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Monday, 19 December 2016

#12DaysOfGiving Day 4 - Community Living

This year one of the members of our team, Ryan, suggested we look at giving back to Community Living St.Catharines - and what a great idea! As soon as I reached out to the organization, Mary was more than happy to tour me around their facility and show me all of the amazing programs that they run. My tour ran at the perfect time, I was able to see a sneak peak of their Christmas pageant finale!

If you aren't familiar with Community Living St. Catharines (CLSC), let me take a moment to give you some history. CLSC was formed in 1953 by a handful of parents who were determined that their sons and daughters would get every opportunity to reach their full potential. With this in mind, they have been serving children, teens, and adults with intellectual disabilities for over 63 years. With a population base of approximately 165,000; they assist some 800 individuals and their families residing in St. Catharines, Thorold, and Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Their services include a participant driven adult day program that promotes individual growth through meaningful community and center based recreation and leisure activities. This program currently creates opportunities for about 285 people throughout the week with plans for adding evening and weekend programming for newcomers. They also provide 24 hour/7 days per week staffing support to assist 65 residents living in group homes throughout Niagara. Individualized support plans offer life skill development and learning opportunities that promote healthy lifestyles. The staff are also made available to provide assistance to another 62 individuals either living with host families or renting their own apartments. Further, nearly 400 children and their families are aligned with members of their staff team providing emotional support and practical assistance navigating the service system.

Danielle & Michael with Board President, Rick Jones, and Peter Doherty
They have recently finished the construction of a modern, fully accessible Community Living Center. Program space has been doubled allowing for new and innovative activity areas. If you have the chance, I strongly encourage you to check it out! They are working hard to achieve their mandate which states that; “People with intellectual disabilities have the opportunity to participate in all elements of living in the community.”

As part of our #12DaysOfGiving we attended Community Living St.Catharines' Christmas pageant and presented them with a new stereo system for the gym. The system is an integral and very fun part of their day programs. We were happy to help support this amazing organization and help them make the community truly accessible for all members of our community!