Housing and Shelter

Are you without a place to stay? Do you need a couple of days to get your life back on track? There are places that can help. You can access food banks and hot meals, programs that assist with housing costs, places to sleep if you’re on the street, and discretionary benefits from social services that help with things like emergency dental cost. There are also crisis lines if you just need someone to talk to. This guide will help you find and connect with these services so you can explore your options and decide which programs fit your needs and values. The choices are yours to make.

Huron Women’s Shelter, Second Stage Housing & Counselling Services

A safe environment for women with or without children who have experienced gendered based violence.

Second Stage Housing provides independent, controlled entry apartments with rent geared to income. Utilities are included, and there are free laundry facilities onsite. Units include a fridge and stove. There are 1,2,and 3 bedroom apartments available. There is one accessible unit in the building. Rental agreements are available up to one year in length.

Second Stage Housing has support staff available to assist with connections to community resources, provide counselling, advocacy and support to both women and children. We also offer these services to women and children living in the community through the transitional support program.

Play room and lounge available for programming and groups. There is also a totally fenced in playground at each building.

Stratford. Municipal Office

Provides up to 5 per cent in down-payment assistance loan to low and moderate-income households to assist in purchasing a home. Limited funding available

Optimism Place Women’s Shelter and Support Services

Violence Against Women Resource Centre that offers various support services. Women and children in need of safe and protective housing are welcome to stay at the shelter located in Stratford. Free transportation from North Perth can be arranged by calling the crisis line.

Optimism Place Women’s Shelter and Support Services

24 hour crisis line, residential program, and outreach services will continue to operate during COVID19

13 bed Emergency Shelter for women with or without children who have experienced domestic violence or sexual assault. Services include crisis counselling and support, transportation to shelter, safety planning and risk assessment, information and referrals, services for children and adolescents as well as community outreach including an office in North Perth. Assistance in completing social housing applications and advocacy in navigating criminal and family court matters

Clients do not have to be residing in shelter to receive services. All services confidential and no-cost

Huron County. Municipal Office

Provides emergency overnight shelter plus wrap around supports that are provided by trained professionals including trauma informed care, substance use, and mental health supports for cold weather season. Can accommodate 15 individuals and includes hot evening meal and breakfast, shower facilities, transportation and on-site security

Lakeshore United Church – Front Door to access

Covid 19 protocols in place including wearing a mask

Transportation from other areas available by calling number

There are isolation spaces available in the community to house people experiencing homelessness who test positive for coronavirus.

Partnership with Choices for Change, CMHA Thames Valley and Lakeshore United Church

Emily Murphy Centre

COVID19 Visitors Mon-Fri 9 am-6 pm, screened for COVID19, masks are mandatory and social distancing.

20 rent-geared-to-income housing for women with or without children who have experienced violence. Focus on safety. Provides affordable housing for up to one year. Offers women’s and children’s group programs as well as individual counseling. Outreach services available. On-site art therapist. All units are ground floor but only one unit is fully accessible.

Emergency Housing in Perth and Huron County

Handling calls for emergency housing in Perth and Huron.


PERTH and HURON (offices located in Stratford but serves all of Perth and Huron County)
During regular business hours, people and families in need of emergency housing should contact the Ontario Works [CIOC PER2173] or ODSP [ CIOC PER0681] . Outside of normal business hours, contact the Huron Perth Crisis Intervention Program for assistance, [CIOC PER0038] or ShelterLink [CIOC PER0054]


Salvation Army, WINGHAM (serves Howick, Huron East, Huron-Kinloss, Morris-Turnberry, North Huron, South Bruce) – can arrange emergency accommodations [ CIOC GBA2364] ]

Salvation Army, CLINTON (serves Bluewater ; Central Huron ; Huron East) – emergency accommodations in certain situations available for 1 to 2 nights maximum [CIOC GBA2150]

