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Support Services

Covid-19 Services Status:

Support staff are available by phone for various support programs.

PLEASE CONTACT US AT  1-888-939-1831 or  info@fswe.ca

for more information or to speak with a FSWE support staff person.


We provide professional, voluntary and confidential advocacy and support services to families, individuals, couples, older adults and persons with developmental disabilities or mental health issues. Our programs are client-centered. We provide strategies and support to resolve conflicts, address personal problems and help people live independently in the community.

Our Support Services can help:


  • Handle daily life and community barriers
  • Deal with arising challenges and concerns
  • Learn new skills to manage issues
  • Connect with other services, as needed
  • Take action to move forward in life

Typical Areas of Support:


  • Finances
  • Housing
  • Personal Support Workers
  • Independence
  • Relationships
  • Clutter, Hoarding,
  • Neglect and Abuse
  • etc…

See each service for eligibility requirements and specific services available


Professional Support
When People Need It

  • Services available for individuals, couples, families, older adults, children and youth
  • Specialized services for adults with developmental disabilities or mental health issues
  • Referral to other Community Agencies, when needed
Picture of two young people both facing the front. They are in an embrace with intertwined hands and arms.

You are not alone. Help is a phone call away.


How do our Support Services work?

Our Professional Support Staff will

  • Talk privately with people about concerns
  • Decide what issues to work on together
  • Provide advice, advocacy and professional support to manage concerns
  • Connect people with other Community Agencies, as needed
  • Help deal with any new issues that may arise
  • Help people cope with changes in life

Our Professional Support Staff

  • Can support people as they work on a wide range of issues
  • Focus on growth, development and independence
  • Facilitate overall well-being and resilience
  • Have a broad range of clinical expertise and real-life experience

How much will it cost?

Most of our Support Services are free, unless otherwise indicated by the specific program.

Donations for Support Services are very welcomed. Donations help us continue our important, local work.

See How You can help by donating today.


Counselling Services do have fees. See Counselling Services Overview for rates and subsidies

Young man smiling at camera

Windsor-Essex Housing Connections (WEHC)

 

Windsor-Essex Housing Connections (WEHC) is a partnership of agencies who work together to help people find affordable, rental housing and end the cycle of homelessness. As there are a number of agencies that help people find appropriate housing, please read carefully below to determine which agency will best meet your housing needs at this time.

Housing First Program

Through the Housing First Program, Family Services Windsor-Essex (FSWE) helps people with the greatest level of need find affordable rental housing. FSWE works with people who have been chronically homeless (ie 6+ months) and have a significant mental health and/or addiction concerns.

Housing First Workers also provide these clients with weekly advocacy and support for up to three years. We connect people with other agencies to help deal with mental health or addiction issues. Our goal is to help maintain the tenancy and reduce issues of safety and security for people who are chronically homeless.

Windsor-Essex Housing Connections (WEHC) Partnership Teams include: Service Coordinators, Housing Response Workers, Housing First Workers, Outreach Workers, Peer Support Workers, Landlord Developers and Hoarding Response Workers.

WEHC partnership agencies work to end the cycle of homelessness. The Partnership is led by Family Services Windsor-Essex, in collaboration with Housing Information Services, Accessible County Community Support Services and/or CAN-AM Indian Friendship Centre.

Two smiling men, sitting together in an embrace looking at their cell phone.

For more information about our Housing First Program contact us at 1-888-933-1831.


Finding Affordable Rental Housing and Housing Response Program

Listed below are local agencies that help people who do not require the intensive support of the Housing First Program, but who are looking for:

  • Safe, affordable rental housing
  • Community based private market housing
  • Landlord/tenant resolution and tenancy support
  • Supports to maintain housing in the community
    *Note: people (may or may not) be homeless and/or have mental health and addiction issues

Housing Information Services (HIS) Logo

Housing Information Services (HIS)

Call 519-254-4824 for help in Windsor and surrounding areas.
Located at 3450 Ypres Ave #200, Windsor, ON N8W 3P6.
Visit hiswindsor.ca

Access County Community Support Services (ACCESS) Logo

Accessible County Community Support Services (ACCESS)

Call 519-324-0990 for help across Essex County.
Located at 310 Sherk St. E. Leamington, ON N8H 3L1.
Visit accesscounty.ca

Can Am Indian Friendship Centre Logo

CAN-AM Indian Friendship Centre

Call 519-253-3243  for help for indigenous people living in Windsor and Essex County.
Located at 2929 Howard Avenue Windsor ON N8X 4W4.
Visit caifc.ca

Eligibility Criteria

Housing First Program – People who have been chronically homeless (ie 6+ months) and have a significant mental health and/or addiction concerns are eligible for the Housing First Program through Family Services Windsor-Essex.

