United Way invests $1.5 million in 51 programs to address rising demand for services

May 2, 2024   ·   0 Comments

With demand for community services at an all-time high, United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin is investing $1.5 million across 51 programs in the communities it serves.

The funding is in response to critical issues like homelessness, food insecurity and mental health

“Through the application process, the ask from community partners last fall was more than 2.5 times what was available to distribute, which meant some difficult decisions and ultimately a number of programs going without funding”, said Banda. “However, we remain committed to focusing the dollars we do have on the most pressing and critical issues our community is facing and we are very excited about the programs we are able to support and the opportunities ahead to work with our partners.”

New programs supported through this round of funding include Art Not Shame, Ball 4 All, the Arab Women’s Society of Guelph, the Orangeville Food Bank and the Sanguen Health Centre Community Van.

Last fall, the Community Health Van was facing a potential closure, due to a lack of funding. Responding to emerging needs as they arise and helping to fill gaps in the community is what makes United Way funding unique and vitally important.

“The Guelph/Wellington Sanguen Community Health Van program is grateful to be the recipient of a United Way grant! With this generous support we can continue to offer nursing care, social support, peer support and harm reduction support to individuals within the City of Guelph and throughout the County at a time when so many community members are in need”, said Lindsay Sprague, director of community programs at Sanguen Health Centre. 

“Better is possible and United Way is proud to be able to continue to fund a network of services that support the well-being of our entire community”, said Glenna Banda, executive director at United Way. “Ensuring that programs and services are there to address the current and deepened community challenges we are facing right now is more important than ever.”

Funds are invested based on identified community needs through five funding streams – From Poverty to Possibility, Healthy People, Thriving Communities, All That Kids Can Be, Rural Communities and Equity, Diversity & Inclusion. These funding streams support collective approaches to addressing several critical and complex issues, including poverty, mental health, homelessness, isolation, and hunger. Local agencies apply to receive United Way funding, and a dedicated group of volunteers manage the distribution of funds. Grants are issued for two-year terms.

“United Way plays a critical role in our community, ensuring that our community’s most pressing needs are supported and the programs and services that are relied upon continue to be able to offer services. Community donations fuel this work and we are grateful to those who believe in our vision of a shared responsibility for social good,” said Banda. “We continue to fundraise all year long to continue to try to do more to support the ongoing needs in the community.”

For a complete list of funded programs, visit

Donations to United Way are accepted year-round, online at or by calling the United Way office 519-821-0571. Donations, as always, will stay 100 per cent local.

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