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YMCA Community Initiatives

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Community Initiatives

Strengthening the foundation of our community.

When someone in our community is facing difficult times YMCA Community Initiatives works diligently to provide the necessary resources and supports they need to move forward in a positive direction.


Rachel from our Community Initiatives department is helping to grow fresh vegetables and herbs at the Forest Garden located at St. Georges Park in Owen Sound. Items from the garden are available to the public (when given access). Anyone interested in volunteering to help at the garden or looking to receive food from the garden can contact Rachel at 519-371-9230. Today a family stopped at the garden to load up their wagon with fresh lettuce, kale and herbs before going fishing. The items from the garden will help them put together a healthy meal without spending a lot of money. You can find Rachel at the garden every Tuesday morning from 8:30am - 10:00am, fresh picked items from that day are available at our Community Initiatives office 648 2nd Ave. East, Owen Sound.


Housing Services

YMCA Housing Services works to prevent, address, and reduce homelessness in our community. Working with other services and supports across Grey and Bruce Counties, we assist youth (aged 16+) and adults who are homeless, or facing homelessness, to find safe, affordable, long-term housing in Grey Bruce.

Landlord Links Seminar

If you are a current landlord, or are considering becoming a landlord, join us for one or both upcoming seminars and learn from rental experts.
FREE event, dinner will be provided.

Seminar 1 Tuesday June 13, 2017 - 5:00pm - 8:00pm - Stone Tree Golf Centre - Owen Sound
5:00 - 5:15    Bill Walker, MPP - New Rental Regulations
5:15 - 5:30    Tracy and Shannon Williams, CIBC - Financing for Landlords
5:30 - 5:45    Devin Morrison, Collins Barrow Accounting - Tax Implications for Landlords
5:45 - 6:00    Paul Neville, Highland Manor Inn - Short-term Rentals and B&Bs
6:00 - 6:15    Break/Dinner
6:15 - 6:30    Anne Marie Shaw, Grey County Housing - Housing Programs & Initiatives
6:30 - 6:45    Joan Chamney, YMCA Community Initiatives - YMCA Housing Programs
6:45 - 7:00    Greg Nicol, Owen Sound Fire Dept. - Fire Prevention
7:00 - 7:15    Ben Freeburn, Alair Homes - Renovation Realities
7:15 - 7:30    John Lougheed, Safety Association - Electrical Safety
7:30 - 8:00    Question period; network with other landlords; wrap up

Seminar 2 Wednesday June 21, 2017 - 5:00pm - 8:00pm - Bruce County Museum - Southampton
5:00 - 5:15    Kevin Hicks, City of Owen Sound - Building Code Issues
5:15 - 5:30    April Stewart, Landlord Legal - Housing Legal Issues
5:30 - 5:45    Dan Blenkinsop, Barrier Sciences Group - Energy Auditing
5:45 - 6:00    Tracy Kuhl and Deb Aiken, The Co-Operators - Proper Insurance Coverage
6:00 - 6:15    Break/Dinner
6:15 - 6:30    Kimberly Love, Airbnb, Short Term Rentals
6:30 - 6:45    Joan Chamney, YMCA Community Initiatives - YMCA Housing Programs
6:45 - 7:00    Matt Shute, Community Connections - Mental Health Housing Support
7:00 - 7:15    Carolyn Parks, Bruce County Housing - Housing Programs & Initiatives
7:15 - 7:30    Sherry Lumley, Ministry of Community and Social Services - ODSP and OW    
7:30 - 8:00    Question period; network with other landlords; wrap up

Register before May 30th, call 519-371-9230 or email

Community Justice

The YMCA works with Crown Attorneys and Police Services throughout Grey and Bruce Counties to deliver community based programming for youth and adults involved in minor criminal offences. These programs are offered on a referral basis from the Courts or Police Services.

Youth in Transition Worker Program (YITW)

YITW offers support to young adults as they transition out of the child welfare system into independent living. A Youth in Transition Worker will help the young adult identify and pursue personal goals, connect with community supports and promote healthy lifestyle choices.

Youth Gambling Awareness Program (YGAP)

Together with the Ontario Ministry of Health Promotion, the YMCA believes educational awareness raising programs are essential to enhancing personal development and creating healthier communities. Through fun interactive workshops YGAP provides youth with information that will help them make their own informed choices around gambling and other high-risk behaviours.