Homelessness and Housing Stability

The County of Wellington is the provincially designated Service Manager for the delivery of homeless prevention programmes in Wellington County and the City of Guelph. The County's role as Service Manager includes responsibilities such as planning, resource allocation, quality assurance and service provision.

  Find Emergency Shelter     Funding to Prevent Eviction  

Housing Stability Programme Online Application  Retirement Home Subsidy    

The Housing Stability Team is actively working with internal and external partners to end chronic homelessness in Wellington-Guelph. More information can be found at Guelph-Wellington Coordinated Entry System, Homelessness Initiatives and Guelph-Wellington Built for Zero-Canada.

Emergency Shelters

The County of Wellington has entered into Purchase of Service Agreements with community Non-Profit organizations to provide Emergency Shelter and assistance to families and individuals experiencing homelessness. 

Emergency Shelters are an important part of our homelessness serving system in Wellington-Guelph and provide necessary crisis support to adults, youth, and families experiencing homelessness. 

Wellington-Guelph supports a Housing First philosophy and works closely with community agencies to rehouse individuals as quickly as possible and to prevent homelessness, where possible.

The County of Wellington funds Stepping Stone (formerly the Drop In) and Wyndham House to support homelessness prevention, crisis response and housing stability. 

If you are in need of emergency shelter, please call HERE 24/7 1.844.437.3247 or reach out to an emergency shelter listed below. 

Stepping Stone (formerly the Drop In Centre) - Shelter Programmes

For information about the emergency shelter programmes, please contact Stepping Stone directly at 519.837.0080, 9am-3pm, Monday-Friday. Outside of the Stepping Stone hours, please contact one of the shelters below.

Home | Stepping Stone (steppingstonegw.com)

Stepping Stone Men’s Shelter Program

Entry Requirements: Men 25+ Capacity: 22

Shelter Hours: Monday to Thursday – 8pm to 8am Friday to Sunday – 3pm to 8am

T 519.837.0633

Dwelling Place Women’s Shelter Program

Entry Requirements: Women 25+ Capacity: 16

Shelter Hours: 3pm-9am, 7 days/week

T 519.829.2844

Family Shelter Program

Are you a family in need of emergency shelter? Please call for more information.

Shelter Hours: Monday-Friday 9am-3pm: 519.837.0080

For shelter access outside of these times, please contact either Stepping Stone or Dwelling Place.

Wyndham House Youth Emergency Shelter - Guelph

Youth Emergency Shelter

Entry Requirements: Youth aged 16 - 24 Capacity: 14

Shelter Hours: 4pm - 8:30am, 7 days/week

T 519.837.3892


Funding to Prevent Evictions 

The County of Wellington Housing Stability team administers funding and monitors compliance for the Housing Stability Programme, the Rent Bank, Emergency Energy Fund (EEF), and Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP).  

To find out more information about programme eligibility, please contact 519.837.2670 x3712 

Programme Programme Description
Rent Bank

Rent Bank is intended to support Non- OW/ODSP residents with low and moderate income who are homeless or at risk of homelessness achieve housing stability.

Rent Bank will only assist with rental arrears. Tenants will be required to demonstrate the ability to maintain future shelter expenses as well as pay current months’ rent. For example: Rent Bank will pay March and April arrears once May’s rent has been paid by the tenant.

Allocation of funds must prevent eviction.

Housing Stability Programme

Housing Stability is intended to support OW/ODSP residents who are homeless or at risk of homelessness achieve housing stability.

Housing Stability Programme funding includes:

  • Last month's rent
  • Rent and utility arrears

Applicants will be required to demonstrate the ability to maintain future shelter expenses.

Emergency Energy Fund (EEF)

EEF is intended to support residents with low and moderate income who need instant support to address utility arrears, reconnections (heat, hydro, water), and minimum fuel fills.

EEF is used for non-Guelph Hydro customers or if LEAP is depleted or top up for HSP or LEAP.

Households should be able to demonstrate they can maintain ongoing services.

Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP)

LEAP is funded through the Ontario Energy Board. The County is the lead agency for Guelph Hydro only. Eligibility criteria is set by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB). The County receives an annual budget each year and once the funds have been depleted eligibility for other programs will be accessed. LEAP is intended to support Guelph Hydro customers with low and moderate income who have hydro arrears.

Households should be able to demonstrate they can maintain ongoing services.


Housing with Related Supports - Retirement Home Subsidy

The County of Wellington currently has formal service agreements with Housing with Related Supports providers in the City of Guelph and throughout Wellington County.

The Housing with Related Support providers support eligible tenants of the Retirement Homes, Wyndham House Youth Homes and the Pregnancy Care Centres that require assistance with daily living. Support services include 24-hour supervision, medication administration, life skills, parenting supports and community integration.

A Housing Stability Caseworker will meet with any client applying for financial support in order to determine initial and ongoing eligibility.

Housing for Seniors - Guelph


Heritage House

T 519.822.2006


Norfolk Manor Inc.

