PageSubHeading: Where we began, where we are now, and where we intend to go
Community Living-Central Huron has a story similar to other Community Living Agencies. A grass roots group started to meet in 1958 because they did not want to send their children with developmental disabilities to live in institutions. They gathered together to advocate for their children’s education and a place in the community. In 1959, they formed the Goderich and District Association for Retarded Children, which is now known as Community Living-Central Huron. Families from Clinton joined the Agency in 1962.
Over the years, many milestones have been reached: the first Adult Workshop was opened in 1965; an integrated nursery school began in 1968; tenants moved into the first residential location in 1978; and Supported Independent Living (SIL) began 3 years later. As more individuals were repatriated from institutions and to accommodate local needs, group and independent living expanded, as did employment supports and day programs. Community Living-Central Huron also administers the Community Support for Families Program, the Huron Respite Network, Foundations Huron, Applied Behaviour Analysis for Children and Youth with Autism and South West Regional Respite. Community Living-Central Huron celebrated its 55th Anniversary in 2014.
Through this evolution, the goal of Community Living-Central Huron has remained the same:
"People live in dignity and share in all aspects of living in their community."
To achieve this goal, we believe that each of us is to be treated with respect and dignity, that each of us must have the opportunity to develop our own life style; that each of us learns and continues to learn throughout our life; that each of us needs, desires and hopes for the company and friendship of others; that each of us have human and civil rights accorded us by law.
The means to achieve this goal are simple. People who have felt isolated and rejected must be welcomed by the community-at-large to participate. This means becoming members of groups, associations, clubs and churches. It means being asked to share ideas, gifts and abilities with others. It means being included in decisions and actions that build and fortify community life.
People who are poor need a real income, an income achieved by working for real wages. Paid support needs to become a matter of right but can never surpass the real emotional, psychological and financial support provided by one’s family and friends.
Our role as an association is to enhance the dignity and value of all people. It is to assist people to regain power and control over their own lives. It is to listen and respond. When we embrace the richness of diversity, recognize the gifts we each possess and respect each others contributions, we will, indeed, have a competent, caring community that includes all its citizens.