All other people needing assistance with affordable, rental housing can contact one of the following agencies: Housing Information Services, Accessible County Community Support Services and/or CAN-AM Indian Friendship Centre.


Hoarding Response Service

 

Through our Hoarding Response Service, we can help people deal with the clutter in their home and de-clutter to create an organized, safe and healthy place to live.

 

Hoarding is a complex disorder with three key areas of concern:

  1. Collecting too many possessions and having difficulty getting rid of them
  2. Living areas cannot be used for their intended purposes
  3. Significant stress is experienced due to too many possessions

 

People cannot always recognize when their personal clutter has become a hoarding issue. If you suspect that you or someone you know may have a hoarding issue, please contact us at 1-888-933-1831.  We can work with people to organize and manage their home and possessions, while dealing with underlying issues of hoarding.

 

Attached are some *Hoarding Information Documents that may be helpful:

*Materials developed through funding from a Government of Canada New Horizon’s Grant.

 

How does it work?

Meet with our Hoarding Response Worker

  • Learn about clutter and hoarding
  • Figure out why there are too many belongings
  • Review health and safety issues in the home
  • Develop a plan to get rid of unneeded items
  • Connect to cleaning services, as needed
  • Teach how to avoid having too many items in the future
  • Plan for a healthy and organized home

Receive Professional Support

  • Counselling and problem solving support for people throughout the process
  • Connecting people to other agencies to support them in an organized and healthy home
  • Helping people to move forward in their life

Eligibility Criteria

Open to individuals who are:

  • Receiving Social Assistance,
  • Living in Subsidized Housing, or
  • Facing eviction or becoming homeless because of hoarding

Referrals

Referrals are not required, but are welcomed from Family, Friends, Advocates and Agencies.

Voluntary

This is a voluntary program. Clients can withdraw from the program at any time.

Two people taping shut a moving box.

Elder Abuse Response Service

 

Through our Elder Abuse Response Service, we help Older Adults deal with neglect, bullying and abuse. Elder Abuse can include:

  • Financial or property misuse
  • Physical or sexual abuse
  • Mental or Emotional abuse
  • Caregiver neglect or self-neglect

How does it work?

We help older adults by:

Providing a quick and flexible response to a request for help

  • Matching Older Adults with a Social Worker
  • Listening and learning about immediate concerns of neglect, bullying or abuse
  • Identifying key factors influencing the situation

Providing Professional Advocacy and Support

  • Providing options, guidance and support to handle concerns of abuse, neglect or bullying
  • Together – stopping any abuse from taking place and addressing other areas of concern
  • Intervening on behalf of the Older Adults, if needed

Helping Older Adults to move forward in their life

  • Teaching how to exercise rights and freedoms to maintain independence
  • Teaching how to recognize arising issues in the future
  • Planning how to deal with abuse, neglect or bullying
  • Connecting Older Adults to available services and resources, as needed

We can help a Friend or Advocate
on behalf of an Older Adult

  • Respond to a suspected abuse
  • Help the Older Adult resolve a challenge or conflict
  • Intervene on behalf of the Older Adult, if needed
  • Support the Older Adult with next steps
  • Connect them to other Agencies for support, as needed

Eligibility Criteria

Adults 55 years and older.

Referrals

Referrals are not required, but are welcomed from family, friends, advocates and agencies.

Voluntary

This is a voluntary program. Clients can withdraw from the program at any time.

Elderly hand held by another person's younger hands.

 

Adult Protective Service Worker Program

 

Through our Adult Protective Service Worker Program (APSW), we help adults with developmental disabilities living in the community to be independent, safe and secure. Staff help adults in accessing community services and supports.

How does it work?

We help each person by:


  • Learning about their personal situation, wants and needs
  • Matching them with an Adult Protective Service Worker (APSW)
  • Together – Planning how we can help in their daily life
  • Providing Counselling and Support through the process
  • Encouraging Family and Friends to be included in the planning process
  • Coordinating resources and the development of personal support networks
  • Helping with unique and arising issues, like housing, or interpersonal concerns

Typical Areas of Support:


  • Personal planning and arranging support, like PSWs, etc.
  • Housing and Voluntary Trusteeship
  • Encouraging Community involvement, Personal Engagement, Recreation, Physical Fitness
  • Supporting Education, Employment, Volunteering, Skill Development
  • Health and Well-being Management, Social Planning and Interaction
  • Personal Advocacy, Forms and Applications Completion
  • Dealing with arising issues, aging, health, grief, etc.

Where do we provide support?

We provide some support at our Main or Satellite offices across Windsor-Essex. Most support happens in the community:

  • People’s Homes, Workplaces, Volunteer Locations, Schools,
  • Community Centres, Police stations, Courts, Coffee Shops, Libraries, etc.

