Tag Archives: Lived Expertise Working Group

CKMS Community Connections for 18 September 2023 with David Alton of the Lived Expertise Working Group

Show Notes

(A man wearing a pink shirt and toque sitting at a microphone)
David Alton

David Alton of the Lived Expertise Working Group talks to Bob Jonkman about the work of LEWG, what is “lived expertise”, working with the City of Kitchener, the principles of human rights in housing, homelessness, and using contributions of people with lived expertise. David tells us of some upcoming events for the members of the Lived Expertise Working Group and the public.

David was previously interviewed on CKMS Community News on 14 August 2023.

The interview starts at 7m35s.


Housing | LIved Expertise Working Group (Illustration of a white house on an orange background with black lettering inside)
Other Mutual Aid groups:

Upcoming Events

Queer Youth Defence | September 20th (2023) Kitchener City Hall 9 AM | #NoSpaceForHate (additional text with info and instructions)
  • Queer Youth Defence
    • When: 9:00am to 11:00am Wednesday 20 September 2023
    • Where: Carl Zehr Square, Kitchener City Hall, 200 King Street West Map
    • Website: Canada Anti-Hate Network
  • Ride For Refuge


Download: ckms-community-connections-2023-09-18-episode140-David-Alton-of-the-Lived-Expertise-Working-Group.mp3 (55 MB, 57m11s, episode 140)


Time Title Album Artist
0m00s Theme for CKMS Community Connections ccc CKMS Sunflower logo (yellow petals surrounding a black centre with white wavies all on a teal background)
CKMS Community Connections
Steve Todd
0m58s Simcoe Mud Jay Linden | Ordinary Sunrise (illustration of a banjo with the resonator illustrated in a First Nations art style)
Ordinary Sunrise
Jay Linden
4m15s Mississipi Mud Hank Williams III | Lovesick, Broke & Driftin' (B&W photo of a western town, a man on a horse to the left, a man on crutches in the centre)
Lovesick Broke & Driftin’
Hank Williams III
7m35s David explains the purpose of the Lived Expertise Working Group, twelve folks with housing marginalization experience and advocacy experience. “Expertise” rather than “Experience”, so that the contributions are seen with the same value as academic expertise. They are presenting a report to the City of Kitchener council as part of a staff report from the Planning Department. Pointing out the different areas of responsibility for City departments, and different levels of government. The work LEWG is doing with the City of Kitchener is influencing decisions made in other municipalities (City of Cambrige, City of Waterloo, the Region of Waterloo). But a large part of the work is helping the mutual aid groups in the area, creating a bridge between these groups and the municipalities. Talking about the role and perceived role of by-law enforcement, part care-giving, part criminalizing. David’s message to all organizations is to remove the barriers to care. They recognize the difficult role that municipalities have. A good news story: The Region of Waterloo modified a by-law on hate speech to include income status and housing status.
22m09s Can You See Me? Can You See Me? | Courtney Wolfe (line drawing of eyes and eyebrows with a pink flower all on a black background)
Courtney Wolfe
24m45s David talks about the report that will be presented to council: A list of principles; what it means to include lived expertise in the planning process. The people working in the Lived Expertise Working Group are being compensated, just as experts from other areas would be. There are stipends for transportation, child care, &c. Not just the people in LEWG are at capacity, but councillors and city staff feel overwhelmed by all the pressures and logistics, but the community understands that. There was some friction at the June council meeting, David recaps. David discusses the different sources of funding for their position and the Lived Expertise Working Group. David tells us about the Ride For Refuge, this Saturday. Covering some of the eight principles of lived expertise engagement, for example “the value of bridges”, “the value of paid work”, “navigating around conflict.”
40m57s Jillian I, the Mountain | Jillian (illustration of a sphere made of multicoloured bricks with a banner "Jillian" around it, and a rose and arrow crossed behind it)
I, the Mountain
44m05s Talking about David’s participation in the Jillian video, with their partner Aashay. Talking about David’s participation in Ground Up WR, working to counter the “Parents’ Rights” movement that restricts youth from self-expression. There is a rally at City Hall on Wednesday, everyone who wants to be an ally is invited. Ground Up is well connected with the community, it’s a good place to start if you’re looking to help. David encourages people to pay close attention to what’s going on in housing and homelessness — winter is coming. Follow organizations like Unsheltered Campaign or ACCKWA. The Lived Expertise Working Group is sending some members to Halifax for the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness conference in November, donations are gratefully accepted to enable LEWG to help send another member to the conference. Connect with the Social Development Centre or the Civic Hub Waterloo Region to get involved. Talking about the photographic exhibition, which was a conference fundraiser.

56m46s Bob gives the end credits.

CKMS Community Connections Hour One airs on CKMS-FM 102.7 on Monday from 11:00am to Noon, and Hour Two airs alternate Fridays from 3:00pm to 4:00pm.

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Bonus Video

YouTube: CKMS Community Connections for Monday 18 September 2023

Show notes and podcast interview content is Copyright © 2023 by the participants, and released under a CC BYCreative Commons Attribution Only license. Copy, re-use, and derivative works are allowed with attribution to Radio Waterloo and a link to this page. Music selections are copyright by the respective rights holders.

CKMS News – ‘Falling through the cracks’ photo exhibit explores lived experiences of displacement

For one night only on Wednesday August 16

By MP Holmes

“These photos are very powerful. A lot of these photos are tied to some pretty intense experiences, especially if you were aware in April when there was a big wave of overdose deaths that were happening. These photos are taken in the midst of that crisis. It is reflecting the voices of people  who are navigating intense experiences of displacement.”


“Waterloo Region had shelter capacity for less than half of the number of homeless people that we had in 2020, and we know the number is bigger now and there is a huge shelter capacity gap and we also know that shelters are not going to meet the needs of everyone.”

David Alton, the Facilitator Lived Expertise Working Group, Kitchener’s Housing Strategy of the Social Development Centre, talked to CKMS news about a photography exhibition, the value of using lived expertise, the scale of homelessness in the Region and the problems and consequences of not having accurate data, and the barriers between unsheltered and sheltered communities.

The Lived Expertise Working Group is a two-year pilot project hosted by the Social Development Centre in partnership with the City of Kitchener to advise on the implementation and monitoring of the Housing for All Strategy. The working group consists of twelve lived experts who have met twice a month from May 2022 and were expected to continue until April 2024, but the group’s second year of funding, worth up to $30,000, is up in the air because City Council did not like the Social Development Centre commenting on city actions at the Roos Island protests in April. City council delayed the vote on continuing to fund the second year of the Lived Expertise Working Group until the council meeting on August 28.

Falling through the cracks, a fundraiser and photography exhibit, will be held at the downtown Kitchener Public Library, at 85 Queen St, for one night only on Wednesday August 16 from 5-8 pm. The photographs, 16 in total, depict the meaningful ways unsheltered communities support one another, memorialize each other, and resist marginalization. The gallery opens at 5 and the presentations will start around 6.


The music on today’s show is called “Maple Music” by Godmode courtesy of by Expectantly Maple Music on YouTube. 

You have been listening to CKMS News on 102.7FM, Radio Waterloo. This is MP Holmes, and thank you for tuning-in.