is a powerful resource as it provides peer support through a guided process.