$1.4 Million Living Unit Opening at St.Amant’s River Road Place
- May 23, 2018
There’s no place like home or the place you call home for awhile. St.Amant’s River Road Place was built nearly a century ago and with just a few small renovations, the living areas in the complex care facility are far from homey for the over 100 people who stay there at any given time.
“We’re working toward making major changes in the way we offer services at River Road Place and human rights for people with intellectual disabilities is the driver for the changes,” said John Leggat, President & CEO of St.Amant.
Those changes include seeing the facility on River Road change from a developmental centre to a complex health care facility, meaning that people with intellectual disabilities will come to stay when they need some extra health support, rehabilitation, end of life care, respite and behavioural stabilization.
“A big part of the changes include refreshing the living areas, moving to one person rooms, warming up the environment so it’s less sterile and more conducive to natural living patterns of shared meals, family time, privacy and dignity,” said Leggat.
The major funder for this renovation is The Winnipeg Foundation, with the goal of using this living unit as an example to show other potential funders what can be done with their support.
“We are so pleased to be part of this important project that serves our most vulnerable citizens. St.Amant has a long history of helping ensure a Winnipeg where community life flourishes for all,” said Rick Frost, CEO of The Winnipeg Foundation.
There are still five more units to renovate, and it’s a goal that the St.Amant Foundation has taken on all on its own without any funding from the government.
“We’re so grateful to The Winnipeg Foundation for being the first to support this huge initiative,” said Juliette Mucha, Director of the St.Amant Foundation. “With their support, we’ve already been able to get other supporters on board to help with the other living areas. They have always been visionary supporters of our community and we couldn’t do what we do without them.”
The new living area is now re-opened for the residents staying there and the response from them and their families has been really positive.
“When I come to visit my sister, we have a private place to visit now. I know that she has her meals in the beautiful kitchen with others and the lighting and décor make it feel so much more like home,” said Josie Lucidi, sister of Cathy Romeo.
A Meaningful Legacy
- April 27, 2018
Janet Franczyk is a committed and devoted mother, a successful retired business woman, a top fundraiser for the St.Amant Free the Spirit Festival and also a thoughtful planner.
As soon as you meet Janet, you know that she enjoys engaging and getting to know the people around her. She has many community connections and a very busy social life. Most importantly she loves her family, her two sons and her daughter Donna-Marie. Donna-Marie has lived at St.Amant’s complex residential care facility for over 40 years.
“I’m very happy with the care my daughter receives. When I learned that people were collecting pledges for the St.Amant Festival, I felt compelled to help out and give back,” said Janet.
It’s that desire to give back that also led Janet to make a planned gift to the St.Amant Foundation in her will. Donna-Marie’s two brothers visit weekly, Janet lives nearby and attends Sunday mass at St.Amant’s chapel with her daughter. The entire family comes to St.Amant’s River Road Place at Christmas for dinner and the Franczyk family celebrated Donna-Marie’s 50th birthday at the St.Amant Spirit Cottage.
St.Amant is truly a part of the Franczyk family. Janet’s planned gift is a way of thanking St.Amant for always providing her daughter with excellent care and utmost respect.
A planned gift is a popular way for individuals and families to leave a significant or “ultimate” gift to St.Amant. It’s a wonderful tribute to a family member or the staff who have supported a loved one for many years. Planned gifts are also a good way to plan and manage estate and capital gains taxes.
“I am inspired by Janet’s family stories and honoured by her commitment to enrich the quality of lives of the individuals St.Amant supports through her legacy gift,” said Juliette Mucha, St.Amant Foundation Director.
If you are interested in legacy giving, please contact the St.Amant Foundation at 204-258-7052 or email@example.com.
Janet with her daughter Donna-Marie and her son Chris.
Watch St.Amant’s April 17th Town Hall on Facebook Live
- April 17, 2018
The next Town Hall is on Tuesday, April 17 from 1:30pm to 3:15pm in the St.Amant Cafe. The Town Hall is a chance to ask questions to John Leggat, President & CEO, and hear about the progress of St.Amant’s strategic priorities.
