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Need More Services?


Of course! There are at least 50 people in Sarnia-Lambton who will need residential supports within the next five years. This will cost millions of dollars, not the $160,000 that was our last allocation.

Individual and Family Supports

To the extent that the government's funding criteria permit, the management and staff at Community Living Sarnia-Lambton have always been very creative in shaping support options to meet the needs of the individuals it serves. We have been very successful in 'doing more with less'...by the efficient use of our traditional funding and by finding and using new funding sources. We have learned that an individual can often be best served by supporting the family unit...the person's 'natural' supports...with a resulting improvement in the quality of life for both the individual and the family. A considerable amount of time is spent on people-related issues such as acting as a go-between plan, as individualized as support can get, provides residential opportunities for people living in varying degrees of independence in the community. The amount of support is tailored to the individual's needs and can range from an hour or two per week to eight hours per day. The facilities range from independent apartments to shared apartments to town houses and apartments with daily supports. Community Living actually owns three special-built houses that can accomodate up to four people each. Each of these blends perfectly with their respective neighbourhoods. As much as possible, residents who require similar amounts and types of supports are grouped together in the same location, but compatibility with housemates is usually the deciding factor when choosing a setting. Another facilities is a large home that was once the manse of Sarnia's Grace United Church. "The Manse" is leased from the Church, through its Outreach Committee for one dollar per year. The Manse also provides a site for day supports and family respite. This relationship has brought about a similar arrangement with St. Luke's United Church and we are presently in the process of upgrading that property to comply with building and other codes that apply to group-home-type residential facilities.

Adult Respite: This includes a number of plans, each of them very flexible, aimed at people who are still living in the family home, usually with their parents. Its primary purpose is to give the person and the family caregiver(s) a break from each other, but it has also proved very useful in determining how much, and what kinds, of residential support an individual is likely to need. Another benefit of this service is in helping to ease transition out of the family home. Another very specialized respite option is aimed at young adults who are 'medically fragile' or 'technologically dependent'.

Children's Respite: Again, aimed at 'family relief' but tailored to children. These programmes, all fully supervised, range from 'Weekend Parent Relief' to camping outings and 'Saturday Fun', which encourages the inclusion of siblings in what appears to be recreational but is really much, much more.

As a side note, in a formal 'audit' of our respite programmes, while the evaluation showed that although there was a high degree of satisfaction with the programmes, there were changes that would make them better. We made the changes. Because of presentations we've made at a number of conferences, our 'Adult Respite' model has been copied successfully in other agencies not only in Ontario but as far away as Texas.

Vocational: In addition to the extremely successful Employment Support Services (ESS) - in which people are placed, and then supported, in competitive or volunteer jobs. Community Living now also operates the Accessible Employment Resource Center (AERC) - a walk-in centre that specializes in assisting unemployed persons with disabilities who are conducting an active job search. The service and resources are available at no cost. Another new opportunity - jobStart - is a free program designed to help people with disabilities prepare for employment.

Wawanosh Enterprises includes two work centres that provide vocational opportunities for people with disabilities. They are both located in Sarnia, one on Lougar Street, the other on Confederation Street. Please click on the name to visit their site.

Day Supports/Life Skills: A number of individuals are supported who function best in smaller groups and/or reduced-stress settings or who, because of age or other factors, are not well suited to the sheltered workshop environment or for community-based employment. A few individuals move back and forth between day supports and workshops or other employment. Many of the people who participate in day supports are also in one of the residential options.

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