We encourage

Trusting and empowering relationships between the Person with a Disability, their family/friends and the APSW so that:

  • Individuals can live as fully and independently as possible
  • Family and friends are included in the life of a person with a disability
  • Everyone knows the person has support when and how they need it.

Eligibility Criteria

Adults 18 years and older with a developmental disability that are referred through Developmental Services Ontario (DSO).

Referrals

Are required from the Developmental Services Ontario (DSO).

Voluntary

This is a voluntary program. Clients can withdraw from the program at any time with approximately 30 days’ notice.

Avenues Program

 

Flexible supports for people’s lives. Through our Avenues Program, we provide personalized human resource and financial support for people with individualized or Passport funding.  Our qualified staff help adults with developmental disabilities recruit, hire and maintain independent contractors and employees.  Please note:  there are fees for our Avenue Program, please see below for details.

How does it work?

The Avenues Program helps Adults with Developmental Disabilities:

  • Budgeting – Helping you decide how to best use Individualized or Passport Funding.
  • Finances – Direct payment of your bills to other services and agency supports. Reimbursement of invoiced expenses.
  • Staffing – Support with recruiting, training, monitoring your independent contractors/employees. Support with administering their contracts and annual reviews.
  • Liaison – Linking you to the wider community.

Where do we support people?

We provide some support at our Main or Satellite offices across Windsor-Essex.

Most support happens in the community:

  • People’s Homes, Workplaces, Volunteer Locations, Schools,
  • Community Centres, Police stations, Courts, Coffee Shops, Libraries, etc.

YOU decide how much service you need!

 

Eligibility Criteria

Adults (18 years and older) with a developmental disability that have been allocated individualized or Passport funding from the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services (MCSS).

Fees for Avenues Program

The cost of this service varies depending on the services chosen.  Please contact us to discuss potential fees and payment details.

Referrals

Referrals are accepted from Family, Friends, Advocates, Developmental Services Ontario (DSO) and other professionals.

Voluntary

This is a voluntary program. Clients can withdraw from the program at any time with approximately 30 days’ notice.

Support Your Way

FSWE is affiliated with Support Your Way, an online service that helps families, individuals and professionals with information and links to support services in local communities and across the province. Support Your Way also uses the ever growing and popular workerbank database that connects families & individuals looking for screened direct support workers.
Click here to learn more about www.supportyourway.ca

Support your way logo.

Volunteer Trusteeship and Financial Literacy Program

 

Through our Volunteer Trusteeship and Financial Literacy Program, we can help people better manage their money, pay their bills on time and teach people basic money management.

How does it work?

Our Professional Staff will:

  • Receive all money directly from an individual’s source
  • Create a budget with people for their spending money
  • Pay all bills on time
  • Teach People about
    • Basic Money Management
    • Credit Cards and Interest Rates

Our Advocacy and Support Services help:

  • Budget people’s money to get the most from the monthly allowance
  • Ensure all bills are paid on time
  • Plan how to handle arising financial concerns
  • Ongoing Professional Counselling and Support
  • Connect to other services for support, as needed

Eligibility Criteria

Open to everyone 16 years and older, facing one (or more) of these situations:

  • Have trouble managing money
  • Homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless
  • Receives money from:
    • Ontario Works,
    • Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) or
    • Old Age Security (OAS) or Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS)
  • Are living under the Low Income Cut-Off
  • Are able to provide direction to program staff
  • May require a trustee to help with financial management

Referrals

Referrals are not required, but are welcomed from family, friends, advocates and agencies.

Voluntary

This is a voluntary program. Clients can withdraw from the program with approximately 30 day’s notice.

calculator and papers

Partner Assault Response (PAR) Program

 

The Partner Assault Response (PAR) Program is a domestic violence, court initiative that delivers specialized, community-based, group education/counselling programming to domestic violence offenders.  The PAR program gives offenders the opportunity to examine their beliefs and learn non-abusive ways of resolving conflicts, as part of the court or probation conditions. Through this program, our staff also offer support to the victim(s) of the domestic violence.

How it works:

The 12-session program provides offenders with an opportunity to:

  • Examine their beliefs and attitudes towards domestic abuse
  • Realize they are not alone, that others also face challenges resolving conflicts
  • Become more aware of their own thoughts, feelings, moods and needs
  • Begin to recognize the effect of these in their daily life
  • Understand that they can learn new ways to handle arising issues
  • Learn non-abusive ways of resolving conflict
  • Exercise responsibility and accountability for their choices

Supporting the Offenders’
victim and/or current partner

Throughout the duration of the program, we also provide victims and/or current partners with:

  • Safety support, counselling and planning
  • Referrals to community resources, and
  • Regular updates on the offender’s progress

Eligibility Criteria

Domestic violence offenders who have been mandated by the court to attend

Referrals

Referrals to this program are required as a result of a court order or probation officer

Mandatory

Participants are required to complete the 12-session program as part of their court or probation conditions.

