James Duncan, Executive Director, Central West Specialized Developmental Services, Oakville, Ontario: We’re a resource for specialized services to people. We look at individuals who live in the community, live with their families, they may live with service agencies, they may live together among peers, friends.

And those individuals may, in their life, or at an ongoing time in their life, have specialized needs. And what we provide is a team and a group of resources that involve interdisciplinary specialists, occupational therapy, psychology, social work, psychiatric services, nursing services, medical services. There’s an interdisciplinary group, but there are also what is called dual diagnosis resource workers.

[ Central West Specialized Developmental Services

  • Occupational Therapy
  • Psychological Services
  • Social Work
  • Psychiatric Services
  • Nursing Services
  • Medical Services ]

With dual diagnosis, you are an individual who has an intellectual disability; coupled with that disability, you have challenges of mental illness.

Primary target is that you help people with their needs to continue to live their life in their community, with their friends, with their families, with the people that they know, so that you can provide the support there. You build the capacity in their family, you build capacity in their support providers, that people can continue to live where they’ve always lived, where they want to live.

Our strategic plan calls for us to continue to open smaller, more integrated settings in the community so that people can truly live within their community and flourish within that. And it’s certainly our hope that over the next two years, we can open at least another two homes, and the number of people actually living here will have been significantly reduced.

First people moved in May, with another group moving in September. By all accounts, it's been a resounding success.