Claudette has never had a lot of family over the years that I have known her; she had one primary family member that was amazing with her. Life being what it is; that person was no longer able to be a part of Claudette’s life even with our support. No one should be without someone in their life, so we began the search for Claudette’s family. We had a few leads and tried making some contacts, all without success and were coming to the end of the search without having any luck. By chance, we looked in the phone book to see if there might have been a name we missed, and there was!
We made contact with a long lost cousin, Mr. Vital Chatelain. The first conversation over the phone gave us more family history for Claudette then we had ever known, and I knew then this was going to be a great new connection for Claudette. Mr. Chatelain and I had a few more conversations over the next few weeks, each time we talked he was just as interested in getting to know Claudette as we were about getting to know him, so we set a date to meet. On January 25, 2018, Claudette, Jennifer McCarroll (her SW) and I went to meet Mr. Chatelain and his wife Victoria. The visit went wonderful! We talked about everything. Vital was able to show Claudette pictures of her family, her father as a baby, and the old family home. Claudette was thrilled and had ear to ear smiles listening and getting to know her family history, she was so happy.
Since then Vital and Victoria have continued to be a part of Claudette’s life and have even expanded her family by introducing Claudette to their children and grandchildren. They came to visit her at home during Easter, bring gifts and goodies, and have now even made the biggest step of all in helping Claudette by being her family contact. Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Chatelain!
Let us introduce to you our famous DJ from our SIL program, DJ Hiptonic. Many of you may already know Jonathan Caine from different SIL events or from hearing him on Moose FM radio in the morning. He has the biggest personality and can make anyone happy.
SIL was hosting a dance during Community Living’s Month of May events and needed a DJ for the event. Jon’s upbeat personality and love to host events made him the perfect fit. Jonathan was nervous at first, but the team supported him every step of the way. He did a phenomenal job and everyone had a great time dancing the night away. A second opportunity arose when Jonathan was asked to help co-DJ the Community Living North Bay Christmas Formal. Again, no one was disappointed in how well Jon had done, helping keep everyone’s spirit up and providing great entertainment for all.
Everyone has a special talent, and Jon has definitely found his. With these two performances under his belt, he now has the confidence to attend a talent show in February hosted at Canadore College. Jon will once again have an opportunity to display his DJ talents.
During the month of December Community Living North Bay gives back to the community. Programs and individuals are encourage to collect and give to a charity that is near and dear. Robyn and the staff chose to collect for All Heart Pet Rescue.
Casey (staff) and Robyn went around town to different businesses and dropped off letters explaining who they were and what organization they were collecting for. Robyn dropped off her overflowing donation basket to ALL Heart Pet Rescue in early January.
After having a hearing test completed, Richard was told several years ago that he needed hearing aids to assist with his hearing. Richard was very resistant to the idea at first and chose to go without, as he felt that people would tease him.
This month, with support from the audiologist as well as his primary support staff, Richard decided to give the hearing aids a try.
Staff met with Richard a few times each morning after he received the hearing aids to support his transition to using them by helping him with positioning and volume. Richard has picked this up quickly. He does not feel like an outsider, and is continues to participate and be involved in the community.
Richard is very comfortable wearing his hearing aids and is able to have wonderful conversations with the people around him. He is happy with his decision.
Robbie loves to socialize and to be with people but his last residence it was not a safe place for him to be living due to the condition of the building. Robbie was given an eviction notice from the landlord just after Christmas last year. Robbie was devastated at first. His primary support staff reassured him that it was not his fault and that they would work very hard at finding him a new apartment that was better suited for his needs.
After an extensive search, his primary staff approached Robbie’s family to explain the situation and they shared that Robbie’s sister had a large unfinished basement that they would be willing to convert into an apartment for Robbie. Everyone was very excited about this and Robbie especially, due to the fact that he would still be close to the SIL office as well as being central to be able to continue to participate in his daily activities. Robbie moved into his new apartment in March of 2017 and very much enjoys living in the same home as his sister while still having his own space to live independently. Robbie even gets to share taking care of his sister’s cat with her.
