August 11, 2015

Twenty three people have been affected by the overnight fires in Owen Sound, and six families are not insured. Those six families all suffered total losses of their homes and contents from Monday's devastating arson fires.

Francesca Dobbyn, Executive Director, United Way Bruce Grey, says the next step is to find new housing for the families who have lost their homes to the fire. If you can provide any type of housing assistance for these families, please contact YMCA Housing Support at 519-371-9230.

July 20, 2015

The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) is currently in the process of implementing the Ontario Electricity Support Program, or OESP, which is set to start in January 1, 2016.  The OESP is an ongoing rate assistance program designed to help low-income electricity customers with electricity bill payments.  Those who qualify would see a monthly OESP credit on their electricity bills.  The OESP credit amount will depend on the number of people living in the house and their combined household income.

June 29, 2015
211 on Social Services newletter header in English

New Show Portraying Stories of Newcomers in Canada
New Canadians is an online program that showcases settlement, education, employment and small business resources available to newcomers to help them maximize their chances of success and ease their integration into Canadian society and workforce. It will also profile successful immigrants who have overcome many challenges and established themselves in Canada. New Canadians is produced in association with the New Canadian Media Professionals Network, a Professional Immigrant Network’s (PINS) association.

May 29, 2015
SparkOntario logo for volunteering website

SPARKOntario is a new website, launched during National Volunteer Week that helps Ontarians connect with volunteering opportunities that suit their unique interests and lifestyle. Funded by the Ministry of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade, aggregates volunteering opportunities from across Ontario. Non-profit organizations contribute information about their volunteering opportunities through their membership with one of Ontario’s 25 volunteer centres or by signing up directly on the site.

May 11, 2015
Image of doctor and text saying Call the 211 helpline to find Ontario's health services and resources

Maintaining good health is one of the top concerns of most Ontarians – and is the number one reason people call 211.  People call to find health services and supports including government services, community-based supports, long-term care, respite care and wellness programs offered by public health and non-profit organizations.  

May 06, 2015
Image says 16 Stories about Ontario residents and how they were inspired to help

Last Week Scouts Canada challenged Canadians during Good Turn Week 2015 to deliver simple acts of kindness. They also encouraged Canadians of all ages to do good turns and asked recipients to pay it forward. Here are just a few stories that illustrate the kindness of Ontario’s residents. These stories are from local media or an organization’s YouTube channel. See links for full stories. These are only a few of them. There were lots more I found not mentioned here. We hope you are inspired to find a way to make where you live a better place using your passion and skills.

March 11, 2015
Newsletter header image of line drawings of group of people

Applications for Community-based mental health initiatives from Bell Let’s Talk
Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund for 2015 is accepting grant applications from $5,000 up to $50,000 for community-based mental health initiatives. Applications are open to registered not-for profit organizations and charities to fund localized mental health programs. Mental health experts from across Canada participate in the selection process. The 2015 application period is open until March 31 and all 2015 Fund grants will be disbursed before December 31, 2015. To apply for 2015 funding, please visit

February 23, 2015
Image of senior at computer with volunteer helper

The 1985 lyrics by the Eurythmics said, “Sisters are doing it for themselves.” It’s 2012, and Ontario Seniors are ‘doing it for themselves’ by dialing 211. Being able to stay within their own homes and maintaining the same quality of life, sometimes after a hospital stay, is a major concern for seniors in the South Georgian Bay area.

February 19, 2015
Image of phones ringing

Eleven calls answered by 211 I & R Specialist. One family needs children’s winter coats. One person’s gas was being turned off. Two information calls. Two people wanting to donate goods. One person registering for an event. Two people not knowing where to turn. One person is prevented from going to the wrong service location. One follow-up call is scheduled.

February 18, 2015
Image has text that says 'Nowhere to crash tonight? Call 2-1-1'

Homelessness is big city problem -- or so the myth goes. The sad reality is that homelessness can and does take place anywhere, including St. Thomas and Elgin County, where about 100 youth are without permanent housing at any given time. In fact, during the winter of 2011-2012, nearly half of the people who stayed at the Inn out of the Cold in St. Thomas were youth.


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