Showing the heart of CLV
We hope you will enjoy this update about some of the things we have been busy at CLV doing as of late. Despite CoVid, 2019/20 we found ways to have a positive impact!
An Artist in our Midst
Tanya is part of CLV’s Parent Support Program. This unique program provides direct support to families where the parent has an intellectual disability. The program provides in-home support as well as advocacy and navigating community resources. Tanya is the proud mother of 4 very creative children, all with very different interests. (dance, hockey, music, computer programming, etc). This might be due in part because she too is a talented artist and even a bit of an entrepreneur. A few years ago, she started attending twice-weekly art classes and began painting. The vibrant colors, exotic animals and interesting houses in her paintings grab the attention of many. Tanya is humble about her skills but appreciative of those who enjoy her work. In 2019, one of her paintings was chosen to represent the Inclusion Conference and adorned the conference brochure cover, the conference t-shirts and in addition to being paid for her art work, she was offered a table to sell her paintings (cards). At the end of the conference, Tanya was very pleased when her painting was auctioned off raising additional funds for the nonprofit.
We were so proud of our own Lora Church who was awarded the HERO award at the Community Social Services Awards of Excellence. This award recognizes someone who goes the extra mile to make a difference in community social services; spearheading important initiatives, launching influential programs and campaigns. This individual makes a difference by exuding passion, dedication and enthusiasm. This is someone all staff can look to for inspiration. That is our Lora! Check out some of the pictures and the short video that showcases why she was selected for this amazing award!
And the Provincial Human Resources award goes to...
One Day is the first of its kind in Victoria: a day for people with developmental disabilities and the community to be as one. In 2019, we celebrated 10 years of this annual, low-barrier event by offering a burger to anyone who attended as well as music, games, bouncies, family activities, and face painting all free of charge. One Day is also Victoria’s “kick off” to Community Inclusion Month. One Day is Victoria’s celebration of Community Inclusion Month which CLV is beyond proud to have initiated; a time when communities around the province and across Canada host events to celebrate the abilities and achievements of people living with developmental disabilities.
Made it to the Film Festival!
We could not be more proud of our super talented, long time staff Jim Knox who is also a Film Director. Among his productions is Bubba Lou and Miriam, both co-starring the amazing Sue Anthony (who you will meet on our Supported Apartment Living tour as she that is where she calls home). Here are the two trailers for these short films!
Our Foundation Rocks!
CLV is very fortunate to be the only customer of the Victoria Community Living Foundation whose sole purpose is to raise funds and the profile of Community Living Victoria. For 25 years they have been doing just that. They host the annual direct mail campaign, Reach for the Stars and Reach for the Sun, the ViPond Royal Colwood Golf Classic, and have put on a spectacular concert for the last 13 years showcasing some very well known musical talent. This dedicated group of community volunteers never disappoint… the 2019 concert making over $70,000! Each year those funds go directly to the individuals and families CLV supports to assist them with housing, food, physical accommodations, health issues, activities and summer camps for our youth.
For over 40 years, CLV has fundraised to ensure we had family and individual support and advocacy available to people when, where and how they need it. Our team currently provides direct support to over 160 new families/ individuals every year and distributes information through social media and e-news on a regular basis to over 800 families and professionals. Families often describe the support as a life raft, a path forward and a guiding force – increasing their community connections, reducing isolation and improving their quality of life. This year (2020) CLV Family Support was awarded the Family Support Institute Celebrations of Families Award which recognises those who have contributed in a meaningful way for the betterment of our community.
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Now in the final year of our strategic plan, we have accomplished many of our objectives. One of these is to work toward providing more affordable housing options including exploring the feasibility of a mixed housing development on our Cedar Hill Cross Rd property. With seed funding from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, and a grant from Vancity, we completed all the necessary steps for our rezoning and development permit application and submitted it to Saanich. The permit process may take up to a year. The plans include 41 affordable housing units with a mix of types and rents. Our intention is that 10% to 20% of the units will be for the people we support. The next phase is public engagement. CLV has had virtual meetings with the neighbourhood associations and the Saanich Heritage Foundation in June. The broader engagement with neighbours will occur in the fall. This is an exciting project that will have a positive impact on the community.
Youth Employment Grant
As noted in our Strategic Plan, CLV wanted to offer the option of summer employment support to youth. Unfortunately this is not the mandate of any of our provincial funding bodies. We joined forces with 9 other likeminded agencies across our province and were successful in securing 3 years of funding. This year was a unique start to the project due to COVID-19 but a success none the less with 7 youth participating in job ready development skills, employment focuses training sessions, resume building, Discovery process, work experiences and in some case, paid summer employment!
The Foundation that keeps giving!
The Community Living Foundation, as we mentioned before, exists to raise funds and the profile of CLV. In addition to all the other wonderful fundraising events and contributions they make, this year they came up with a new idea! They partnered with IBM Victoria who donated 2,000 in a matching grant to the Foundation’s grant of 2,000 to allow individuals to apply directly for funds that would help them enhance their quality of life. The individuals have intellectual disabilities and are connected to CLV in some way (participants, families, staff members with a child with disability).
Check out this summary of the great ways the funds went directly to individuals in need!
Teen Community Connections
The past few years, our Teen Community Connections group have been learning about food insecurity and how it affects so many people around us. This Thanksgiving they chose to help two amazing projects as part of their food drive. The first food drop-off was at Rainbow Kitchen, a place that creates connection and belonging . Our second stop was at Camosun College to assist with their student hampers. These past few months have left many students struggling to put food on their tables and the youth were touched by the work Camosun is doing to help their students feel some extra support at this time. Thank you to the families, staff and community members that donated food and goods to allow us to make a difference in our community. Giving back is such an important part of being grateful!