We are committed to our clients living with dignity by delivering quality programs, housing and supportive services
This is the place to find information about what’s happening at Guelph Independent Living. Check here for Community News as it is released, and don’t forget to stop and view the photos in our Gallery!
Community Support Services are integral to keeping individuals at home. October is the time to celebrate Community Support across the Province. It is our time to thank the dedicated staff and volunteers who deliver critical services to frail seniors, persons with disabilities or debilitating chronic diseases and their families.
GIL is committed to our clients living with dignity by delivering quality programs, housing and supportive services. GIL is proud to offer a variety of programs and services to support adults with physical disabilities and seniors, including: Home Help, Attendant Outreach, Assisted Living, Seniors’ Assisted Living, Seniors Supported Living, and Recreation and Inclusion programs.
July 20, 2015
Guelph Independent Living Celebrates 40 Years
Guelph Independent Living held its 40th Anniversary Celebration and Annual General Meeting on June 18 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in the Elliott Community Centre. Donna Lychwa, President of the Board of Directors, led the meeting.
The focus of agenda was to update clients, staff, community partners, friends and family of the many accomplishments within the Agency’s health and housing sectors. The highlights of accomplishments included the completion of the Outreach Program expansion, the launch of a new website that meets AODA accessibility standards, recent renovations to modify two new accessible units in the Willow Place building, program growth most notably in the Outreach and Home Help programs, and a report on GIL’s Community Inclusion program activities for the year.
Following the presentation, Years of Service awards were presented to staff by clients in their programs. Awards were presented to Lindsay Lennox, Pamela Polfuss-Schmidt, and Wes Sprague, who celebrated 10, 15 and 20 years with the organization, respectively.
The evening ended on a high note in celebration of GIL’s 40th Anniversary with a 90 minute live musical performance and interactive talk with disability activist, inspirational speaker and singer-songwriter Justin Hines. Justin’s performance was enjoyed by clients, staff, board members and guests alike, and saw the whole room clapping along by the end.
Guelph Independent Living is a non-profit agency incorporated under a different name in 1975. It provides Supportive Housing, Attendant Outreach, Home Help, Seniors’ Supportive Housing and Assisted Living programs, as well as recreation and inclusion opportunities, to seniors and adults with permanent physical disabilities. As well, the organization owns and maintains Willow Place, an 83-unit non-profit housing complex, which also serves as a supportive housing site.
The Agency values respect, dignity and individuality by promoting freedom of choice and by encouraging the individual’s right to make decisions, to direct services and to establish and maintain personal lifestyles. Guelph Independent Living is all about fostering community participation, removing barriers and providing information, advocacy and support services.
May 21, 2015:
Guelph Independent Living Completes Construction on Two New Accessible Modified Units at Willow Place
Guelph Independent Living (GIL) is pleased to announce the completion of construction on two new modified units in their Willow Place apartment building in order to make them fully accessible for tenants with mobility challenges. Construction on the units included removing walls to allow for better maneuverability for tenants who use wheelchairs or scooters, installing accessible appliances and cabinets, and constructing entirely new washrooms and showers. These two new modified units bring the total number of accessible units at Willow Place up to 23.
Since 1984, GIL has been providing 24-hour supportive housing and attendant services to adults with physical disabilities. These services are designed to assist clients to maintain their independence and remain in the home of their choice. Throughout the organization’s history, a shortage of modified housing with access to 24-hour support services has been repeatedly identified. GIL has, for years, had a lengthy wait list of adults with physical disabilities looking for housing combined with attendant services. Currently there is a waitlist of 37 individuals; several sitting on the list for over eight years. With an average turnover rate of 1-2 units per year there are few success stories, but GIL is pleased to be able to add to that list. GIL spoke with the tenant of one of the new modified units, Sherry Windmill, whose struggle to find suitable housing was featured in the Guelph Mercury in January 2014 (http://www.guelphmercury.com/news-story/4345398-guelph-woman-finds-home-after-six-months-of-searching/ ). “Accessible units are hard to come by, so I was very fortunate to get this one because for years I’ve looked for something in Guelph and there’s just nothing out there…. Guelph needs a lot of accessible living” she said. She also stated that she is very appreciative that she was able to provide input on what went into the unit, such as the oven which has a door that opens side to side making it easier to access – “with everything being accessible for me it gives me back a lot of independence.”
GIL is funded through the County of Wellington for affordable housing and the Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network (WWLHIN) for support services to the disabled and senior population. In early 2014, GIL received one-time funding through the WWLHIN allocated towards renovation costs to modify additional units at Willow Place for residents requiring accessible housing; with the ultimate goal of increasing 24-hour supportive housing services in Wellington. Approval for the two additional modified units at Willow Place was received through the County of Wellington Housing Services and County Council. Beginning in April 2015, GIL also received a base funding increase through the WWLHIN to provide 24-hour attendant services to the new clients moving into the new modified units. Adults with physical disabilities have a right to affordable, modified housing and 24-hour attendant services, but this right is limited by the low number of units available with support services. It is the hope of these contributing organizations that these two additional modified units at Willow Place will assist in minimizing this shortage and alleviate some of the challenges Guelph residents face in accessing affordable, modified housing.
“We are pleased to make meaningful investments in Guelph to support independent living services that help residents who need these services to live safely and independently as active members of our community. “Sherry’s story is a great example of how these new services make a real difference.”
-Bruce Lauckner CEO WWLHIN