Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities Visits Reena
May 17, 2018 – Thornhill, ON – Reena was pleased to welcome Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities and MP Deb Schulte on a tour of the innovative Reena Community Residence yesterday.
The tour began with introductions by Reena staff members, as well as, board and family members. Stories were shared about the challenges faced by individuals with developmental disabilities, as well as, the new opportunities presented by the National Housing Strategy launched earlier this year.
The National Housing Strategy provides solutions for affordable housing across the country, with a co-investment fund that will drive the creation of 2,400 units for individuals with developmental disabilities. Over the next ten years, Reena plans to put this strategy into action by creating affordable housing modeled after the Reena Community Residence.
The Reena Community Residence is designed as an intentional community with a mix of residents, meant to provide services with a much higher degree of teamwork than other settings. Its members hold a common social vision, focusing on the benefits of living and sharing life together. Residents look out for their neighbours.
The Reena Community Residence provides a unique living environment. The building is nestled at the heart of a bustling Jewish community campus. There are 60 one, two and three-bedroom units on the three floors of the residence providing apartment style housing for 84 adults. Residents are integrated into every aspect of community life and have access to array of supports and services.
Following introductions, Minister Duncan toured of the Reena Community Residence, beginning with the Discovery Room and Life Skills Suite. These program rooms provide employment, life and social skill building for individuals who live in the residence and the broader community.
Preceding the program rooms was a visit to two apartments in the building which are occupied by individuals in the Complex Care Model. The Complex Care Model is a unified approach to creating living options for young adults with developmental disabilities and complex medical needs. This collaboration works with a holistic approach, acknowledging the unique and complex needs of each person.
Concluding the tour, Reena was pleased to present the Minister with a piece of art painted by an individual in Reena’s Art Mentorship Program.
Bryan Keshen, President & CEO of Reena noted “We were thrilled to have an opportunity to share with Minister Duncan our innovative models of care. The Reena Community Residence is just like any other apartment building; providing individuality and independence for residence. We look forward to continued work, with all levels of government, to build affordable housing solutions for individuals with developmental disabilities.”