Sudbury organization launches awareness campaign
A Sudbury non-profit organization dedicated to helping those with developmental disabilities launched an awareness campaign Wednesday.
Roughly 100 people were at Science North for the launch of L’Arche Sudbury’s ‘It’s Home’ campaign.
While L’Arche has been serving the community for close to four decades, organizers said there are still a lot of people who don’t know who they are or what they do.
The organization provides an inclusive space for those with and without developmental disabilities to maintain their independence as much as possible. There are currently three facilities across the city.
L’Arche said, upon getting feedback from a number of members, it realized the concept of ‘home’ was changing.
“Some of the younger residents in Sudbury are looking for a slightly different concept of home,” said Heather Westaway, board member for L’Arche.
“They’re looking for a slightly more independent lifestyle where they can have their own space and yet the services they need to thrive and be independent.”
L’Arche is working to secure government funding to build a fourth facility in Minnow Lake. The proposed facility will be fully accessible and will offer community programs.
Currently, L’Arche said 180 people are on a waitlist for services.
“The waitlist numbers have just increased for residential supports, family homes support, supportive independent living,” said executive director Jennifer McCauley.
McCauley said finding housing is a barrier.
“It’s so difficult for people to find an apartment to live in and get the supports in place to make that happen,” she said.
There are a number of residents who are happy where they are living, McCauley said, but don’t have community programs available.
“A lot of people really want an activity to participate in with like-minded people and that’s not available to all people or the facilities in the city are already maxed out.”
The estimated cost of the project is $24 million. L’Arche is looking for municipal, provincial and federal funding first. The remaining $4 million will be covered through public fundraising.
McCauley said L’Arche is accepting financial donations ahead of time to help with the cost, but she said, above all, it’s about spreading the word of what they do.
“Our hearts are attached to the mission,” she said.
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