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Minister Helena Jaczek visits Community Living Upper Ottawa Valley

By Celina Ip

On Oct. 12, the Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister of Community and Social Services visited Community Living Upper Ottawa Valley to congratulate the agency on its accomplishments, to meet with participants and staff and to discuss the successful services being provided to individuals in the area.

On Oct. 12, the Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister of Community and Social Services visited Community Living Upper Ottawa Valley to congratulate the agency on its accomplishments, to meet with participants and staff and to discuss the successful services being provided to individuals in the area.

Community Living Upper Ottawa Valley was visited by the Honourable Helena Jaczek on Oct. 12.

 

Dozens of Community Living staff and volunteers, local housing partners, entrepreneurs along with the Chair of Housing and the Chair of Social services for Renfrew County gathered inside the boardroom to provide a warm welcome to Minister of Community and Social Services Helena Jaczek – it being her first visit to Community Living Upper Ottawa Valley.

“We specifically organized this event as a way to invite Helena and provide her with a tour of our agency. Some of the work that we're doing around quality enhancement and housing is stuff that the province is quite keen on, and what better place to visit than what we offer here,” said Chris Grayson, executive director of Community Living Upper Ottawa Valley.

During the visit, Jaczek met the Community Living staff and delivered a speech in which she congratulated the agency on its many provincial awards which have led to it becoming a renowned agency and one that other Community Livings aim to model themselves after.

“We have over 300 agencies across the province, but this one in particular came to our attention because of the great work being put forth. As you can see from the many provincial awards they've won over the past year, this agency has come a long way and I’m truly impressed by what they’ve achieved,” said Jaczek. “When I do visit other places I say ‘by the way, do you know what they’re doing at Community Living Upper Ottawa Valley? maybe you should talk to executive director Chris Grayson over there’.”

She further discussed and acknowledged the many ways in which the agency has successfully supported people with developmental disabilities in the area.

“You really adapted the mantra of full inclusion and what that means in terms of putting practical steps into getting rid of sheltered workshops and even the movement away from the group home model that was so entrenched,” said Jaczek. “I’m amazed by what you’ve done in terms of inclusion and supporting independent living to the fullest extent possible.”

Following Jaczek’s speech, the minister joined Grayson on a tour of a few local homes that provide support and enhance independent living for individuals with development disabilities.

cip@postmedia.com