A wide range of emotions was evident when the nine member Board of Directors of Encore Seniors Education Center met on August 2nd to discuss the future of this long standing (over 25 years) service to seniors and others in this community. Faced with plans to dissolve the Corporation at the end of August, due to an inability to find a suitable location with a classroom and office space, there was enormous relief when it was announced that a new home had been found. A small dedicated group of Board members had finally located a suitable home for Encore! More good news came earlier when the City of Cornwall approved a substantial grant at their June Council meeting. Also, the loss of a four year rental space left the organization desperately searching for a way to continue their presence and service in Cornwall.
The City Council’s financial aid was contingent on mounting a fall program, which would only be possible if a new home could be located.
The small group of directors spent months scouring the city in search of a suitable new home, visiting over 50 possible locations. Thanks to their efforts, after almost a year of limited activity, Encore Seniors Education Center will resume their 2023 Fall programming, offering “life-long learning” opportunities, and a social atmosphere for curious seniors. It is with great relief, excitement, and enormous gratitude that Encore’s Board of Directors will continue to serve their mandate; which is to assure that Encore continues to be a vital contributor to the well-being of those curious seniors who pass through the doors of their new classroom and office at 800 Twelfth St. East, Knox St Paul’s United Church.
Dorothy Forrester (past President)
On behalf of Encore Seniors Education Center of Directors
I read with interest the many articles addressing homelessness in the August 2, 2023—Volume 38 Issue 49. The City of Cornwall and community partners are clearly working diligently behind the scenes to address this crisis. However, I’m a little concerned that we are overlooking our population of citizens with intellectual disabilities.
An article “Provided by the City of Cornwall” stated that homelessness can also be caused by “system failures and housing shortages”.
Our citizens with intellectual disabilities on wait lists must be counted as homeless. The developmental sector is another system failure creating housing shortages across our province, including our communities in SDG.There are 367 citizens with developmental disabilities in SDG requiring housing. This number has tripled in the past twenty years and is thought to be very conservative. On a slightly larger scale, the Eastern Region has close to 7000 citizens with developmental disabilities on a wait list for housing. These numbers are staggering.
I had the honour with being invited as a guest speaker on August 3rd to share a few advocacy tips at the Tenant Information & Laucnch Night, hosted by the Tenant Association of Cornwall & Area. I had the opportunity to address the developmental sector’s housing crisis.
As stated in the same article of August 2: “The City of Cornwall has created a By-Name List, which contains the name of residents that self-identified as being homeless.”
I urge residents with intellectual disabilities to submit your name to the By-Name List with the City of Cornwall or submit an application with the Service Manager at the City of Cornwall. I urge family and friends of citizens with intellectual disabilities to assist with the submission, if needed.
I urge the City of Cornwall to accept these submissions and seriously consider working with the developmental sector, the families, and community partners to generate innovative housing solutions that include our citizens with developmental disabilities.
Joy Seguin (she/her)
Author: Is Advocating a Crime? Trust Everyone Trust No One
“…we can do better, together.” (p.102)