Salvation Army, GODERICH (serves Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh ; Central Huron ; Goderich ; Grand Bend ; Huron-Kinloss ; Kincardine (Town of) ; Seaforth) – emergency accommodations in certain situations available for 1 to 2 nights maximum [ CIOC GBA3657]

Huron Out-of-the-Cold:Heart to Home GODERICH (serves Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh ; Central Huron ; Goderich ; Grand Bend ; Huron-Kinloss ; Kincardine (Town of) ; Seaforth) – emergency overnight shelter plus wraparound services including hot evening meal and breakfast at Lakeshore United Church, 56 North St., Goderich [ CIOC PER0245] FOR HURON COUNTY RESIDENTS ONLY

Society of St Vincent de Paul, GODERICH (serves Huron County) – emergency overnight accommodations [CIOC GBA2160]



Shelterlink (serves Perth County) – emergency or transitional shelter and support services [CIOC PER0054]


Huron Safe Homes for Youth (serves Huron County) – temporary shelter and support services [CIOC GBA2132]



Optimism Place (serves Perth County) – women’s shelter and support services [CIOC PER0026]

Emily Murphy Centre (serves Perth County) – transitional second stage housing and support services [CIOC PER0037]


Women’s Shelter (serves Huron County) – emergency women’s shelter and second stage housing [CIOC GBA1807]

Resilience Huron Perth Mental Health

CMHA manages affordable rental units throughout Huron and Perth Counties, includes owned buildings and sublet units from local landlords.

Tenants with limited income and evidence of a mental illness may qualify for a rental subsidy based on income. Support services are provided to assist tenants to maintain their residences. Long and short term accommodation is provided

Transitional units provide temporary furnished accommodation to facilitate discharges from hospital and assess a person’s skills to maintain permanent housing.

Community Homes for Opportunity (CHO) – supportive housing program for people with serious mental illness

Huron County. Municipal Office

Emergency program that can assist families and individuals living with low incomes in Huron County.

Assistance may include but not be limited to: Emergency heat, water, sewage, rental arrears, dental. Eyeglasses, baby supplies, limited assistance with cost of prosthetic Items, other health care items. Limited financial assistance may be available in other exceptional circumstances.

Society of St Vincent de Paul

Daily soup program no longer running – frozen TV dinners available for emergency situations.
Thrift Store Has reopened with regular hours.

  • Food bank
  • Thrift store sells clothing, furniture and appliances, cookware, toys, books, and electronics
  • Emergency support for dental, eye care and medicine, rent, heat and hydro will deliver hampers of food in emergency situations and do home visits
  • Serve non-custodial parents
  • emergency overnight accommodation
  • fire and domestic violence assistance
  • Health equipment loan cupboard – free for an indefinite time period, manual wheel chairs, crutches, commodes, transfer benches and walkers – may have other equipment than what is listed. Please contact the office for more information
  • Budget and life skills support and resource liaising
  • Bibles and religious items available free
  • Free electronic waste collection

Christmas hampers:

  • Made up for seniors, singles, families and children over age 16
  • Hampers are made to individual needs (ie. diabetic, gluten free) with fresh products
  • Hampers can be ready for specific date if requested and can be delivered in emergency situations
  • Hamper contains food, gifts, and gift certificates
  • Applications for Christmas hampers start Nov 1st and will be accepted until Dec 8 – serve non-custodial parents

Families with children under 16 must go to the CAS Christmas Bureau, but if you miss that opportunity, please call.

Volunteers always welcome!

Salvation Army


  • Food bank, can be accessed more than once month, 4-7 day supply
  • Advocacy work
  • Transportation (limited availability – for medical or emergency travel)
  • Help for fire victims
  • Emergency accommodations, homeless (limited)
  • Emergency support for utilities and rent (provided there are funds in the budget)
  • Financial assistance for medications
  • General Counselling

Christmas food hampers and toy hampers, call to register in November.

