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Welcome to Chalmers Community Services Centre

Chalmers Community Services Centre is a not for profit organization that provides emergency food, clothing and support without prejudice to the members of our community.

We provide those in need with a safe, non-judgmental environment where they have access to food and clothing, are able to meet new people, and receive the support they need to take their next steps forward.

  • We welcome anyone who is unemployed, underemployed, between jobs, or waiting for compensation.
  • We do not use means testing. That means the people who use our service never have to prove they require help.
  • Chalmers is a violence and judgment-free center. We offer a safe and comforting place for people who have run out of options.

Chalmers Community Services Centre is committed to developing accessibility policies that respect and promote the principles on independence, dignity, integration and equality for those with disabilities. In compliance with the Customer Service Standard of the AODA (Accessibility for Ontarions with Disabilities Act, 2006), Chalmers Community Services Centre has developed a policy and has trained staff and volunteers on the Standard. For a copy of the policy, please click here. If you require this document in an alternate form or have feedback about your experiences at Chalmers Community Services Centre, please contact our office at 519-822-8778 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or direct your concerns in writing to 40 Baker Street, Guelph ON N1H 4G1. We will respond within 7 business days. Confidentiality will be respected.

For more information on the Customer Service Standard and the AODA, go to the Ministry of Community and Social Services website at:

For a copy of the Act go to:


Sarnia Mayor Speaks about Poverty in this Election


Sarnia mayor frustrated with federal leaders for ignoring poverty, inequality

Mike Bradley, Mayor of Sarnia, Ontario.

Mike Bradley, Mayor of Sarnia, Ontario.

By Roderick Benns

One of Canada’s longest serving mayors is getting frustrated with the three main federal party leaders who are persistently ignoring the issues of poverty and inequality.

Mayor Mike Bradley, of Sarnia, Ontario, says he is speaking out more lately for measures to deal with inequality – such as a basic income guarantee policy – “because others don’t.”

All three main political parties are constantly referencing the middle class, he says, at the expense of all others. (In fact, in the last debate, only Green Party leader Elizabeth May mentioned inequality and suggested the issue needed far more attention.)

Mayor Bradley says the people that need a voice are the ones who are struggling.

“They don’t have the energy and the time. They need someone to advocate for them. That’s why I think it’s important to speak out, because inequality continues to grow.”

Bradley was one of 327 mayors from across Canada contacted by Leaders and Legacies for a national survey to gauge municipal support for basic income policy. The mayors largely represent the most populous centres in Canada, while allowing for participation from all provinces and territories.

A common definition of a basic income guarantee ensures everyone an income sufficient to meet basic needs and live with dignity, regardless of work status. It involves a regular, reliable distribution of money from government to people to help ensure total income sufficient to meet common, basic needs.

Bradley says Sarnia – a city of about 72,000 on the Ontario-Michigan border — is not the only community that could benefit from a basic income guarantee policy.

“It doesn’t matter the community — you see huge gaps in haves and have-nots, now, and its growing.”

“Many of the social issues that develop are simply because people are struggling. They don’t have the ability to deal with their essential needs. This is a country of incredible wealth and we can’t even meet the basic needs of our populations,” he says.

Circle Program

The mayor says it’s a problem when people try to simplify the solutions to poverty, because it’s never one issue. From homelessness, addictions, mental health issues, education, and transportation and employment, everything needs to be considered, he says.

A program that Lambton County adopted called Circles has been a game changer on the ground, he says, and it’s something the municipality is proud of.

According to their website, Circles is a “supportive, intentional, reciprocal, befriending relationship comprised of a Circle Leader, a family working to get out of poverty, and two to four community Allies — middle class people who are willing to befriend the family and support their way out of poverty.”

The Circles Campaign:

  • Builds intentional relationships across class and race lines
  • Identifies barriers that keep people in poverty
  • Implements innovative solutions
  • Creates partnerships to help families
  • Changes the goals of the system to support families and economic change

Bradley says community members with various skills come together to support people who are on social assistance, with about 50 families involved so far. The program is so successful it is being adopted by other communities.

He points out that sometimes it’s best not to wait for the Province or Federal government to come to the rescue.

