Our Mission: Helping people. Improving lives.
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An Important Message Regarding Service Delivery

South Essex Community Council (SECC) is taking the health and safety of clients, staff and volunteers very seriously during these uncertain times.

We have been actively monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and have increased our cleaning and sanitation efforts.  We want to assure you that we have done whatever we can to make our facilities safe.

We know that SECC is an important service for many in our community and we are committed to serving our clients during this crisis.  With that in mind, we have made some additional adjustments to service delivery in order to meet your needs while keeping you safe and keeping our staff healthy.

All of our locations in Leamington, Kingsville and Windsor are closed to the public, but our staff are ready to assist you via telephone, email, text or video conference.  A small group of staff are answering our main line and directing calls while the rest are working from home.  Those working from home continue to assist clients needing employment and settlement assistance, as well as community supports such as Security Check and information and referral. SECC’s Leamington office will re-open to the public on August 4th, 2020 for appointments only. Click HERE to read the full media release.

We continue to provide transportation services, as well as hot meals for those on our Meals on Wheels program.

All in-person group activities remain suspended at this time however, virtual programming is available for the following:

  • Adult Day Program
  • Citizenship Classes
  • Newcomer Youth Program
  • SPARK Summer Camp (Boredom Busters for kids age 5-12)
  • Workshops & Info Sessions

Click HERE to view all upcoming events!

Keep the Heat applications remain suspended at this time.

For income tax filing inquiries please contact Katie Ouellette by e-mail at kouellette@secc.on.ca or phone 519-326-8629 x 381

SECC is committed to ensuring that those who are most vulnerable in our community continue to receive the supports they need.  Starting March 24, 2020 SECC will also offer emergency food assistance to low income individuals, families and seniors who would otherwise depend on the food bank and other community meals to help maintain their nutritional needs.  SECC is working with other community partners such as the Unemployed Help Centre and The Southwestern Ontario Gleaners to put food baskets together.  Those in need are asked to call SECC’s main line:  519-326-8629.  Staff will conduct a quick needs assessment and make arrangements for a food basket to be delivered to the front door or porch of your residence.  SECC is also a member of the Emergency Food Action Coalition (EFAC), a group of businesses and service providers who have come together to determine a way forward to ensure food security for the most vulnerable during the COVID-19 crisis.  More information will be forthcoming.  Those with the financial means to help can donate through United Way at www.weareunited.com/COVID-19.

If you are in a position to help financially support vulnerable seniors receive hot meals during this time or if you would like to donate a grocery gift card for people in need, please call our main line or visit our website (www.secc.on.ca) to make a donation.

These arrangements will be in place until at least April 5, 2020.

Anyone needing to access services is asked to call the main line at 519-326-8629 to make arrangements for a virtual appointment or assistance via telephone.  You can also visit our website:  www.secc.on.ca

Anyone currently on service will be contacted by their Case Manager, Settlement Worker or Employment Consultant to make arrangements for continued services during this time and to check in with you.

Any further changes to services will be communicated to clients and the public.  The SECC Leadership Team is meeting regularly to assess this quickly evolving situation.

We know this is a stressful time for everyone.  If you find yourself in need, please reach out to us by telephone at 519-326-8629.  We will do everything we can to assist you in a way that we can.

We thank the community for its continued support during these very challenging times.

In the meantime, we encourage you to take the recommended steps to stay healthy and prevent the spread of COVID-19.  For more information, please visit or call:

Windsor-Essex County Health Unit



Telehealth Ontario



SECC Community Change Maker Scholarship

South Essex Community Council has been providing community services in Leamington, Kingsville and Wheatley since 1973.  Every day, the organization and its staff and volunteers strive to achieve its mission:  “Helping people.  Improving lives.”  Although SECC has been doing community work for many years, it cannot accomplish its mission without the help of businesses, volunteers, and various community partners. SECC also believes that it must play an integral part in grooming and supporting the next generation of community change makers. We need your help to ensure our communities are vibrant, strong and thriving, not just for this generation, but also for the next.

The goal of the SECC Community Change Maker Scholarship is to provide financial support through four, $500 scholarships to young people who are planning to use their post-secondary educations to make societal change in the wider community, in the province or in the world.



Request for Proposals – Janitorial Services


SECC invites organizations to respond to this Request for Proposal (RFP). SECC would like to negotiate a signed 3-year contract with the successful vendor, with possibility of extension should both parties find the working relationship to be productive and mutually beneficial.
Date Due: June 17, 2020 @ 4:00 pm


Hogs For Hospice Shuttle Schedule

Change Maker Awards

SECC’s Mission, Vision and Values reflect the change we strive for in our community and with the people we serve.  We dream about possibility and work with others to make it happen.  We work for change every day and we watch the people we serve do the same.  At SECC, we cheer on those in the community who work for change, not just in our organization but in the many others who do good work for our community.  Together, we can all make our community a strong, healthy and vibrant one.


What is a change maker?  Some might describe a change maker as an innovator, an activist or a visionary.   Change makers are driven by values and a mission.  They seek to make meaningful change for a purpose.  Change makers work with others to get things done.  They develop creative solutions by venturing out of their comfort zones and they understand the value of being proactive.


