Our outreach program offers community-based information, resources, and support to low-income individuals in Centre Wellington, Wellington North, Minto, and Mapleton Townships. The focus is on supporting those most in need in the community while promoting self-sufficiency and community involvement.
In each of our support programs, we work under the vision that we reside in a community where every member has the opportunity to succeed. To make that vision reality, we provide resources and support for community members. Our Outreach and Support programs do this by working alongside individuals and families to help them address the needs that pose the most significant challenges to their ability to move forward and remain successful in our community.
Low-Income Energy Assistance Program:
LEAP is funded through the Ontario Energy Board. The CRC is the lead agency for both Wellington North Power and Centre Wellington Hydro, we are also the intake agency for Hydro One customers within Wellington County. Eligibility criteria is set by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB). LEAP is intended to support customers with low and moderate income with hydro arrears only. This means we can only help you with the electric portion of your bill (no sewer or water charges) and any amounts that are previously owing, not in the current billing cycle. The grant provided is on a yearly basis up to a maximum of $500 if your main heating source is natural gas and $600 if you have electric heat. You can find more information on the OEB’s website: https://www.oeb.ca/consumer-information-and-protection/bill-assistance-programs/low-income-energy-assistance-program
Households should be able to demonstrate they can maintain their accounts moving forward.
Ontario Electricity Support Program:
OESP is an Ontario Energy Board (OEB) program that lowers electricity bills for lower-income households. The OESP provides a monthly credit to eligible customers based on household income and household size. The credit is applied directly to your monthly hydro bill. There is no deadline to apply, however, the sooner you apply, the sooner the credit can be processed and applied to your account. As an intake agency we can help you apply for this program if you aren’t able to access or apply online yourself, or your income has changed and doesn’t reflect your tax assessment on file with the CRA, # of people in your household have changed, a child in your house has turned 18 and has not completed their taxes or you aren’t sure and have questions. To find out more about this program or to apply online you can go to: http://ontarioelectricitysupport.ca
Information & Referrals
We provide regular and/or ongoing assistance, as well as mid-to-long-term, depending on the level of need and vulnerability. The delivery of aid to our households offers ongoing case management, life skills training, and system navigation of services. With all these supports in place, the desired change is that our families can maintain their housing, find appropriate housing, gain knowledge of available resources, and increase their overall understanding of all agency supports.
Our transportation program provides transportation services to low-income individuals and families in our community who have no other means. We also offer transportation to the Newcomer Program in Drayton.
We currently have 24 volunteer drivers supporting this program! Our transportation continues to help individuals with health, legal, educational, and employment programs throughout the county. These vital appointments support families and allow them to benefit from support provided by other agencies.
Please visit our transportation page to become a driver or request a ride.
Government Advocacy & Information
Our outreach workers can help you access government programs and complete necessary forms such as:
- SIN forms
- Child Tax Credit
- Rent-Geared-to-Income housing applications
- And many others
Homelessness & Support
We can help you find resources for appropriate and affordable housing and, if necessary, emergency housing. The CRC is recognized as a Door Agency in our community; we provide additional programming to assist people at risk of homelessness to remain housed.
Our community outreach workers will determine if the family or individual is experiencing homelessness in one of the following ways:
- Emergency Sheltered
- Provisionally Accommodated
- At Risk
Once the client has been guided through the appropriate steps and it’s deemed appropriate, the staff will then administer the standard assessment tool and offer a case management approach.
Please use the contact form below to get started.
Through our partnership with the Canada Revenue Agency, we have trained volunteers who can complete income tax returns. Participants who meet eligibility criteria may have their income taxes return prepared, completed, and filed at no cost. Having taxes completed and up to date is key to ensuring access to social assistance programs that, in turn, help keep families and individuals housed. If you are an individual whose income is $35,000 or less you could qualify for this program. If you are a couple with an income of $45,000 or less you may qualify and if you are a family of 3 the income qualification starts at $47,500 and increases $2500 for each child under 18 up to 5. Please contact us if you have any questions on qualifying for this program.
We have locations for our tax clinics located throughout the County of Wellington. These are drop off clinics where you can pick tax packages up and then drop all tax documents off and staff will pick up throughout the week and complete at their offices when program is running. Everything is mailed back to you along with your tax return. We E-File everything off to the CRA as we are a volunteer program with Canada Revenue. Tax locations are: Remedy’s Rx Fergus, 2nd Chance Employment Fergus, Wellington County Learning Centre Arthur, Agilec Mount Forest. Please Note! Income Tax Program 2024 is gearing up to process taxes for 2023. We will be running 5 in-person clinics this year as well as running our virtual drop off clinics. This will begin in March and run until June. If you need transportation to get to one of our locations or an in-person clinic please reach out to our transportation team: Transportation
If you have any questions, please contact [email protected]
Children and youth have access to local pools for the entire swimming season. This enables them to remain physically active while out of school! They can also participate in this activity with family and friends, allowing them to maintain social connections throughout the summer. We also provide passes to the Grand River Conservation Area as well assist with funding towards day camps when no other funding is available.
We provide children and youth with a new backpack for back to school! These backpacks include supplies appropriate for their grade level, JK-12.
We feel that having children start school with the necessary supplies to improve their educational outcomes is essential. Research shows education is one of the keys to success in breaking the cycle of poverty, so we aim to have youth begin their school year similar to their peers with new school materials.
Winter Wear Program
Our winter wear program helps bridge the gap for low-income families by removing the burden of purchasing big ticket items like winter clothing, when budgets are tight. We provide winter wear to children 4-18 years who are low-income and living within Centre Wellington & Wellington North. Our winter wear program solely relies on donations and grants. The goal of this program is to provide children living in poverty the equal opportunity as other children in their community and to feel included.
Registration for the 2023 program is open until Oct. 15th. Please click on the link below to register. If you have any questions please reach out to any Outreach staff (519-843-7000 ext 1) and they will be glad to answer any of your questions. Please note our Winter Wear Program for 2023 has now closed.
We partner with the Children’s Foundation of Guelph-Wellington to provide low-income parents with gifts, donations, and grocery cards over the holiday season. This dramatically reduces financial stress regarding purchasing gifts for children and paying bills, increasing families’ food security, improving parents’ self-esteem and providing positive holiday experiences to youth. Please note the AAF 2023 program has now ended. Stay tuned for when the 2024 will open.
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