Many services are in place in Waterloo Region to assist you in an emergency or crisis situation. An emergency is any situation where people are not safe and/or property is at risk and you need help immediately.

Call 9-1-1 for free from a home phone, mobile phone or any public pay phone if you have an emergency. Other services available include:

9-1-1 emergency call number

Call 9-1-1 in any emergency situation to:

  • Get police, fire or ambulance assistance immediately
  • Stop a crime in progress
  • Report a fire
  • Save a life

If you do not speak English or can not understand the operator, the 9-1-1 operator can get an interpreter for you. Ask for service in your language if needed.

For more information about how to use 9-1-1, visit the Region of Waterloo website or

Emergency housing

Emergency shelters are a place where you can stay for a short time if you have no safe place to sleep and no money for rent. Some shelters also offer services for:

  • People who are homeless
  • People escaping from abuse
  • Young people with problems at home
  • People with mental or physical challenges

Region of Waterloo Community Services provides more information about shelters in Waterloo Region.

If you are a refugee claimant, contact the Mennonite Coalition for Refugee Support. They will help you to explore housing options, make your refugee claim and access other support.

Learn more about emergency and short-term housing in Ontario

Kids Help Phone

Kids Help Phone provides free, professional counselling through phone and Internet 24 hours a day, every day of the year. The service is for young people ages 20 and under in Canada.

If you are a young person and are struggling with a problem, call 1-800-668-6868.

Suicide helplines

The Here 24/7 service supports you and your family address addictions, mental health issues and crisis resolution. Here 24/7 connects you to 12 different agencies across Waterloo Region and helps you through their systems.

Get in touch with Here 24/7 if you or someone you love:

  • Doesn't know where or how to get help
  • Feel hopeless
  • Withdraws from family or friends
  • See no reason for living or threatens harm or death to self or others
  • Has dramatic mood changes
  • And more
Women's shelters

Women's Crisis Services of Waterloo Region offers programs to help women and children dealing with violence.

If you or someone you know is dealing with abuse or is in crisis, call their 24-hour support line.

Always call 9-1-1 if you are in immediate danger.

Ambulance, fire, police

Call 9-1-1 free of charge to connect to an ambulance, police or fire services when you have an emergency.


Ambulance service in Waterloo Region is provided by the Region of Waterloo Paramedic Services.

If you need to take an ambulance to a hospital, the Ontario government will pay for most of the cost. You will have to pay a fee of $45. If the doctor who sees you at the hospital does not think that ambulance service was necessary, you will have to pay the full cost of $240 or more.


In Waterloo Region, fire services are provided by the city or township you live in.

City Fire Departments

Volunteer Township Fire Departments


Police services in Waterloo Region are provided by the Waterloo Region Police Service.

Your settlement worker will provide you with information to help you make the best decisions about when and how to access emergency and crisis supports in Waterloo Region.


Emergency call number

Phone: 911


Phone: 1-844-437-3247

Kids Help Phone

Phone: 1-800-668-6868

Women's Crisis Services of Waterloo Region

Toll-Free: 1-800-410-4482

Cambridge: 519-653-2422

Kitchener: 519-742-5894

YMCA Immigrant & Employment Services

800 King Street W, Kitchener ON
258 Hespeler Road, Cambridge ON

KW Phone: 519-579-9622

Cambridge Phone: 519-621-1621

Email YMCA Immigrant & Employment Services