In The News
This year marks the 60th Anniversary of Community Living Belleville and Area (formerly known as Plainfield Community Homes). Appropriately, we are paying tribute to our rich history of service to this community.
In the early years, the organization was known as the Babies' Convalescent Home and this name told the community what our focus and mandate was at that time: a place for babies with complex needs to convalesce. Over the years, the organization grew and became better known. Expectations and requirements from the Ministry of Community and Social Services changed and the Babies' Convalescent Home changed names several times, finally becoming known as Plainfield Children's Home.
In 2000, it was decided that our name no longer reflected the supports and services that we were providing. The children had grown up and become adults and we learned that people wanted to live in homes of their own in the community, rather than in a large building in Plainfield, Ontario. We changed our corporate name to Plainfield Community Homes to reflect this new direction.
In the last several years, we have placed a concentrated focus on providing individualized supports to people and ensuring people have the opportunity to become active members of the community and participate in person-directed planning. Other changes involve supporting people to choose where and with whom they want to live, including providing support to a couple of people who live semi-independently in their community. We also support people and their families with ‘direct' funded services, whereby they are able to choose the day support that works best for them. We are working in partnership with the Hastings CAS to provide services and supports to families who are ‘at risk' to reduce the likelihood of family breakdown. We are supporting people to engage in active volunteer roles or, for those who are interested, gainful employment.
We have raised the bar on our accountability systems. Our staff is trained to understand the importance of family involvement and the protection of people's rights and freedoms to ensure that people are free from abuse and exploitation. The culture of the organization is about providing quality person-directed supports and services so that all people can live, learn, work and participate in all aspects of living in the community. Our 4 year Accreditation award from The Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL) demonstrates our dedication and commitment to this stringent standard of accountability and has resulted in improved quality of life for people we support.
In light of this continued movement forward, at a Strategic Planning day held in September 2008, it was decided that we should consider the merits of a corporate name change. A Branding and Name Change working group was formed and, following much feedback and input from a variety of sources, the working group concluded that it was necessary to change the organization's name to better reflect what we do, what we value and the geography we serve.
A new name was chosen: Community Living Belleville and Area, with the tagline "Inspiring Possibilities”.
Community Living is something most of us experience naturally, as part of our daily lives. We live in communities, our children go to neighbourhood schools, we have the opportunity to work at real jobs for real pay and we participate in and contribute to our communities.
But, for many people who have an intellectual disability, community living is a dream, an objective yet to be realized. Some may live in their own home, but with little connection to the community around them. This new name – Community Living Belleville and Area – speaks of our Vision of a community where all belong and are valued. It also affirms our affiliation with Community Living Ontario and the 115 local Community Living Associations across the province of Ontario. And it lets our local community know that we provide supports and services to people with intellectual disabilities and their families in Belleville and Area.
We remain steadfast in our commitment to the people we support and their families and we are looking forward to the future and the opportunities it holds!