board of directors
This year as things got back to normal, we were able to deliver all our programs and services. We continued to provide a safe working environment for all our staff.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to extend my gratitude to our wonderful management team and staff at NSDRC who have been amazing and resilient over the last few years so that we could keep supporting the North Shore’s most vulnerable individuals. This commitment is what makes NSDRC so valuable to the community.
The Board is grateful to our Executive Director, Jessica Neville and the senior executive team for their great leadership and dedication to NSDRC. We appreciate all their work and care for not only our staff but everyone who has accessed our services and programs. As a non-profit organization, we take great pride in supporting our community, especially those who are most vulnerable and need it the most.
We are very excited to have implemented our new Strategic Plan, showcase our Mobile Multi-Sensory Van at many community events and new housing opportunities across the North Shore. We hope to continue to build upon our services and programs for community members and build new partnerships on North Shore. Thank you to the North Shore community for your continued trust and support for NSDRC.
- Our Strategic Plan
- Expand our housing opportunities
- Mobile Multi-Sensory Van incorporated at schools on the north shore
- Build community partnerships
- Maintain our core services and programs for the community
- Presentations and meetings with DNV Council
- Create an Annual Fundraiser
- Open House for Community and Partners
President, Board of Directors
If you would prefer, you may download a PDF version of this annual report by clicking this link.
our executive director
What a year it has been! After several years of living with COVID-19, it has been wonderful to see our participants, staff and community returning to a pre-pandemic approach to life with renewed appreciation for each other and for human interaction. Over this past year we have seen a rebound in our programs and an enthusiasm about being together again that we hope will last indefinitely!
One of our greatest achievements of this past year was the team’s successful attainment of another Three-Year Accreditation with the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) Canada. The CARF team noted that the NSDRC:
“(NSDRC) Programs and services clearly benefit children, youth and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The organization enjoys having an experienced and talented leadership team and committed staff members who apply innovative and creative practices in the pursuit of inclusive programs for the participants. Policies, procedures and oversight mechanisms are in place to ensure the organization is financially sound, has less risk exposure and a high likelihood of sustainability. The organization’s personnel consistently carry out their responsibilities with enthusiasm, dedication and professional skills. The NSDRC enjoys having an incredible reputation for supporting and advocating for children/youth and their families and high levels of satisfaction from the participants, families served, funding sources and referral sources”
We are thrilled and appreciative of the accreditation team’s feedback and as always, thank our wonderful staff and community for their commitment to the work we do every day.
PROGRAMS AND SERVICES
The NSDRC community-based services for infants, children, teens and adults has fully returned to in-person programming and our newly renovated community space is being well-used by all. We have continued to provide some virtual programming for participants through the ZAP program and we are thrilled to be offering this service to individuals on the North Shore and beyond. We have also recently engaged our children and teen families in a targeted survey to ensure our programs, services and communication methods are meeting their needs and already incorporating their feedback into our fall programming
Our Community Housing and Inclusion Program (CHIP) staff have remained dedicated to providing essential services over the course of the pandemic and have been thrilled to once again accompany those we support out to broad range of community events. The CHIP staff and management have remained a constant in the lives of the NSDRC participants and I know I speak for all our stakeholders in extending my continued gratitude to the entire team.
THE ONLY CONSTANT IS CHANGE
This past year has included many projects as well as both subtle and substantial changes at the NSDRC. The pandemic created an opportunity for the team to engage in continued reflection and review of our offerings and practices. Some of the key areas of focus included:
- Human Resources Planning and Processes
- Renewed focus on Communications
- Revamping of the Quality Assurance Team
- Increased Surveying of families and Participants
This year also marked the closure of the Quinton Place home for children. Quinton Place has held a very special place in the hearts of many community members, former residents, their families, community partners and of course, our NSDRC team, as was evidenced by our final celebration at the home. It was wonderful to hear stories from family members past and present about the critical role the home and the NSDRC has played in these families’ lives. The same was true of our staff, many of whom had worked at Quinton Place for several decades. We are so appreciative of all the support the program, families and team have received over the last many months (and years!) and look forward to providing updates on what will be happening over the coming months.
