CEO Update from United Way KFL&A – September, 2021

Good morning! The United Way 2021 fundraising campaign has officially launched! The campaign kicked off virtually on September 10th with a strong start – find out more below. 

This month’s update includes results from the 2021 Homelessness Point in Time Count conducted by United Way, details on an event and resources focused on Indigenous members and services in our community.  And a reminder – don’t forget to vote if you haven’t already!


The 2021 Campaign kicked off Sept. 10 with an enthusiastic virtual event attended by over 150 volunteers!  This year’s goal, $3,514,800, represents an increase of 25% over the 2020 goal. This goal is the result of thoughtful planning by our volunteer Campaign Cabinet, and reflects the growing needs of the community during the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic.

In the words of this year’s Campaign Chair, Daren Dougall: “The past 18 months have been challenging and the United Way continues to evaluate the changing situation, knowing those challenges will persist beyond the pandemic.  Like all of us, agencies are suffering from pandemic fatigue but working hard to ensure they can continue to serve residents − but they can’t do this alone. Now more than ever, they rely on the support of the community and donors to continue to show their Local Love in support.”

The campaign has started off strong and the community has risen to the challenge – with 40 per cent of this year’s goal raised to date! The support and positivity at the kickoff and in the workplaces has been great to see.  In the first week alone, the City of Kingston and Queen’s Retirees saw great success launching their campaigns with $50,000 and nearly $80,000 raised respectively on their very first days.


United Way KFL&A coordinates Kingston’s bi-annual Homelessnes Point In Time (PIT) count.

Due to the pandemic, the 2020 PIT Count could not occur and instead took place on April 14, 2021. The bi-annual process typically involves training and deploying volunteers out onto the streets, who conduct face to face surveys with individuals experiencing homelessness. However, because of COVID-19, this year’s count was conducted by staff at agencies and street outreach workers, rather than volunteers.

The data collected in 2021 shows some changes – in particular the impacts of the pandemic on people in vulnerable situations and marginalized individuals in our community.

  • 31% of people experiencing homelessness identified as Indigenous.
  • A higher number of people experiencing homelessness (207) were counted during the 2021 Urban Kingston Point in Time Count, compared to 2018 (152).
  • The number of shelter beds had to be reduced in 2021 due to capacity restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic for a total of 67, including 6 beds in an overflow shelter, down from 96 in 2018.

o   Additionally, there were hotel rooms available to be accessed for people who needed to isolate.
o   The Integrated Care Hub was also created with approximately 45 spaces for people to rest overnight.

These are some of the information you can find in the report. The report helps United Way identify trends so we can plan, enhance, and expand programs to support individuals who are homeless. The results will also help inform planning and policy decisions among various organizations and governments going forward.

For more highlights of the report and for a link to the full report, visit


United Way is hosting the third Women United event of the year, this afternoon (Monday, Sep 20) at Lake Ontario Park. It will be our first in-person Women United event since 2019!  Based on suggestions from participants, the topic for this panel will be Indigenous programs in the region. It will be at the spirit garden at Lake Ontario Park where we will hear from people who identify as indigenous and/or work with others who identify as indigenous.  If you would like to be a part of this initiative or today’s event, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at or call me at 613-929-4828. 

This panel aligns with United Way KFL&A’s ongoing work on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Indigenization. United Way continues to work with the roundtable that has been set up to lead discussions on this topic in Kingston with a focus on increasing and growing diversity and  educating and supporting the community as we move forward.

A list of Indigenous Programming and Resources in KFL&A has been created in line with this work. 

This work and events like the Women United panel are some of many steps United Way KFL&A is making along this path toward Indigenous reconciliation, in a respectful manner.  You can see some of our goals and direction at:

Don’t Forget To Vote

Today, September 20, 2021 is Election Day. Please remember to have your say and get out to the polls and vote, if you haven’t already!

United Way KFL&A is committed to working with all federal parties in the next mandate to achieve an equitable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and create lasting systemic change to ensure everyone in every community has the opportunity to reach their full potential. We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with our Member of Parliament so that our community’s collective efforts help to alleviate the conditions of the most vulnerable, and build stronger, more prosperous communities for all residents in KFL&A.


Thank you! Your support continues to change the lives of so many impacted by this pandemic. Thank you for your continued. Please feel free to reach out if you would like more information or just want to chat – I can be reached at 613-929-4828 or by email

Take care. Stay safe and well! 


You can always stay up to date by following our social media channels – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and you can find videos at Watch for regular updates on our website at