Multi Agency Community Space (MACS)
ACCKWA’s MACS satellite in Cambridge is a coordinated collaborative homelessness hub located in the Region of Waterloo building at 150 Main St, Cambridge, ON N1R 6P9.
Partner agencies include ACCKWA in the lead role, The Cambridge Food Bank, and Langs Community Health Centre as key partners, and Lutherwood, Housing Services, Stonehenge Therapeutic Community, Canadian Mental Health Association, Sanguen Health Centre’s health care bus, and the Region of Waterloo providing rent-free space.
MACS has been implemented to provide basic needs, mental health, the housing PATHS list for affordable and supportive housing, addictions treatment, primary healthcare and harm reduction supports in Cambridge. Other supports provided through this space include encampment outreach, overdose response, some nutrition support, and support for individuals with acquired traumatic brain injury.
The compliment of organizations at MACS fill all the requirements of mandatory services required by the Ministry of Health for Consumption and Treatment Services or CTS.
This drop-in service hub is the only full time collaboration supporting homeless unsheltered individuals in Cambridge who are unable to access the limited local shelter space. The MACS supports between 120 to 140 individuals living in local encampments, while the harm reduction / needle syringe program at the site engages with over 800 unique individuals in the community.
During the 2021-2022 year, services, resources and partnerships in support of the Cambridge MACS became more solidified. A lease was signed for the Cambridge MACS space and construction renovation for the MACS space at 150 Main Street began. We hope to have our clinic room completed in the space in the upcoming months. Separate from these developments operational funding in support of the ACCKWA MACS and harm reduction team staff members supporting the site was obtained. We are grateful to our AIDS Bureau, the Region of Waterloo Housing, and the City of Cambridge for their support for this initiative.
Over the past year, the MACS team supported individuals through a total of 12,595 engagements. Harm reduction interactions at the site totalled 5,020, while healthcare interactions reached 1,032, and housing inquiries totaled 402. On average, 65 participants access MACS daily within a limited three-hour window. In the midst of this busyness, we are pleased for new developing partnerships with Traverse Independence Acquired Brain Injury Services, the Sexual Assault Support Centre, and Veterans Canada.
In 2022, we hope to formalize partnerships and secure further needed resources for our site, permitting the expansion of services to include morning programming, our HIV and PrEP clinics, and eviction prevention services in Cambridge. Since MACS contains all the mandated wrap-around services required for the implementation of a CTS site. we look forward to providing support to ACCKWA’s impending CTS application.