The NSDRC Board of Directors continues to work closely with senior management in ensuring that we are meeting the goals identified in our strategic plan. At the forefront of our priorities remains:
- Outstanding support to infants and their families on the North Shore
- Data-driven programming for children and teens
- Ongoing commitment to exploring approaches to ensure affordable, accessible housing.
- Active and targeted communication efforts
- Professional development for all staff with a specific focus on intentional engagement with participants
Thank you to the senior management team: Biljana Kuzmanovska, Director of Human Resources; Kim Miles, Director of Community Housing and Inclusion Program; Kathleen Jessop, Director of Community-Based Services; and Igor Dobrokhotov, Director of Finance, for their ongoing commitment to the mission of the NSDRC. Finally, thank you to the Board of Directors, who continue to be instrumental in setting course for the NSDRC.
LET’S CONTINUE TO CONNECT
Please continue to subscribe to our newsletters and on social media, and please don’t hesitate to reach out with questions or get involved. If you are interested in learning about how you can support or partner with the NSDRC, please contact our Manager of Communications and Strategic Partnerships, Teri Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to hearing from you and continuing to work in partnership in creating a “community for all.”
Jessica Neville, MEd
Thank you to our funding partners
community housing and inclusion program services
2022-2023 has been a busy year getting back to business in supporting individuals to live a full life in both their homes and in their communities.
The staff in the Community Housing and Inclusion Program (CHIP) have once again shifted into the new normal and are back out and about into the community. They are participating in the activities that are important to the participants we support.
I look forward to the year ahead being one that is filled with engagement, laughter, fun and a continued sense of livelihood and purpose.
Thank you to each member of the CHIP team – the line staff and program managers – for all your hard work and commitment throughout the past year and into 2023/2024. The NSDRC is becoming the organization of choice for families and funders, and it is all because of the heart and soul that each of you put in everyday.
Kim Miles – Director of CHIP, celebrating Rose Powell’s 25 years of service
The NSDRC Adult Supported Living Program:
- Provided 19 individuals in five program sites with 23,329 hours of community inclusion staffing support to assist each individual to live as full as a life possible.
- Provided 78,123 hours of community housing staffing support to assist with all aspects of daily living activities, resulting in an annual total of 101,452 hours of support. Core funding provided by Community Living BC (CLBC).
- Eagles Nest provided one youth and one adult with 13,537 hours to assist with living in the community and support for one individual’s final year of school and Community Housing and Inclusion support. Core funding provided by Community Living BC (CLBC)and Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD).
- Chamberlain provided one adult with 8953 hours, 1:1 support to live in community.
The NSDRC Children’s Supported Living Program:
- Quinton Place: After 47 years of providing a home for children and youth with amazing 24-hour per day support, the NSDRC ended our contract with the MCFD in June.
- Through 2022-2023 the NSDRC provided 18,260 hours of staffing support to four children within our group home with fulltime daily support which included daytime at home school support during the pandemic. Core funding provided by Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD).
The NSDRC Adult Independent Living Program:
- Provided 19 individuals, requiring varying degrees of assistance with daily living activities, with 22,814 hours of staff support. Core funding provided by Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH).
Mill House Four One-Bedroom Apartments:
- Mill House has been open for over six years. All four individuals continue to enjoy living and thriving in their homes and appreciate the opportunity that the NSDRC has offered in providing everyone with accessible and affordable housing.
Ongoing Community Housing and Inclusion Priorities:
- The NSDRC continues to work with funders, the three North Shore Municipalities and developers towards increasing the affordable and accessible housing stock across the North Shore.
community based services
Funded by Community Living BC (CLBC), the NSDRC Community Based Services Adult Services programs saw growth in the 2022/23 year. Participants welcomed an increase with in-person supports as well as wider access to community activities.
The NSDRC has received an increase in contract support from CLBC. We are pleased to now be able to offer 40 hours a week of Supported Employment.
The NSDRC served up to 15 individuals in the program. This past year, we successfully had nine job seekers employed.
Emilie is employed part time at STAGE
LIFE SKILLS/INDIVIDUALIZED FUNDING
Service supports increased through contracts from CLBC by over 25 hours per week this year.