T 519.837.1100

Housing for Seniors - County

Mount Forest

Birmingham Retirement Community

T 519.323.4019


Caressant Care Arthur

T 519.848.3795


Caressant Care Fergus

T 519.843.2400


Caressant Care Harriston

T 519.338.3700


Countryview Retirement Residence

T 519.291.5027

Housing for Pregnant and Parenting Young Women - Guelph
 Michael House Pregnancy Care Centre

 T 519.766.7675

Housing for Pregnant and Parenting Young Women - County
Ramoth House Pregnancy Care Centre

T 519.323.3751 

Housing for Youth - Guelph
Wyndham House Residential

T 519.822.4400

Wellington-Guelph Coordinated Entry System-Homelessness Prevention-Built for Zero

Wellington-Guelph Coordinated Entry System

Image of Coordinated Entry SystemCoordinated Entry System is a shared and standardized method for connecting people experiencing homelessness to the resources available.  The Coordinated Entry System assess people’s housing-related needs, prioritizes them for resources, and links those in need to a range of types of assistance.

The graphic illustrates how a individual or family experiencing homeless can access supports through the Coordinated Entry System:

Step One: Go to a Door Agency

Step Two: Complete an assessment

Step Three: Consent to be added to the By-Name-List (BNL)

Step Four: Accept referrals to appropriate housing services and supports.


Homelessness Prevention

Tremendous efforts have been made to end chronic homelessness in Wellington-Guelph since the introduction Timeline illustrating homelessness initiatives between 2014 and 2018of the 10-year Housing and Homelessness Plan.

To find out more about Homelessness Prevention Initiatives in Wellington-Guelph, please refer to our Homelessness Prevention Initiatives.

  • 2014
    • The County commissioned an implementation strategy to establish more specific plans to address homelessness, with a focus on Housing First.
  • 2015: Housing First
    • A new Housing First programme was established. The programme is delivered by Stepping Stone and Wyndham House who together support about 45 youth and adult households.
  • 2016: 20,000 Homes Campaign
    • The County of Wellington and the Guelph and Wellington Task Force for Poverty Elimination signed on to co-lead the 20,000 Homes Campaign and undertook the first ever Registry Week in Wellington-Guelph in April 2016, which established a local By-Name-List (BNL).
  • Early 2017: Coordinated Entry System
    • The Wellington-Guelph 20,000 Homes Campaign implemented a Coordinated Entry System (CES) to standardize the process, assessment and housing prioritization for households experiencing homelessness.
  • Late 2017: By-Name-List
    • Guelph-Wellington was the fourth community in Canada to achieve a quality By-Name-List (BNL).
  • Early 2018: PiT Count/Registry Week
    • A PiT Count/Registry Week was conducted with a specialized outreach strategy to connect with Indigenous peoples experiencing homelessness.
  • Late 2018: 20KHomes Collaborative
    • The County of Wellington Signed on to the 20KHomes Collaborative that is based on the Community Solutions Built for Zero Campaign.

Built for Zero-Canada (BFZ-C)

Building on the success of the 20,000 Homes Campaign, the County of Wellington joined the Built for Zero Canada (BFZ-C), a national change movement to end chronic homelessness.

Through BFZ-C, we are improving our homelessness service system through coordinated community actions and evidence-based decision-making.

“Homelessness is a complex issue but together with a common goal and a coordinated community response, we can make significant impact. We believe ending chronic homelessness is possible in our community”

To find out more, review our Built for Zero data and resources.

What is a By-Name-List (BNL)?

A By-Name-List (BNL) is a real-time list of all people experiencing homelessness in Wellington-Guelph. The BNL helps service providers prioritize need, track the status change as individuals and families move in and out of homelessness and inform action as we move towards ending chronic homelessness in our community.

Information gathered through the BNL that helps us understand who is coming into the homelessness system (inflow) and who is being housed and leaving the system (outflow). Tracking inflow/outflow and actively homeless in our community helps us measure progress towards ending chronic homelessness.

Homeless System Inflow/Outflow

Homelessness System Inflow/Outflow

  • Inflow:
    • Paying attention to inflow helps drive active towards prevention
  • Active:
    • Understanding active homelessness helps us connect individuals to appropriate supports
  • Outflow:
    • Tracking outflow helps us measure progress over time
What is Homeless Individuals and Families Information system (HIFIS)?
HIFIS is a web-based software that helps manage the entire spectrum of support services provided to individuals and families experiencing homelessness and supports a coordinated approach to service provision. Data collected through HIFIS contributes to a better understanding of homelessness in our community.

If you are concerned about an individual, you see on the street in need of assistance, please call HERE 24/7 1.844.437.3247 (Local Number: 519.821.3582) or the Wellington County OPP non-emergency line at 1.888.310.1122.

If it is a life-threatening emergency call 911.

cartoon graphic of neighbourhood

© 2023 County of Wellington, 74 Woolwich St. Guelph, Ontario N1H 3T9, T 519.837.2600, TF 1.800.663.0750, F 519.837.1909