For over 50 years Community Living has been supporting people with intellectual disabilities and their families from St. Marys and Area. Our Association like many others across Ontario was started by families wanting more for their children.
Throughout the ’60s and ’70s, services focussed on education, training and sheltered work. In 1978, St. Marys Kinsmen helped finance a new workshop on land donated by the town. In the late 1970s the association began to support individuals in their homes through a Supported Independent Living program as well as running the sheltered workshop.
Early in the 1980s the association facilitated the return of several people back to the St. Marys community from institutions where they had resided for a long time.
In 1983 the association began a process of reshaping itself into an organization that delivers services in a non-traditional way. This process laid the groundwork for where we are today. The changes brought about were leading edge, insightful, progressive and most importantly ‘person centred’, leading to non-congregated settings in our community. By 1988 we had made great progress towards the replacement of all congregated settings with supports that ensure people the freedom to participate in the full range of community opportunities available to all citizens.
Today we support people to lead a ‘good’ life in community.
A Detailed History of Community Living St. Marys
Humble Beginnings – The Early Years
Progressive History by Dan Rankin – Sept 2016
For further information see the materials in Resources section