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COVID-19 Response

This is an unprecedented time in our community. But as a community, we have risen to unexpected and urgent challenges before. United Way has always played a role in convening and mobilizing people around the most pressing needs in our community and this time is no different.

During the pandemic, we have been working collaboratively with the Government of Canada, national and local non-profits, and funders to be the support that individuals and non-profits need.

COVID-19 Initiatives & Supports
COVID-19 Community Response Fund

Launched on Monday, March 16, 2020, the COVID-19 Community Response Fund supported the work of frontline organizations that are collectively striving to ensure our most vulnerable citizens are safe and healthy.

We know this pandemic disproportionately impacts certain populations and our goal was to raise funds for programs and services that directly benefited these individuals.

By giving to the COVID-19 Community Response Fund, you provided support for frontline organizations, particularly those that aren’t always visible in our community but continue to provide critical support for the most vulnerable members in Waterloo Region.

Thanks to your generosity, over 2020-2021, we were able to provide funding of $363,600 organizations through our COVID-19 Community Response Fund.

Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF)

The Government of Canada’s $350 million Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF) helped charities and non-profit organizations adapt and increase frontline services for vulnerable populations during the peak of COVID-19.

United Way Waterloo Region Communities was pleased to support this vital investment by the Government of Canada in critical services for vulnerable people in our community.

Together, the Canadian Red CrossCommunity Foundations of Canada and United Way Centraide Canada collaborated with the Government of Canada to flow ECSF support to those who needed it most.

Thanks to the Emergency Community Support Fund, we were able to provide additional funding of $1,767,014 to organizations here in Waterloo Region.

Number of programs or agencies supported: 71

Number of people served: 56,257

  • 413,585 meals served
  • 462 people sheltered
  • 210 individuals improved their literacy skills
  • 4957 youth learned how to build coping strategies for anxiety and mental health challenges
Seniors' Fund

The New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) provides grants and contributions for projects that help improve the well-being of seniors and foster their social inclusion. To provide more support for seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada announced flexibility for organizations to use funding received through the NHSP community-based stream to provide immediate and essential services to seniors impacted by COVID-19.


Funded by the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program, United Way Waterloo Region Communities is proud to have helped distribute $109,181 to our community in 2020 through this program.


Number of programs or agencies supported: 13 

Number of people served: 3,593  

  • 23,634 interventions provided = The number of times a vulnerable senior in our community was helped during the pandemic by services like having a meal delivered, receiving a care package, attending a wellness class, accessing mediation support, being checked on, and accessing mental health and other general health supports. 
211 & the Financial Relief Navigator


United Way Waterloo Region Communities is proud to locally fund 211. 211 is a free and confidential helpline that ensures access to information about community and social programs in Waterloo Region is only a phone call away. Calls are answered 24/7 by a live operator trained to provide up-to-date and accurate information about services right here in your community. Simply call 2-1-1 or visit


Financial Relief Navigator

United Way Centride Canada is proud to support the Financial Relief Navigator (FRN), an English and French online tool providing a one-stop portal to help vulnerable Canadians access critical emergency benefits and financial relief from governments, financial institutions, telecoms and internet providers.

Community Services Recovery Fund (CSRF)

The Community Services Recovery Fund is a $400 million investment from the Government of Canada to support charities and non-profits as they build resilience by making investments in their people, organizations, and program innovation. United Way Waterloo Region Communities is proud to be taking part in the Community Services Recovery Fund, a collaboration between United Way Centraide Canada, Canadian Red Cross, and Community Foundations of Canada to provide funding to Community Service Organizations, including non-profit organizations, Indigenous Governing Bodies, and Registered Charities located across Canada. The Community Services Recovery Fund responds to what charities and nonprofits need right now and supports organizations as they adapt to the long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Visit to find out more about how to apply.


We will share more information on our funding page as it becomes available.

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Le Fonds de relance des services communautaires est un investissement de 400 millions de dollars du gouvernement du Canada pour aider les organismes de bienfaisance et les organismes à but non lucratif à bâtir leur résilience en investissant dans leurs gens, leurs organisations et l’innovation de leurs programmes. United Way Waterloo Region Communities est fier de participer au Fonds de relance des services communautaires, une collaboration entre Centraide United Way Canada, la Croix-Rouge canadienne et les Fondations communautaires du Canada pour fournir du financement aux organismes communautaires, incluant les organismes à but non lucratif, les corps dirigeants autochtones et les organismes de bienfaisance enregistrés situés partout au Canada. Le Fonds de relance des services communautaires est une réponse aux besoins actuels des organismes de bienfaisance et organismes à but non lucratif. Il les aidera à s’adapter aux effets à long terme de la pandémie de COVID-19.


Visitez pour savoir comment présenter une demande.


Nous partagerons plus d’informations sur notre page de financement dès qu’elles seront disponibles.


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