Young man in the background reaching out to a woman in the foreground. His hand is on her shoulder. She looks visibly upset.

 

Forms and Application Completion Service

Please note that the Forms Clinic is not available at this time.

 

We help people complete various applications and government forms (ODSP applications, Canada Pension applications, housing applications, etc) to help promote independent living and access to desired/necessary programs and services.

How does it work?

To use our service:

Come into our Main Office, 1770 Langlois Ave Windsor Ontario during our Walk-In Clinic Hours:

  • Tuesdays      9:00am – 2:30pm
  • Wednesday  9:00am – 3:00pm
  • Thursday      9:00am – 3:00pm
  • Services available on a first come – first serve basis
  • Up to one hour allotted to each client

 

Our Forms Completion Service

  • We will meet with people to review the paperwork at our office
  • We will help people complete the forms or applications

Typical Forms and Applications

  • Government forms
    (Ontario Disability Support Program, Canada Pension)
  • Unemployment forms
  • University or College Registrations
  • Business forms
  • Tax credit forms
  • Credit card applications
  • Landlord Tenant Board, Housing Forms
  • Small Claims Court
  • Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario
  • Criminal Injuries Compensation Board
  • Insurance Forms
  • Affidavits

Click here for a list of forms and website links

Eligibility Criteria

Open to anyone needing help with completing basic forms and applications.

Referrals

No referrals required for this service.

This Service is offered in partnership with St. Clair College through their Paralegal Program.

One women helping another woman review an application form.

Income Tax Completion Service

Please review new Income Tax Drop-off Service – during Covid19, as follows:

We can complete and file an Individual’s Personal Income Tax Return. This service is available for individuals and couples with simple tax returns, whose income falls below the low/modest income rates listed below, under Eligibility Criteria.

How does it work?

  1. Print the 2019 Income Tax Authorization Forms (3 pages) or phone us to have the forms emailed or mailed to you (French Forms – 3 pages)
  2. Complete and Sign all 3 pages of the Authorization Forms (for each person who is getting their taxes done)
  3. Attach all Income and Expense Forms to the Authorization Forms (for each person who is getting their taxes done)
  4. Drop-off or Mail in the entire package of information in an envelope in our FSWE mailbox (Silver Box by the front doors)
  5. FSWE will review to ensure packages are complete and signed (taxes will NOT be completed unless all paperwork is attached and signed)
  6. All completed taxes will be automatically mailed back to the client this year. Clients will get an assessment directly from CRA.

CRA Due date update: As of right now the due date for filing Income Taxes is still June 1st however people will not be penalized until September. Therefore, we can still complete individual and couples taxes during this grace period.

Please note:

  • Tax returns will only be completed via drop off, no face to face appointments this year
  • All Authorization and Information Forms must completed in full and signed in order for us to process them

Our Tax Completion Service

  • Our Service is available year-round by appointment or dropping off the information.
  • We will prepare and electronically file the tax return.
  • The Notice of Assessment will be sent by CRA directly to the applicant
  • The original forms and paperwork are kept for pick up at our main office.

 

Our Income Tax Completion Service uses:

  • Canada Revenue Agency Trained and Approved Volunteers
  • Canada Revenue Agency Income Tax Return Software
  • Computerized Electronic Returns

 

 

Government of Canada – Telephone Information Numbers

Individual Tax Enquiries – CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) 1-800-959-8281
Tax Information Phone Service (TIPS) (automated line) 1-800-267-6999
Social Insurance Number Application 1-800-206-7218
Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement 1-800-277-9914
Canada Child Tax Benefit 1-800-387-1193
GST/HST Rebate 1-800-387-1193

 

Eligibility Criteria

You may be eligible for help at a free tax clinic if you have a modest income and a simple tax situation.

Modest income

In general, you have a modest income if based on your family size, your total family income is less than the amount shown in the chart below.

Chart: suggested income levels
Family size Total family income
1 person $35,000
2 persons $45,000
3 persons $47,500
4 persons $50,000
5 persons $52,500
more than 5 persons $52,500 plus $2,500 for each additional person

Simple tax situation

In general, your tax situation is simple if you have no income or if your income comes from these sources:

  • employment
  • pension
  • benefits such as Canada Pension Plan, disability, employment insurance, social assistance
  • registered retirement savings plans (RRSP’s)
  • support payments
  • scholarships, fellowships, bursaries or grants
  • interest (under $1,000)

Your tax situation is not simple if you:

  • are self-employed or have employment expenses
  • have business or rental income and expenses
  • have capital gains or losses
  • filed for bankruptcy
  • are completing a tax return for a deceased person

Please contact us to find out more about qualifications.

Referrals

No referral required for this service.

 

Call 1-888-933-1831