Sandy Keshen Reena Residence

Located on the Joseph and Wolf Lebovic Jewish Community Campus in Vaughan, this residence personifies inclusion, not only as one of Reena’s core values, but also as a core practice. The residence serves adults and seniors people with a range of special needs such as developmental, physical and/or mental health.

Each tenant is facing a major life transition. Some:

  • have moved out of their childhood homes for the first time;
  • have downsized from the family home;
  • have found an independent, supportive home after years of searching; and
  • are developing personal independence in their new home.

The Sandy Keshen Reena Residence embodies inclusion in an environment where people of varied abilities come together to live a meaningful life, connected to their families, friends and neighbours. Beyond providing a home and supports, this integrated program builds a community where people can live, work and play. The residence is an intentional community; a creative response to community needs. Tenants are asked to commit to a social vision that emphasizes the importance of living and sharing life together. Residents, who range in age from their 20’s to mid-80’s, are encouraged to look out for their neighbours and can expect the same help from others living here.

Another guiding principle at Reena is community partnerships through strong and respectful collaboration. Over the past several years, Reena has worked closely with Circle of Care to develop an integrated model of service delivery for individuals with developmental disabilities to live with safety, dignity and a greater quality of life.

The intent is to assist residents with a service delivery system that is seamless from the tenant’s perspective. It brings diverse agencies together to integrate services despite traditional service, program and funding silos.

Partner agencies, which have referred individuals to the Sandy Keshen Reena Residence, have committed to providing services to their own individuals and to other tenants as needed. They have also agreed to help tenants knit into this intentional community. Agencies have shared information through discussions, focus groups and training sessions. Together, an integrated application process was developed, along with intake protocols for prospective tenants.

This partnership has been extended to March of Dimes. In 2013, the Central LHIN announced a cluster care model of housing and support for young people at the Reena Community Residence. In this community-based option, March of Dimes provides attendant care, assisted by Reena staff. Young people, who might otherwise need long-term care to meet their complex health needs, receive the medical attention they need to increase their independence and reach their full potential.

Applications for people with developmental disabilities are taken by:
(905) 889.6484 x2051

For applications and eligibility for services with March of Dimes Canada, please contact our Community Supports Resource Worker at (905) 773.7758 x6216

A Care Team, comprised of staff from three agencies, meets to discuss and implement protocols for application, intake and ongoing support to tenants. This reinforces our model of integrated service delivery providing wrap-around care for people with disabilities.


Main Floor Amenities

The Sandy Keshen Reena Residence, located on the Joseph and Wolf Lebovic Community Campus, is an apartment building with integrated supports that offers residential living, respite, and day programs in one location. Because of the unique blend of residential and day programs, the Residence is a busy place, both day and evening.

The main floor offers program rooms, administrative offices and the services of apartment living, such as a laundry room, Property Management and Superintendent’s office. The many program rooms are heavily used during the day for Pathways North and the popular Channels Program. Some of the participants are tenants who reside in the building, while others come in for the day. Within the two programs, individuals practice life and employment skills, and are provided with many social opportunities to interact and improve their communication skills.

Two of the rooms are extra special. Through a partnership with Shoresh (an environmental agency), the Greenhouse is used by program participants who nurture their seedlings over the winter. In the spring and summer months, participants help care for the crop in the community garden across the street and then sample the “fruits of their labour” at harvest time. The Life Skills suite is a fully functional one-bedroom apartment where individuals learn the skills of independent living – including how to do their laundry!

All the rooms have multiple uses. For example, the Channels room can be transformed into an Education Centre, with ceiling-installed equipment that can be easily utilized. It also doubles as a meeting room. The large multipurpose room is used during the day for Pathways North, where participants take part in sports, recreational activities, and music and drama programs. The room also has audio-visual capacity and can be used for movies, dances and other multi-media events.

The computer room is used for day programs, evening activities and as a meeting room. The library is also used for Pathways and in the evening all tenants are invited to attend special programs. These include karaoke, movies, art programs, guest speakers and special events.

The outdoor Maxwell and Ruth Leroy Holocaust Remembrance Garden is located on the west side of the Residence, on Ilan Ramon Boulevard. Visitors are encouraged to view the stone panels, which honour the memory of the over 200,000 people with disabilities who were rounded up and killed during World War II. In the summer, program participants act as docents for community tours.

The garden and panels are in full view of the community and clearly visible from the Residence, which boasts full-length window panes. This environment visually and physically welcomes the community into the building, while ensuring that residents and program participants are seen and included in everything we do at Reena.

To view a map of the Sandy Keshen Reena Residence click here