Salvation Army (The)

Community and Family Services provides the following: Food Bank assistance, emergency transportation, support available for one-time emergency medicine costs, emergency accommodations, vouchers for clothing and household items, advocacy and resource referrals, support offered to send up to 5 children to Salvation Army summer camp each year. OESP and Leap Program application assistance.

Other services provided during applicable or specific times throughout the year include: Christmas hampers, and is an intake agency for Huron Backpacks for Kids. Call office or see separate entries for full details.

Salvation Army (The)

Food bank, emergency transportation, support available for one-time emergency medicine costs, emergency accommodations in certain situations available for 1 to 2 nights maximum, vouchers for clothing and household items available for those in need, advocacy and resource referrals, support offered to send up to 6 children to Salvation Army summer camp each year.

Other services provided during applicable or specific times throughout the year include: Christmas hampers, and is an intake agency for Huron Backpacks for Kids. Call office or see separate entries for full details.

Huron Safe Homes for Youth

COVID19 Committed to ensuring youth and their families have access to support, services and advocacy during the pandemic via telephone, email, and video conferencing. To access service please call 1-800-361-1640.

Provides voluntary, confidential services for youth (16 years of age to their 18th birthday) and their families in Huron County Services include:

  • temporary shelter in a Safe Home when the youth has no other viable alternative
  • mediation between youth and their parents/caregivers
  • short-term counselling
  • immediate and long term planning developed in conjunction with the youth and the family to address their needs
  • crisis intervention and support services for youth and/or families
  • support services for pregnant teens
  • provision of life skills training
  • education and resources
  • supported independent living
  • ability to act as a trusteeship for Ontario Works
Stratford/Perth Shelterlink

Provides emergency or transitional shelter, support services to homeless and at-risk youth across Perth County. Youth are provided with basic needs, community referrals, life skills. Constant staff support to help them move forward and into a successful independent living situation. Serving Ages 16 – 24

Salvation Army (The) Stratford – St. Marys Regional Community Ministries

Emergency shelter referrals given to Shelterlink or Ontario Works, emergency transportation, winter clothing supplies, Christmas assistance, assistance with fire victims and Food Bank

Housing Resource Centre – Contact Chelsea Borg 519-271-6991 or EMAIL – available to assist with light-touch supports such as:

  • Preparing for Housing Searches
  • Assistance with information about possible housing options
  • Completing self-directed housing searches
  • Referrals to other support agencies
  • Connecting people into the local Homeless System of Care
  • Volunteer Trusteeship component which assists clients with money management services

Also provide free income tax assistance. See separate listing HERE

Volunteers are all welcome.

Salvation Army Listowel

Food Bank – Wed and Thu 10 am-3 pm appointment preferred, Tue evenings by appointment ONLY. Call or Text Food Bank Coordinator for appointment. See PER2117

Harvest of HOPE educational garden runs Spring through Fall. EMAIL Carolyn to find out more or check Facebook page.

HOPE Eats North Perth currently paused until fall. Special event dinners during July & August – see Facebook page for details. Normally operates Wed 5:30 pm-7:00 pm. Drive through hot meal pick up at 625 Main St. E. Listowel. Pre-registration appreciated. Contact 226-622-7400 to register

Free Tax Assistance available for “Low Income” families – must make an appointment to drop off documents and sign release. Returns will be prepared, then a copy of return and personal documents will be returned by mail.

Back Pack for Kids Program Applications being taken for September 2022 as of Jun 30th. Distribution date to be determined. See PER0558

North Perth Sports for Kids Sports Sponsorship. If you would like assistance accessing activities for your youth and live in North Perth please call the Community & Family Services office at 519-291-3200. See PER1653

Other services provided:

  • HOPE Links North Perth (access to shower/meal/connection/laundry coming soon) Contact Steph Siertsema EMAIL or call 226-622-7400
  • Christmas Assistance. See PER1960
  • OESP application assistance

I Need a Place to Eat and Sleep