WRAR Donates $63,248 to Six Shelter-Based Organizations on Behalf of Local REALTORS®

Waterloo Region, ON (February 6, 2024) – The Waterloo Region Association of REALTORS® (WRAR) has donated $63,248 to six shelter-based organizations in Waterloo Region.

The successful grant recipients were:  

  • Habitat for Humanity Waterloo Region ($12,562.25) 
  • Hospice Waterloo Region ($6,500)
  • Indwell ($12,562.25)              
  • Shelter Movers ($6,500)               
  • Safe Haven (Lutherwood) ($12,562.25) 
  • The Working Centre ($12,562.25)

These grants were made possible through WRAR’s participation in the Ontario REALTORS® Care Foundation’s (ORCF) Every REALTOR® campaign, donating $2 per member per month to support ORCF. These funds are invested back into local shelter-based charities annually, reinforcing WRAR’s commitment to the community we serve.

A recent VitalSigns report on Affordable Housing by the Waterloo Region Community Foundation shows that homelessness in the region is growing at a rate of 30% year over year, and Waterloo Region has experienced one of the world’s most drastic housing price increases since 2005, with rents and home prices soaring well beyond local incomes.

“In the face of a housing crisis that is impacting so many in Waterloo Region, WRAR is proud to support these amazing local organizations who are working to provide refuge and safety for people in our community,” says Christal Moura, President of WRAR.

Moura highlights that funding for shelters and affordable housing represents just one facet of addressing Waterloo Region’s housing crisis. “Engaging in robust discussions, exploring innovative strategies, resisting NIMBYism, and ending exclusionary zoning to create more missing middle housing, are just some of the ways we can find more housing solutions and increase the quality of life for people in Waterloo Region”

Quotes From Our Grant Recipients:

WRAR Donates $12,560 to Habitat for Humanity Waterloo Region

“Every partnership we build certainly impacts others around us. Especially today, with the housing crisis and the impact it is having on our communities. We’re very proud of our partnership with WRAR and this generous grant from Realtors Care. This donation will help bring the dream of homeownership a little bit closer for families in Waterloo Region” ~ Philip Mills, CEO at Habitat for Humanity Waterloo Region.

You can learn more about this organization by visiting their website.

Pictured from left to right: Jason Van Amelsvoort, President-Elect (WRAR), Phillip Mills, CEO (Habitat for Humanity Waterloo Region), Megan Bell, Past President (WRAR), and Christal Moura, President (WRAR).

The WRAR Executive Directors present a cheque of $12,560 to the Habitat for Humanity Waterloo Region CEO, Phillip Mills.
WRAR Executive Directors present a cheque of $6,500 to Hospice Waterloo Region

WRAR Donates $6,500 to Hospice Waterloo Region

“This grant from the Waterloo Region Association of Realtors will go towards helping Hospice Waterloo Region continue to provide the best in hospice/palliative care, support and education to individuals, their caregivers and families in the community. At The Gies Family Centre and Cook Family Residence in Waterloo, our services are offered at no charge, including volunteer visiting, respite care, connection groups for individuals to meet with others facing a life threatening illness, and grief and bereavement counselling” ~ Tracy Helm, Director of Fund Development at Hospice Waterloo Region.

You can learn more about this organization by visiting their website.

Pictured from left to right: Megan Bell, Past President (WRAR), Christal Moura, President (WRAR), Melissa Parker, Donor Relations Manager (Hospice Waterloo Region), Tracy Helm, Director of Fund Development (Hospice Waterloo Region), and Jason Van Amelsvoort, President-Elect (WRAR).

WRAR Donates $12,560 to Indwell

“Indwell is extremely grateful for the grant of $12,562.25 from the Waterloo Region Association of Realtors through the Ontario Realtors Care Foundation for our work in the Waterloo Region. This grant will be put towards providing beds for tenants at two of our programs here in Waterloo Region – in Kitchener and Cambridge. All of our tenants live on low incomes and struggle to provide the basic necessities, including having a proper bed that would entail a bed frame, mattress and two storage boxes underneath. This grant will ensure that our tenants can have a comfy bed to sleep on each night; an important part of our vision to offer ‘Hope and Homes for All’.” ~ Mark Willcock, Community Engagement & Fundraising at Indwell.

You can learn more about this organization by visiting their website.

Pictured from left to right: Jason Van Amelsvoort, President-Elect (WRAR), Megan Bell, Past President (WRAR), Mark Willcock, Community Engagement & Fundraising (Indwell), and Christal Moura, President (WRAR).

WRAR Executive Directors present a cheque of $12,560 to Indwell
WRAR Executive Directors present a cheque of $6,500 to the Shelter Movers.

WRAR Donates $6,500 to Shelter Movers

“Having completed over 420 moves since December 2020, Shelter Movers Southwestern Ontario is seeing an increased need for our services. This year, we have completed approximately 30% more moves than last year, supporting individuals and families in the Waterloo Region, primarily women and children, fleeing abuse. The generous funds from the Waterloo Region Association of REALTORS will be used towards move coordination and moving costs as we support survivors transitioning to a life free from violence”. Courtney Waterfall, Chapter Director (Shelter Movers).

You can learn more about this organization by visiting their website.

Pictured from left to right: Megan Bell, Past President (WRAR), Christal Moura, President (WRAR), Courtney Waterfall, Chapter Director (Shelter Movers), Susan Stark, Fund Development Manager (Shelter Movers), and Jason Van Amelsvoort, President-Elect (WRAR).

WRAR Donates $12,560 to Lutherwood; Safe Haven

“We express deep gratitude for the ongoing assistance provided by the Ontario Realtors Care Foundation and the Waterloo Region Association of Realtors. This support guarantees a safe environment and provides an alternative to the streets for young individuals. Thanks to this generous grant, Safe Haven Youth Services can empower youth by imparting essential life skills, enabling them to lead independent and successful lives”. ~ Mary-Jo Shearer, Donor Development Manager at Lutherwood: Safe Haven.

You can learn more about this organization by visiting their website.

Pictured from left to right: Christal Moura, President (WRAR), Megan Bell, Past President (WRAR), CEO, John Colangeli, CEO (Lutherwood), Mary-Jo Shearer, Donor Development Manager (Lutherwood), Rich Steinmann, Board of Directors Chair (Lutherwood), and Jason Van Amelsvoort, President-Elect (WRAR).

WRAR Executive Directors present a cheque totaling $12,560 to Lutherwood, Safe Haven.
Photo of the WRAR directors with representitives from the Working Centre holding a cheque noting WRAR's donation of $12,560 to the Working Centre.

WRAR Donates $12,560 to The Working Centre

A giant thank you to the ORCF for supporting The Working Centre at a time when we have just completed 21 units of single mother housing and are building 44 units of housing for the most persistently homeless. The work of building social housing while providing employment services, shelter work, food distribution and St. John’s Kitchen is keeping us stretched. We are so appreciative of this generous support during a time when social needs must be addressed at the grassroots.”  ~ Joe Mancini, Director of The Working Centre. 

You can learn more about this organization by visiting their website.

Pictured from left to right: Jason Van Amelsvoort, President-Elect (WRAR), Christal Moura, President (WRAR), Joe Mancini, Director (The Working Centre), Megan Bell, Past President (WRAR), and Katherine Bitzer, Project Developer (The Working Centre).