Individuals participated in Life Skill development activities that include reading skills, money management, street safety, social skills, health and leisure activities.
Social activities were offered to participants and promoted staff engagement. These activities were popular among participants and staff who are now asking for more. This past year, we were able to offer: Pub nights, attending a Giants hockey game, a magic show and a dance. Staff have expressed the positive outcomes for participants.
An organized Social Group meets three times a week. They are planning and implementing their own activities.
- Six Participants that we serve were provided subsidized housing by VRS and CLBC at the Eleanor Building where they live independently
- These participants work on lifeskills with their worker
- Weekly cooking group in the shared community room
- Weekly fitness group offered to those that would like to participate
PERSONALIZED SUPPORT INITIATIVE (PSI)
This support program began this year with two participants offering 11 hours of services per week.
Goals of the program are to support and teach participants who live independently with tasks such as grocery shopping, budgeting, cooking, meal planning, house cleaning, exercise and social opportunities.
ZAP (ZOOM ADULT PROGRAM)
The initial success of ZAP (Zoom Adult Program) was recognized and is now fully funded by CLBC (Community Living BC) for residents of the North Shore. Participants are active each week logging onto the virtual platform and connecting with peers.
Youth Zone is a weekly after-school program designed specifically for youth who are on the Autism Spectrum and may not feel that the other programs offered by the NSDRC meet their needs.
A total of eight youth used this program over the year. The youth who attend this group make their own programming decisions guided by our facilitator who specializes in working with youth on the spectrum. Everyone who attends has fun and finds this group a great way to meet others who are like minded.
STAGE (SUPPORTED TRANSITION ADULT GROUP EDUCATION)
STAGE continued to expand this past year with increased service hours provided to the program from CLBC. Over the course of the past year, the STAGE provided services to 24 participants.
STAGE continued to offer opportunities for participants to socialize and volunteer outside of regular program hours with activities such as: movie nights, BBQs, Arts in the Garden and participating in the North Vancouver Art Crawl. ZAP (Zoom Adult Program) participants had opportunities to join these activities bridging a need for in-person socialization.
STAGE received a ParticipAction grant to offer extra physical activities weekly for two months where we set up activities in the park and held our very popular annual water fight.
Participants at STAGE travelled to Port Renfrew for five days. This was the first trip since the pandemic, we were pleased to welcome nine participants, three employees and one volunteer.
Paintings and soaps created by our STAGE participants. Sale of products go to support our STAGE program
infant development program
Funded by Community Living BC, the NSDRC Community Based Services Adult Services programs saw growth in the 2021/22 year. Participants welcomed an increase in in-person supports and wider access to community activities.
The Infant Development Program provides family-centred services for families who have children birth to three years of age who have delays in their development or who are at-risk for delays. Services include home visits, parent and child playgroup, lending library, assessments, referrals, as well as information and resources.
The highlight of the past year has been to once again be able to offer in-person home visits to families, as well as outdoor visits, and optional on-line Zoom visits. We were able to resume our weekly playgroup at Maplewood Thrive to provide opportunities for families on our program to connect with one another with their children. This spring we were very grateful to have an exceptional volunteer, Suh, help us out at playgroup.
Last summer we were excited to offer a six-week infant massage course for families at NSDRC in the Community room, with Colleen Bonus as the instructor. Colleen has many years experience of working in our program and has come back from retirement to help us out over the last few years.
Thankfully in September, we were able to resume hosting the Lower Mainland Upside Down group at Maplewood Thrive, much to the parents’ appreciation of seeing everyone again after three years!
The IDP Program At A Glance & Community Partnerships
- Core funding from MCFD
- Served 205 families in 2022/23
- Liaison and community outreach with Family Services Thrive drop-ins
- Hosting the Lower Mainland Upside Down Group at Maplewood
- Regular liaison with Vancouver Coastal Health, BC Centre for Ability, and Supported Child Development
- Multi-Agency picnic for families in June at Maplewood Thrive
- Regular Zoom meetings with Lower Mainland IDP and Supported Child Development Consultants
- Assisted in submitting a proposal to MCFD for a program to serve families with children three to five years old, with developmental delays, to fill gap in services for families.