“Sometimes you can do things locally that matter. Circles is a foundation for citizen engagement.”

Basic Income Guarantee Policy

Bradley says he remembers basic income guarantee policy being debated during the Pierre Trudeau-Robert Stanfield years in the 1970s. The needs are greater now, he says, and inequality has risen, which is why he supports the policy.

“Today, federal politicians wait until the public is so far ahead of them and then they work to catch up. That’s why I feel like it’s part of my responsibility to raise these issues.”

The mayor notes that social services offers no incentives to better oneself at all, and it just encourages an underground economy.

“It’s a system structured for failure.”

Bradley says that a single male on social assistance gets less than $600 a month, and it “defies common sense that he can survive.”

The mayor says there will always be excuses governments can make for not dealing with inequality, but the fact remains a country as wealthy as Canada can always make the choice to implement a policy like a basic income guarantee.

“There’s never a right time to do something – so let’s just do it.”

Save Big with Summer Sales for Christmas Gift Bags!

In 2 months, we will begin the Christmas Gift Bag Campaign! Summer sales are a great time to save.

This is the list:
A pair of gloves and socks, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste/floss, 
shaving cream (men), fem. hygiene prods.(women), Shower gel, body wash, or soap, antiperspirant/deodorant, package of 5-10 Disposable Razors
Christmas Candy treat or Chocolate
Small jar of instant coffee, box of tea bags, or tin/box of hot chocolate

Hooping for Hunger Raises $3700 For CCSC

This morning cheques were presented to the CCSC Board Chair, Peter Gill, and Jan Wallace of the Hunger Project Canada, by April Burrows, owner of FLOW Office Wisdom.  $7400 was raised and distributed between the 2 charities, one local and one world wide.




Peter and April receiving chqApril and Jan Wallace receiving chq

United Way Day of Caring

BMO paint crew  


Thank you to BMO employees from various local branches for refreshing the paint in the CCSC hallway as part of the United Way of Guelph Wellington Dufferin Day of Caring. 

Have You Seen me Hula Hoop?

That’s the subject line of the email I sent to several friends asking for their support for Hooping for Hunger.   And no, you haven’t seen me hoop because I’ve never been able to keep that hoop up, even as a kid—couldn’t then, can’t now.   

More important, lots of people can.  And lots of people put their hoops and their energy into action to raise money for Chalmers Community Services Centre (CCSC) in Guelph and The Hunger Project Canada (THP Canada) at Hooping for Hunger on May 23 at Centennial CVI in Guelph. 

Chronic persistent hunger affects 842 million people around the world—that’s about 1 out of 8—and some of them live in Guelph.  By hooping, or sponsoring the event, or supporting one of our hula-hoopers, many people have helped to make a change in the life of someone who’s usually hungry.   

If you know FLOW, you know that we’re passionate about social change:  that’s why we organized this fundraiser, and why we commit to donating 10% of the company’s annual gross income to causes we believe in.  THP Canada is one of the organizations FLOW has supported since our founding, and CCSC is committed to many of the same objectives on a local scale.  In 2014 FLOW gave away $15,511 in services to create social change, and start a ripple that we hope will be felt in our community and around the world. 

Hooping for Hunger<span "font-size:="" 12.0pt"=""> was a big success for THP Canada and CCSC:  17 teams, more than 75 hoopers, over 170 donors and 28 sponsors raised $7,396.55 that will be given to these two organizations.  That’s afterwe covered our costs, so we were very close to our goal of raising $10,000. 

The bigger success is that our community got behind us.  FLOW is so grateful for the goodwill and support of our community for this event.

  • Our hoopers committed to an afternoon of hooping, collected pledges and brought their energy and enthusiasm to the event.
  • Our donors supported the hoopers, and committed the cash that will make a difference in the lives of hungry people.
  • Our volunteers committed time and ideas to make Hooping for Hunger a success.
  • Our sponsors donated materials to make the hoops, snacks and prizes for the hoopers, and money to cover our costs.
Hooping for Hunger.  It doesn’t matter much if you can hoop:  there are so many other ways you can help to end chronic hunger in our community and the larger world.  

Thanks for caring.

Margaret Turner
Creative Communicator, Writer
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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