About Community Living ~ Fort Erie
Our Roots and Growth
In 1957 a few parents gathered at Town Hall in response to a newspaper ad placed by a parent of child with Down’s Syndrome. At the time, there were only two services available for children with intellectual challenges – a segregated school in Welland with parent transportation and an institution in Orillia. For adults, the only options were to stay at home with no programs or be admitted to Hamilton Psychiatric Hospital for life.
Those parents wanted more for their sons and daughters so they started their own organization and began by implementing a school program locally. Classes were first held in 1958 in a room at the Canadian Legion and then moved to a small building on Lavinia Street in 1960.
The shift in thinking and attitude towards people with disabilities throughout the 70’s drove the Association to constantly change and improve.
Throughout the years Community Living ~ Fort Erie has strived to meet the needs of people with intellectual challenges and their families in our community. We employ approximately 80 full and part-time staff with an annualized operating budget of approximately 4 million dollars. Volunteers sit on our Board of Directors, assist with fundraising and build relationships between the people we support and their community.
Today we support over 180 families in the Greater Fort Erie Community!!