June 1, 2020- COVID-19 Update

As I am sure you are all aware, the Province is slowly and carefully exploring options to re-open services and supports.  I am sure you have seen the extensive measures that have been put in place for businesses that have been permitted to open, including sanitization, social distancing, and wearing of Personal Protective Equipment.

Community Living London is committed to providing the best supports possible to all people supported.  We are in contact with the London/Middlesex Health Unit and are waiting for further direction from the Province regarding next steps for re-opening and where our services may fall in this plan.

Although we are fully aware of the stress these closures have had on the people we typically support who have not been able to attend our services, and the additional strain on families as a result, our first and foremost focus needs to continue being on the safety of any person supported. We don’t want to rush a re-opening plan and jeopardize the safety of people, their families or our staff members.   We hope you have been able to access some of our virtual activities, which are listed on our home page www.cll.on.ca.  This is a great opportunity for people to stay connected with their friends, and have fun at the same time.

Please bare with us – this is such an uncertain time and we don’t even have a clear picture of what future services will look like – will we also be required to limit numbers of people in a location, how do we maintain social distancing, what screening processes will need to be put in place, what additional safety procedures will be required – we are struggling with these questions on a daily basis, and are closely monitoring all messages from the province and from local health authorities to determine our next steps as a multi service agency.

One thing we can assure you – we will not re-open until we have clear guidelines and safety measures for you and your family member to ensure, to the best of our ability, everyone’s safety.

Thank you for your ongoing support during these uncertain times in a new world we are all learning to live in.

 

Michelle Palmer

Executive Director

Community Living London

June 1 2020- SUMMER CAMP UPDATE 

As you may be aware on May 19 Premier Ford announced summer day camps may be permitted to operate, with strict guidelines related to social distancing and sanitization, if the pandemic situation continues to improve and cases of COVID-19 continue to drop.  I am sure for many of you this message brought feelings of hope and anxiety; hope that your child may be able to attend camp yet anxiety about your family member leaving the safety of your home.  Unfortunately, we do not have any more information today than we had at the time of this announcement.

Community Living London is committed to providing the best supports possible to all people supported.  We are in contact with the London/Middlesex Health Unit and are waiting for further direction from the Province regarding next steps for summer planning.

As we are approaching the beginning of June, we are very aware of what needs to be in place for CLL to be in a position to offer summer camp including the availability of school sites and custodial staff to offer our camp, the availability of nursing supports for those campers who require such supports as well as an opportunity to recruit and train staff for the program. Staff have been brainstorming regarding alternative locations and support models but as you can imagine, this is difficult due to the unique support needs of campers registered in this program.

 

While we do not know if we will be able to operate our camp or if we do what it will look like, our first and foremost priority is the safety and well being of our campers and staff.  We will continue to provide information as it becomes available to us.

If you have any questions, please contact Barbara Furac at barb.furac@cll.on.ca or you can leave her a message at 519-686-3000 ext. 373 and she will return your call.

Michelle Palmer

Executive Director

June 1 2020- COVID-19 Funding Updates & Resources

We encourage you to sign up for Kenneth C. Pope, LLB, TEP newsletter to receive updates and resources relevant to people with disabilities and their families.

Below is the information shared in Kenneth Popes most recent newsletter regarding COVID-19 emergency funding:

There’s been a lot of controversy and misleading information circulating as to whether or not ODSP recipients are entitled to this benefit.
We want to clarify and be sure that anyone on ODSP that has earned at least $5,000 in 2019 or the past 12 month understands that they are absolutely entitled to this benefit, and that Ontario is treating it as they would employment income. This means that the first $200 is exempt and then every additional $1.00 you receive of CERB you will lose $0.50 of your social benefit payments. CERB payments are $2,000/month, which means you’d end up losing $900/month of ODSP benefits.
Todd Smith (Minister of Children, Community and Social Services) confirmed that you will continue to receive your health benefits and that no one will be kicked out of the system for exceeding income thresholds. You can also rest assured that no taxes are payable for CERB or other employment income until it exceeds the personal amount of $13,000.

CERB is a taxable benefit of $2,000/month ($500/week) for up to 16 weeks for workers who have stopped working due to COVID-19.

