Clearing away the roadblocks at Community Living

By Teresa Jordan

Clearing away the roadblocks at Community Living

Just like that, my usual short commute to one of my offices was made twice as long.

I am not necessarily complaining, I can understand the need to for sturdy, new, giant culverts for me to drive over for years to come, but what I marvel over is how this single activity now make my drive to work far more complicated with curves and turns and intersections with brand new lights.

Clearing away the roadblocks at Community Living
Teresa Jordan.

Life at Community Living Trent Highlands is somewhat similar. We have amalgamated as a corporation and now we are navigating the twists and turns of trying to come together as three community agencies into one.

Community Living Trent Highlands is the amalgamated agency made up of Community Living Central Highlands and Community Living Peterborough, and 10 months before that Community Living Central Highlands was the amalgamated corporation made up of Community Living Kawartha Lakes and Community Living Haliburton.

That seems like a long physics equation, so we usually discuss our day to day matters as being three agencies coming together.

Why did we choose to rip up our smooth agencies and make this extra work? Similar to my highway introduction, we are working on a stronger structure, a more solid base from which to launch our services and we need to be ready to expand. Already we are finding some efficiency, learning from one another and expanding our services in all three communities.

It is difficult work because there is not a well worn path; we have to look at each practice and decide how best to go forward as a new agency. In the same light, we are going forth each day with an understanding that we are making a better future and creating more opportunities.

Developmental services in Ontario are in a difficult place with over 20,000 adults waiting for supports to meet their needs, there are many stories of crisis, burn-out and aging parents desperate for help. The ministry of community and social services is working hard to address the need, but systemic change is hard.

In 2011 Developmental Services Ontario was created and revolutionized how adults enter the system. It is the single point of access across the province and does all intake and screening for all services. In their recent report Thriving Communities — Our Way Forward, the ministry cites their vision as a “Thriving community where all people are respected, included and empowered to achieve their full potential.”

At CLTH we embrace that destination and are working hard to create paths that will get adults and families there from all the communities we now serve, without too many road blocks.

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