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Community Living needs 5% budget increase from government just to stay afloat


Inflation, cost-of-living and a variety of factors have made it tough on a lot of people to stick to budgets as of late, but for one not-for-profit, it’s been almost impossible.

Community Living Greater Sudbury has seen only a four per cent increase in its last 30 years. The agency, which works with those with developmental disabilities, has started a ‘5 to Survive’ campaign in a bid to get the provincial government to increase funding by five per cent.

Sudbury’s executive director Sherry Salo said it wouldn’t completely solve all their budgetary issues but it would certainly help stabilize things.

Rising costs and a mostly stagnant budget have meant a lot of tough choices have to be made.

“To continually have to have an option A, an option B or an option C for pressures in funding, for additional costs, groceries is a prime example, look at inflation just in the last couple of years,” Salo said.

“Our grocery bills don’t go down, cost of running the homes, utilities.”

Wait lists have increased for a system at capacity.

Community Living itself employs 230 people and serves 100 clients in the city.

“We need (the five per cent increase) as a Band-Aid so that we can sit down and have meetings at the provincial level and talk about how we can build a sustainable model,” she said.

Their push has earned them the support of Sudbury MPP Jamie West, who wrote an open letter to the Minister of Children, Community and Social Services Michael Parsa.


“If Community Living is not given an increase in funding, unfortunately they will be forced to withdraw their services, and this will have a detrimental impact on people living with intellectual disabilities in my community,” West wrote.

“A lot of people in the community are waiting for what’s called ‘funded spots,’ so our agency is funded for so many spots and the unfortunate reality is they’re essentially waiting for people to pass on in that natural life cycle to be able to get a spot,” said Kim Rumley, Community Living’s director of community services.

Salo said the situation is so dire, other Community Livings elsewhere in Ontario are running debts. While that’s not the case here for the moment, officials said they are hopeful the province is willing to at least give enough funding to stabilize the situation.

CTV News contacted Parsa and received the following statement:

"As the ministry works towards achieving our multi-year developmental services reform plan, Journey to Belonging: Choice and Inclusion, we continue to move ahead with immediate actions to improve current services and supports. We share a common vision with people with developmental disabilities, families, and the sector—a vision where people with developmental disabilities are better supported to fully belong in their communities.

"Agencies and their staff are important partners and the ministry is working with them to identify and manage service pressures. In 2023–24, we are investing approximately $3.7 billion in the developmental services and vulnerable population sector—an increase of $941 million since 2018-2019.

"In April 2022, the government created the Permanent Compensation Enhancement Program for personal support workers and direct support workers. The program made the former temporary wage enhancement program permanent and supports direct support workers who deliver publicly funded services in the social services sector." Top Stories

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