The SECC Change Maker Awards are about inspiring change for a better future for our clients, for their families and for the community at large.

Changemaker Nomination Form

Nominations should be submitted via email, fax or direct mail to:

Carolyn Warkentin, Executive Director

South Essex Community Council

215 Talbot Street East, Leamington, ON  N8H 3X5


Email:  cwarkentin@secc.on.ca

Fax:  519-326-8528


Nominations must be submitted by:

Friday, August 31, 2018

12:00 pm


The Vital Signs Survey is HERE!

WindsorEssex Community Foundation’s 2018 Vital Signs® survey is here and they want to hear from YOU! Let’s hear what you think of the quality of life in Windsor/Essex. Visit www.wecf.ca to complete the survey today. Those who complete the survey in full have the opportunity to enter for a chance to win $100! It’s time Windsor/Essex, let’s hear your voice!



Paying it Forward to Adult Students

Marjolein (centre) and her students

In September 2017, SECC changed the structure of its evening Language classes for newcomers. This new model incorporated more volunteer tutors to lead small group sessions. The time commitment for this new position at one evening per week for a four-month time period was a deterrent to some volunteers. The first person to step forward to assist was Marjolein, and she wanted to help all three nights.

When asked why she chose to volunteer with SECC, Marjolein replied, “I chose to be a volunteer because I wanted to add a dimension to my life where I could be of service to others that I could identify with. I am of the opinion that everyone in retirement should take a course, teach or tutor. It’s a time to pay it forward and put back into society a helping hand to those who need it.”

The connection between Marjolein and her students was instant. The adult students from a variety of backgrounds appreciate the time and hard work that she puts into helping them learn English. Marjolein says, “It is so rewarding and energizing to see the progress “my” students are making, not just in their language skills, but also the greater confidence they exude in their interactions as they develop. I so admire all of these students that after a day of work and family responsibilities they come to school 3 nights a week and try their best to improve their English language skills. All these people have a story to tell; the sacrifice and personal struggles they went through to come to Canada, to work here, to raise their families here and in some cases rebuild their lives. They all want to contribute to our society in a meaningful way. As an immigrant myself, I can relate to some of the daily challenges they face not just from the language perspective, but also in basic daily activities. What is easy and obvious to others can be a real struggle and source of anxiety for new immigrants – ordering a coffee in a Tim Hortons, registering your kids in school, your child’s first school birthday party, applying for a job, mapping out a bus route or doing your taxes. I am humbled by the perseverance of their efforts. The appreciation and support I receive from the SECC staff are very motivating. I am grateful for the opportunity to be part of something so important and meaningful.”

The new class structure has flourished thanks to the volunteers. In January, Marjolein and the other tutors committed to another four months of teaching to see their students through their school year. The strength of the program lies in time and dedication that the tutors put in. As an organization, we are lucky to have volunteers like Marjolein working with us to help people and improve lives in our community.

Mini Buses For Sale

Chilifest Raffle Winners

Over 400 people joined us on February 28th at the Leamington Portuguese Community Club for Chilifest 2018. While the main event was all of the delicious food, there were many winners in the crowd from our 4 prize raffles and our Hot & Spicy raffle. The list of winners can be found at the link below. Congratulations!


Chilifest Raffle Winners

Abraham Orthodontics Sponsors Leamington Community Youth Room

South Essex Community Council (SECC) is pleased to announce that Abraham Orthodontics has committed to a multi-year sponsorship of its Newcomer Youth Program which is currently housed at the Leamington Kinsmen Recreation Complex. The space is used after school by youth who go there to socialize, get homework help and tutoring and participate in leadership training.  SECC’s Newcomer Youth Program is sponsored by the Government of Canada through Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.  The Newcomer Youth Program has been operating out of the Leamington Kinsmen Recreation Complex for nearly 3 years, and while the focus is newcomer youth, all youth are welcome to participate.  “We are grateful for the sponsorship provided by Abraham Orthodontics.  This will allow SECC to put additional funds into programming and assistance for the youth we serve through the program,” says Carolyn Warkentin, Executive Director at SECC.  Approximately 72 youth have utilized the Newcomer Youth Program since it began in 2014.  The United Way’s On Track to Success program also utilizes the room for some of its evening meetings with youth in this program.


Abraham Orthodontics has been committed to supporting various youth programs over the past few years across county schools, including Harrow Public’s Grade 1 Math Home Kits, St. Louis’ Buddy Bench, Tilbury Public’s Breakfast Program, in addition to actively volunteering with Junior Achievement Canada. In his practice, the Growing Smiles Club evaluates dentofacial development every 6 to 12 months at no charge to educate families with accurate anticipation and timing of potential orthodontic treatment. Programs such as these are consistent with their philosophy of breaking down the barriers to education, confidence and beautiful smiles, especially for the next generation.  “Being from Leamington, utilizing the programs in the complex and even working as a lifeguard and swim instructor, we realize the importance of this facility in the comprehensive development of our local youth. These experiences and skills will translate to success in all aspects of their lives ,” says Dr. Abraham.