Kinsmen Community Residence
In September 1978 a needs identification analysis was completed, by the Adult Protective Service Worker for Stormont County, in which 33 people were identified as needing an independent living accommodation. Roberta Veley of the Ministry of Community and Social Services and Anne Locke, a Behavioral Science student from St. Lawrence College who had been on placement at the ministry office, initiated the establishment of an apartment style program for developmentally handicapped adults. As a sponsor was needed, the Kinsmen Club of Cornwall was approached and agreed to head up the project, with funding coming from the Ministry of Community and Social Services. Mr. Brian Peters made available apartments in his building at 117 Sydney Street in Cornwall for the program. Under the chairmanship of Jean Morgan of the Kinettes, the Kinsmen Community Residence Project Committee was formed, a group consisting of Kinettes and Kinsmen. The group worked vigorously, painting, wall papering, washing walls and windows, changing light fixtures, assembling furniture, making drapes, and much more, to prepare the apartments.
On March 30, 1979, the apartments were ready for the first resident to move in. The first chairperson of the board was D.A. MacMillan and the board members included Ron Mulligan, Hal Sherwood, Peter Morgan, Don Lemieux and Denis Carr. On June 2, 1979, Don Lemieux, as President, received on behalf of the Kinsmen Club of Cornwall Inc., the District Noel Kerr Service Award for the club's work in establishing the residence. The district includes the provinces of Quebec and Eastern Ontario.
In the spring of 1992, the residence board and the manager entered into negotiations with the Ministry of Housing and the President of Logement la Nativite regarding renting townhouses at geared to income rates. Logement and the Ministry were in the process of building the units at 176 Marguerite D’Youville and we were fortunate enough to be granted the use of 5 brand new units, Unit #39, 40, 42, 43 and the office being in Unit #41. The papers were signed in June and we moved to our new location on September 1, 1992.
The adjustment to the new location took a while for some residents who had enjoyed such easy access to the downtown. However it has proven to be a good move. The units are well maintained, in a nice residential area, on the bus route, have back yards for BBQing, basements for storage, and are bright and cheery.
Over the years staff has had the privilege to work with many individuals, some of whom have resided in the program on more than one occasion. Many of these people have moved on to greater independence, some with great success and others with difficulties. Each person has been a unique challenge and experience.
The Kinsmen Community Residence has been recognized as a program unique to Ontario in its semi-independent, apartment style living. It was and still is the philosophy of the residence to assist people in their efforts to become a viable part of the community and to grow to their greatest possible level of independence.
In April 2007, the program expanded by taking on an additional unit, Unit #1, which is designed for individuals in wheelchairs.
In April 2008, one other unit (Unit #4) was obtained to work with 2 other individuals in need of residential services.
In April 2010, unit #4 was transferred to unit #44 in order to be closer to the office so that enhanced supports could be offered to the individuals.