Making Meaningful Friendships with St.Amant’s PALS Program
- April 6, 2018
At St.Amant we’ve heard from people we support and their families for a long time that a critical piece of quality of life is missing for people with developmental disabilities and that is friendship and unpaid relationships. Those relationships are important for so many reasons: to ease loneliness, to add quality to life, to discover reciprocity, to know that someone knows you and has your back, to expand your network, etc. For people with disabilities, it’s also important to have people in your life who know you well enough that they can help advocate for what you need in case your family is no longer able.
Tracy Laluk, Manager, Volunteer Services was on CBC’s Information Radio this week to discuss the program.
“A lot of individuals experience loneliness and we might not even realize that individuals are lonely – thinking that they’re around people all day. It doesn’t matter where you live, there’s loneliness.”
Our volunteer services department has started a PALS Program to help address this issue. They are matching volunteers who are looking for a friend, with people supported by St.Amant who are also looking for a friend. They compile information about both parties to see what kinds of interests they have and matching people together.
“Just like blind dating, it doesn’t work for everyone. It doesn’t mean we’ll stop looking for that perfect match, it just makes us want to work even harder. Not only for the individual that’s looking for a match but the volunteer looking for the match, as well.”
So far the program has been very successful with 60 matches and 6 more people on a waitlist. If you’re interested in joining the PALS Program, visit stamant.ca/volunteering/apply. Watch a short testimonial video below from some of the first volunteers in the PALS Program.
St.Amant recognized for their work with newcomers to Canada
- March 22, 2018
The Government of Canada is recognizing St.Amant for its role in connecting newcomers to meaningful volunteer opportunities, language training, and permanent employment supporting individuals with developmental disabilities and autism, and their families.
The non-profit organization in Winnipeg, Manitoba, was congratulated today by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister Ahmed Hussen as one of the winners of the 2018 Employer Awards for Newcomer Employment for their exemplary work to help newcomers to Canada find and retain jobs and enhance their employment skills. St.Amant offers multiple training opportunities after volunteers complete 100 hours of service including English at Work and on-site training through Blue Cross, all at no cost to participants. The organization also hosted a citizenship ceremony in February 2017 as part of Canada 150 celebrations, where several staff became Canadian Citizens alongside other newcomers from the local community.
Every year through these awards, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) recognizes local businesses’ innovative efforts to improve the integration of newcomers into the labour market across Canada. The winning organizations help reduce the barriers faced by newcomers in entering the labour market and improve their overall settlement in Canada.
Winners were announced at the 2018 Employer Council of Champions Summit, organized by Hire Immigrants Ottawa. The Summit brought together business, government and civic leaders to engage in a dialogue about the effective integration of refugees and immigrants into the labour force, and to celebrate employer excellence.
“I am both grateful for and impressed by the work that St.Amant has done to support the successful settlement and integration of newcomers to Canada. Through its unique volunteer placement program with a 90% hire rate into permanent employment, St.Amant is truly a leader in breaking down the barriers that many newcomers experience when trying to find meaningful employment. This makes a significant difference in the lives of newcomers to Canada, as well as to the children and families that St.Amant supports in their community.”
– The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
“St.Amant relies on newcomers to fill critical positions within our organization. We’re grateful to the newcomer groups for believing in St.Amant’s mission and bringing a beautiful diversity to our workforce through sharing language, music, food and cultural celebrations. We look forward to continuing to strengthen our employment support for newcomers and to sharing what we’ve learned with other organizations.”
– Jennifer Kilimnik, Director of Human Resource Services at St.Amant
IRCC partners with Hire Immigrants Ottawa to recognize private businesses that support the successful labour market integration of newcomers in Canada.
Winning employers are chosen based on nominations from settlement service provider organizations.
St.Amant employs over 1,800 staff and hundreds of volunteers, and supports more than 1,600 children. Since introducing the English at Work program in 2014, more than 125 staff and volunteers have benefited from over 10,000 hours of language training and support.