Kitchener-Waterloo

Wellbeing Waterloo Region seeks local funding to continue operations

A local group representing more than 70 community organizations is hoping to secure regional funds to ensure it can go on. Wellbeing Waterloo Region brings together community leaders and citizens to have conversations around local issues and address health inequities.

Regional staff is suggesting local collaboration be funded for 2 years

Waterloo regional politicians will meet on Wednesday to discuss the 2022 budget. (Paula Duhatschek/CBC)

A local group representing more than 70 community organizations is hoping to secure regional funds to ensure it can go on.

Wellbeing Waterloo Region brings together community leaders and citizens to have conversations around local issues, address health inequities and look for solutions. Organizations in the collaboration include Anishnabeg Outreach, Coalition of Muslim Women, Region of Waterloo and Waterloo Regional Police Service. 

"The goal of Wellbeing is to be able to connect, learn from each other and do that work so that we see more equitable outcomes," said Paige Monck-Whipp, network catalyst with the group.

The group, which is partially funded by Ontario Health West and community organizations, has requested $250,000 in annual operating funding from the region to support its initiatives and, more importantly, keep it up and running. 

"We do need the funding to continue our work and to be able to kind of recover from our attention over the past year on the pandemic and really be able to kind of put our attention toward the work that we want to do with the community," said Monck-Whipp.

Monck-Whipp said without this money, the organization may shut down. The group anticipates provincial funding will be reallocated to urgent health needs instead of upstream prevention.

The request is set to be discussed at a 2022 plan and budget meeting on Wednesday. 

Staff recommendation 

Monck-Whipp said the funding would be used to pay the salaries of staff who help run the group, as well as fund other operational needs.

They said Wellbeing hopes to implement a model that focuses on connecting the community, transformational change, developing new solutions to address issues and providing education on issues and inequities. 

In a report to council, staff suggested the region support the Wellbeing Waterloo over a period of two years by funding it $250,000 per year. The initial request asked for one-year coverage. 

"Staff propose funding for a two-year period with an expectation that Wellbeing find ongoing sustainability funding from other sources by the end of the two-year period," a report to council said.

The preliminary 2022 operating budget doesn't include the funding request from the group, but staff suggested the money can come from a Tax Stabilization Reserve. 

Monck-Whipp is hopeful regional politicians will support the group.

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