Sign up to receive Kenneth Pope’s Newsletter here- https://kpopelaw.com/e-news-signup/

April 6 2020- Support for Families Initiative

The Ontario Government has announced financial support available to parents as a result of COVID-19.
The new Support for Families initiative offers a one-time payment of $200 per child 0 to 12 years of age, and $250 for those 0 to 21 years of age with a disability.
For ore information please visit: https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/04/ontario-government-supports-families-in-response-to-covid-19.html?fbclid=IwAR1grCftbqji8JkT4PlNNFRwxAv8ESa4ov6KznAeaxaP9Utz45KBb-LWNCQ

March 26 2020-Update to Families and Community Partners regarding service closures

We wanted to keep in touch to let you know what is occurring at Community Living London during the pandemic.

As you are very well aware, the message federally, provincially and municipally continues to be for everyone to stay at home wherever and whenever possible, and to maintain social distancing at all times.  With these 2 directions from the Province, we must continue with the closures of all non-essential supports previously announced.  It would be remiss for us to bring people back into service and risk the spread of the virus amongst the people we support and our staff, not to mention the risk of community spread to your family as a result.

Unfortunately nobody knows how long this pandemic will continue, but all indicators are that it will be shorter if we all limit contact with others as much as possible.  So we will all try our very best to limit contacts, maintain our social distancing, and keep our fingers crossed that we see an end to this terrible situation quickly.

We fully understand the pressure this is putting on families.  We know this is causing hardship for so many people in our country, and beyond.  We know it is a really frightening time.  But unfortunately this is something totally out of our control, and we want to be responsible citizens and do everything we can to see an end to this pandemic.

If you have specific questions about locations or supports that have been cancelled at this time, we ask that you contact the agency and reception will direct your call to the appropriate management staff member (519-686-3000).  You may need to leave a message, and someone will get back to you as soon as possible. Please keep in mind it may take us a couple of days to return calls as we are managing the supports of those who live within our residential programs.

Sincerely

Michelle Palmer

Executive Director

Community Living London

March 16 2020-COVID-19: Message from CLL’s Executive Director Michelle Palmer

As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation continues to develop, we are enhancing our existing Pandemic Plan to minimize the risk of any people supported by Community Living London (CLL) and ensuring we have adequate staffing available for essential services.

CLL continues to take direction from Public Health Ontario and we will continue to work with staff and the health care system to meet the most up to date standards and requirements and create the best practices.

The health and wellbeing of people we support and our staff members are our top priority, and we are taking additional precautions in all our locations due to the population we support. At this time, we are closing, as of March 16, 2020, the following non-essential programs and services:

  • All day programs (Adelaide Access, Conway, Ford Access, Horton Access, South London Neighbourhood Resource Centre and the Hub)
  • All respite supports (Trafalgar, Lyman and Conway)
  • All leisure and recreation services (leisure nights, Club at the Hub, all community leisure connections activities, Wednesday and Friday Bowling leagues, and Access Extra activities)

For essential services, including Residential Supports, Independent Living Supports and Supported Employment Services we have:

  • Provided information to all staff on the virus, how to self-monitor and self-isolate if the need arises, and hand washing and other preventative measures.
  • We ask that anyone experiencing any of the symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) refrain from visiting any of our locations, at minimum until you are 24 hours post symptom.
  • For anyone who has returned to Canada since Friday March 13th, we ask you to wait for the 14 day period prior to visiting.
  • We are limiting community activities for those people supported in residential services, to ensure avoidance of large groups to reduce the risk of contracting the virus.

We understand this has an impact on many people and families – we apologize for this inconvenience but we must do what is best to limit exposure for our community. We will continue to monitor this ever changing situation and any updated information will be shared.

Thank you for your cooperation. Below are some resources from Public Health Ontario:

How to self-monitor:

https://www.publichealthontario.ca/-/media/documents/ncov/factsheet-covid-19-self-monitor.pdf?la=en

How to self-Isolate:

https://www.publichealthontario.ca/-/media/documents/ncov/factsheet-covid-19-how-to-self-isolate.pdf?la=en

How to self-isolate for caregivers:

https://www.publichealthontario.ca/-/media/documents/ncov/factsheet-covid-19-guide-isolation-caregivers.pdf?la=en

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Valued People. Inclusive Community.

We are committed to supporting people who have a developmental disability live engaging and fulfilled lives. We believe in the inherent value of all people and that everyone has the right to fully participate in their community – to live, go to school, work, play and be active in retirement.

Over 200 volunteers and 250 member families work with Community Living London to support over 1000 people every year. Community Living London is accredited through FOCUS Accreditation, demonstrating our commitment to accountability.

We are dedicated to supporting people with developmental disabilities to live fulfilled lives in collaboration with families and the community.

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