Welcoming Streets Initiative
What is the Welcoming Street Initiative (WSI)?
The WSI was designed to ensure that downtown Guelph is safe, inclusive, and welcoming for all community members.
What is the purpose of this program and expected outcomes?
Purpose: A Peer Outreach Worker works to support business owners by responding to situations that do not require the help of police. In addition, the Worker engages with vulnerable individuals to ensure they are connected with the services they need.
- Business owners feel supported and have access to the information/training they need
- Vulnerable individuals feel supported, and are linked with the services they need
- The downtown core is safe and inclusive for all community members
Who does this program serve?
This program supports downtown business owners and also vulnerable individuals in the area. These individuals are often struggling with complex issues, such as poverty, mental health and addiction, homelessness, and who are disengaged from the health and social service system.
This initiative is the result of an innovative partnership between the Guelph Police, the Guelph Business Association, and the Guelph Community Health Centre.
Program Funding Partners:
2020/2021: Downtown Guelph Business Association, City of Guelph, Guelph Community Health Centre & Guelph Police Service
2018/2019: Downtown Guelph Business Association, City of Guelph, Guelph Community Health Centre, Guelph Police Service, United Way & County of Wellington
2018: Downtown Guelph Business Association, City of Guelph, Guelph Community Health Centre, Guelph Police Service
For information about emergency shelters, call:
- HERE 24/7: 1-844-437-3247
If you see someone on the street in need of assistance (not an emergency response), call:
- Guelph Police Service non-emergency line, 519-824-1212
- Wellington County OPP non-emergency line, 1-888-310-1122
- HERE 24/7, 1-844-437-3247
- Call 911 if it is a life threatening emergency situation
WSI Program Resources/Evaluations:
Business Tips for De-Escalation PDF PRINT
Welcoming Street Mini Documentary Filmed by Jack Bailey
No One Left Behind – United Way Guelph Wellington Documentary