Satisfaction Survery Parent Comments/What They Like Best:
“Playgroup has a very welcoming feeling and my son has so much fun!”
“It was IDP that helped identify the issues in my second child while caring for my first. I am truly grateful!”
“Thanks to IDP, I have the support and knowledge to communicate with my son.”
A participant enjoying playtime in our Infant Development Program
mobile multi-sensory room
Our Mobile Multi-Sensory Room is a safe, relaxing space, designed to stimulate the senses to bring peace, calm, and wellness.
We regularly utilized the multi-sensory experience at five of our supported homes within the NSDRC to successfully help facilitate stimulation and a greater quality of life for the people we support. This has been mutually beneficial as customizing the experience to suit their needs has informed us how to expand and improve our offerings for greater effect. Recently, we have invested in a larger batteries to prolong power during our visits.
Our Mobile Multi-Sensory Room in use at the 2023 Lynn Valley Family Fun Fair
We are continuing to expand the catalogue of visual and auditory experiences our clients can engage with. To that end, if you visit our van and have some suggestions, please send them our way.
We also introduced a new, easier to navigate online booking system this year. In additional we simplified out rental rates and details to create a more seamless experience. Visit www.nsdrc.org/rental-rates-and-details to see the changes.
We’re also honoured to have several collaborative and rewarding partnerships, including the many after-school programs at Bee Haven Childcare Centres. Here we are able to help staff provide an explorative and stimulating environment for the kids in their care.
information and advocacy program
The North Shore Disability Resource Centre’s Information and Advocacy program has had a busy year where we have had 966 contacts with individuals with disabilities, caregivers, families, and provided information and assistance to other professionals from community agencies located in the North Shore.
We are one of the few community programs that can assist any person with any kind of disability who lives in the City of North Vancouver, District of North Vancouver, and District of West Vancouver.
Our advocates provide information and referral services, and we continue to provide both in person and virtual services by zoom, telephone and email to help individuals with disabilities to apply for a wide range of disability benefits and help provide information regarding services.
Post pandemic we have had an increased number of clients on PWD (Persons with Disabilities) benefits who are employed or have been pursuing employment that have required reassurance that their employment will not jeopardize their Persons with Disability designation. For many of our clients the excessive cost of rent remains a major issue of concern, especially for those who are single people with disabilities and those 55 plus. Historically it has been harder for younger people with disabilities to access subsidized housing as there are few programs available for single people with disabilities under 55 years of age. For those individuals who require wheelchair accessible housing the wait is even longer as there are very few places available.
There has been an ongoing trend in which advocates and outreach workers at other social services agencies – even Vancouver Coastal Health – referring their clients to our program or reaching out to obtain information so they can better help their clients directly. This is a strong indication of the ongoing success of our Information and Advocacy program that we have become the go-to source of information not just for clients, but professional advocates in the community.
Snapshot of the Information & Advocacy Program for this year:
- We have assisted 45 clients to apply for Persons with Disability Benefits.
- We have helped two clients apply for the Persons with Multiple Barriers program.
- We have assisted 11 clients to apply for Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefits
- We have helped three clients apply for BC Housing.
- We have assisted seven people to appeal their Persons with Disability Benefits and assisted one client to appeal their Canada Pension Plan Disability benefits decision.
Some recent feedback from our clients:
“Earlier this year my adult daughter’s application for disability was denied. We were fortunate to have access in the community to the North Shore Disability Resource Centre’s Information and Advocacy program. The advocate who assisted my daughter took a huge weight off our shoulders by writing a successful appeal…For any person with a disability, the Information and Advocacy program provides an invaluable resource.”
“Earlier this year an advocate from the North Shore Disability Resource Centre helped me with my PWD (Persons with Disability Application) …My mom reached out to the advocate to set up the initial appointment….My advocate helped me understand what the questions were asking and helped me present my experience of living with an invisible disability…My mom and I found this service to be most supportive. I received my PWD designation recently and this is a relief.”
The NSDRC Information & Advocacy Program is funded entirely through donation and community grants. If you are interested in supporting the program, please contact Teri Taylor, Manager of Communications & Partnerships at email@example.com.