Minister Don McRae

Minister gets a head start on Community Living Month

For the month of October the B.C. Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation will be touring Community Living BC Facilities

Community Living Month is still a few days away but Liberal MLA Don McRae is ahead of the game.

For the month of October the B.C. Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation will be touring Community Living BC Facilities, which offer support and services to adults with disabilities.

On Tuesday afternoon McRae stopped by Palmer Place, a home shared by the Association for Community Living and Campbell River and North Island Transition Society clients, to tour the grounds and meet with Community Living staff and residents.

“It’s the beginning of Community Living month across B.C., it’s in October but it’s a big province so we started early,” said Comox Valley MLA McRae. “We’re talking to staff and residents and we want to hear about success stories as well as any challenges individuals are facing.”

McRae said while Community Living works hard to ensure services are available for each individual the agency works with, it has been challenging trying to find work for those who are willing and able.

“We’re working with employers, CLBC (Community Living BC), and service providers to see if there are ways to assist persons with disabilities into the work place – they’re great employees,” McRae said.

Prior to his visit to Palmer Place, McRae had the chance to stop by Campbell River’s Colorado Home where he said two young men, who are part of a supportive care society, are living in a home, regularly walk to the corner store, and both hold down jobs.

It’s success stories like that which Community Living month celebrates.

October is set aside by Community Living BC to raise awareness of people with disabilities, said Michelle Albrecht, a program coordinator at Palmer Place.

To celebrate, the Campbell River and District Association for Community Living is holding an event October 4 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. in Spirit Square with refreshments and live music by the band Inclusion, which includes clients of the association.

Thirty of the association’s clients live at Palmer Place, which opened on Nikola Road off of Willis Road last summer. Albrecht said the partnership at Palmer Place that the association has with the Transition Society has been very successful.

“The tenants here would say it has made a huge difference in their lives, living in a supportive environment and a place that’s affordable,” Albrecht said. “It was designed to be a community and I think we’ve achieved that. When you come here and see the people gathered in this building (the central activity room), it’s amazing.”