CORNWALL, Ontario – Cornwall City Council approved a request from Beyond 21 for a $100,000 donation to renovate their future home at 1924 Pitt St.
The Hub for Beyond 21 serves adults with developmental disabilities who have aged out of the education system at the age of 21. Beyond 21 provides support, connection, and community for these adults.
The non-profit formed in 2009 through the support of community members like Tish Humphries.
Her daughter, Emma, who is non-verbal was preparing to leave high school in 2009, but the Humphries family was worried that she would lose her support.
“I didn’t sleep for a month,” Humphries said. “We had the best services for Emma growing up, now at 21, they were a forgotten population.”
In May 2019, Beyond 21 announced that they had finally purchased the site that would become their permanent home at 1924 Pitt St.
At that time, they launched a capital campaign to raise $750,000 to renovate the 8,000 sq. ft. space.
As of May 2020, they have $620,492.81, with the City’s additional contribution of $100,000 bringing them within close striking distance of their goal.
“I think Beyond 21 serves the City of Cornwall in just an exemplary fashion,” said Councillor Elaine MacDonald. “For most people, when they leave school, whether it is at age 21 or whatever it is, it is not an eviction. It is a graduation; but unfortunately for these clients, it is an eviction. It is not a transition to anything better or different. It is a transition into a terrible isolation for the rest of their lives. So Beyond 21 in 2009 organized itself and began to service this most vulnerable sector of our population.”
Each member of Council took turns to praise Beyond 21, and the motion to donate the money was passed unanimously.
“The donation made by Cornwall City Council was an answer was an answer to our prayers,” said Tish Humphries, President of Beyond 21. :To hear the words of each councilor and our Mayor Bernadette brought tears to my eyes. If I may use the words of JFK “As we express ours gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” City of Cornwall we will make you proud that our forgotten population will not be forgotten in the great city of Cornwall, Thank you Cornwall City Council!”