Empower Simcoe’s New State-of-the-Art Supported Living Home in Oro-Medonte.
As a multi-service agency, Empower Simcoe provides a wide variety of supports and services for people of all abilities, but we are perhaps best-known as a provincial leader in programs and services for people with intellectual disabilities.
Now, to add to the 41 supported living homes that Empower Simcoe operates in Barrie and Orillia, comes our newest project, Lakeshore Ridge.
In a peaceful woodland setting in rural Oro-Medonte, people with multiple and complex needs will live with the support of full-time direct service professionals.
According to experts, people with “complex needs” have a dual diagnosis which may include developmental and intellectual disabilities, mental health, behavioural, and/or medical needs. They require a high level of support. There are very few places people with such challenges can live that will give them both the support they need and a home-like atmosphere.
Lakeshore Ridge will have all the supports and services people with complex needs need to thrive. In this tranquil setting, a special community will form where every individual’s unique challenges are understood and where everyone will be supported to define and enhance their quality of life.
A few years ago, officials from Ontario’s Ministry of Children, Community, and Social Services (MCCSS) approached Empower Simcoe to suggest the project that became Lakeshore Ridge. The Ministry was responding to the Ontario Ombudsman’s 2016 report “Nowhere to Turn,” saying that “Ontario’s systemic failure to help desperate families who are unable to care for loved ones with developmental disabilities has left vulnerable people in dire and often dangerous circumstances.” Lakeshore Ridge is a response to this crisis situation: a home for adults with developmental disabilities who also have high support and complex care needs.
Up to six adults with multiple and complex needs will live at Lakeshore Ridge. Everyone’s support plan will be unique, crafted to fit their particular developmental and behavioural needs. Each individual will have a separate space and living quarters. The home will have communal areas for socialization, recreational activities, and mental health related services. The functional design of the home will be based on providing a normalized environment, openness and transparency, and choice and opportunity. The goal for each person will be to support their journey to a more independent and self-fulfilling life, with a level of ongoing support appropriate to their diagnosis. Empower Simcoe will operate the program with clinical support from several community partners and specialized training for staff.
Empower Simcoe is building Lakeshore Ridge with support from the Ontario government, several private foundations, corporations, service clubs, and the general public. Through our fundraising affiliate the Empower Simcoe Foundation, we have launched a capital campaign with the goal of raising $250,000 by the end of June 2022.
“We are building the structure,” says Empower Simcoe Foundation President Victoria Ptasiuk, “But now we need the public’s help to make the house a home. We are very grateful for the past donations that have made it possible for us to build Lakeshore Ridge. Now, with your help, we will purchase furniture, bedding, décor, landscaping, and more. Please give generously to help us complete this vital community project.”
Please note: online payments to the Empower Simcoe Foundation are made through PayPal. You do not need to have an account to use PayPal. If you prefer to make your donation another way, please contact Doug Cleverley, Donor Relations Coordinator at 705-726-9082 ext. 2285 or email firstname.lastname@example.org