This was Robbie’s first Christmas in his new apartment and he asked his support staff to help him with the important task of getting a new, bigger Christmas tree as he now has a lot more space to have one and he was so excited to purchase one as well as set it up and decorate.
Robbie has the safety and security of living in a great neighborhood close to routines as well as living with family nearby, in a clean and safe apartment.
Having friends to socialize with, and going to a good old hockey game in person rather than on TV are things that are important to Terry. Terry participates in the life of the community and enjoys his favourite pass time! With the help of the Outcomes Fund, Terry, a die-hard hockey fan has been attending the North Bay Battalion Hockey games since the first season and is now able to enjoy season’s tickets for the 2017/2018 season. Words cannot express his gratitude for their help in making Terry’s dream come true.
Michael had always wanted to get his driver’s license so he decided to use some of his passport funds to support him with realizing his goal. He passed the written test and is proud to show off his G1 license, congratulations!!!
Here at the Ontario Early Years Centre (OEYC) we welcome all families with children birth to 6 years of age. Recently we welcomed a new family from Iroquois Falls. Three year old Carmen and 6 month old Anthony have been attending the OEYC with their parents Natalie and Lyle. For many months this young couple lived in the area without knowing about our children’s activities. It was Natalie’s sister who suggested they “check us out”. Now Natalie says “I am surprised that not more people know about the Early Years Centre and I tell everyone I meet”.
The timing couldn’t have been better; Lyle and Natalie had a concern for Carmen, she was expressing a fear of starting school this September. They knew they needed to find a place where Carmen could socialize and build confidence in herself and with her peers. Now after coming to the OEYC for several months Natalie says Carmen will often say “I wonder who’s going to be there?” referring to both other children and the staff. Carmen can often be found in the Gym or Lounge playing with her best friend Ella. These parents also noticed that the staff all have different areas of expertise and appreciate the Educators open and caring attributes.
Both Lyle and Natalie have participated in programs offered; Natalie has taken Anthony to Infant Massage and has enjoyed time with other moms at Mother’s Night Out. For Lyle participating in our Daddy and Me program offered an opportunity to converse with other dads and enjoys the adult conversation. They also liked the extracurricular events that happen during local school Professional Development days and March break.
Lyle and Natalie agree, the OEYC has been instrumental in the socialization of their children, and has been fundamental in building new relationships as parents. They now make play dates with other families that attend the Ontario Early Years Centre.
Never has there been a better time to introduce children to diversity. We are fortunate to live in a country where so many various ethnics, race, disabilities or just being different are represented, giving families plenty of wonderful opportunities to learn and appreciate how different cultures live.
Children are naturally curious and it is essential that we demonstrate and explain the need to put cultural, diversity and racial differences into perspective. They can either learn to appreciate or devalue traits that make others different from themselves, including understanding and being accepting of others who have physical or intellectual disabilities.
During the month of May, the Resource Consultants with Community Living North Bay will be going out to the various child cares, introducing story books all about diversity and differences and that it is OK to be different.
The Resource Consultants will be reading a story book to each child care, explaining and discussing the various diversities. You are never too young to learn about inclusion.
The Property and Maintenance Department strives to ensure that the daily activities of the people supported are respected and taken into consideration when maintenance, inspections or repairs are scheduled.
Scheduling requires input from Supported Persons, Staff and Managers, combined with the availability of outside Contractors/Inspectors and P&M Staff, to coordinate the work to achieve the least disruption and successful completion of each job.
When Contractors/Inspectors and P&M Staff are on site, their priority is to ensure the work gets completed in the most efficient way, while being courteous and respectful to the people we support.
It is true that consistent Contractors & Inspectors interact with most people at each site, as they have become familiar with the routines and are genuinely happy to see everyone.
It is a pleasure to continue to work with these Contractors & Inspectors who go above and beyond to be part of a supportive and accepting Community!