Our Stories

St.Amant Families Update for May 2023

May 5, 2023

Dear Families,

Spring has finally arrived, and some welcome news has come along with the warm weather. This week, Shared Health announced the end of COVID-related rules around masking and physical distancing. Beginning May 10, people we support, staff, visitors and volunteers will no longer be required to wear a mask in our main building at 440 River Road. We are still working through the details and will be sharing more in the very near future. We look forward to reconnecting in person so many of you we haven’t seen in a long time.

In April, we celebrated the grand opening of the newly renovated $4 million Stabilization Unit. Thanks to very generous local donors, St.Amant’s Stabilization Unit is a dignified, modern and safe place to provide specialized, short-term intensive supports to people in crisis. The Stabilization project team and the St.Amant Foundation team worked hard to make this project a reality. One family shared the story of how the Stabilization Unit supported their son in a time of need. Their story is inspirational. In case you haven’t already seen it, I invite you to watch this video about the Stabilization Unit and hear their story (https://youtu.be/HRwnvlgVLWk).

The Reseau Compassion Network, with matching funds from our own Foundation, is supporting us to lead a two-year Meaningful Connections project dedicated to creating relationships and combatting loneliness. We have full time staff devoted to working with people we support, and their teams, with the goal of creating meaningful connections with other community members. This important work is already underway. While this is a two-year project, we know that the need for connection is permanent. We will take the lessons we learn from Meaningful Connections and build them into our regular work in all of our programs. Supporting people to have meaning, purpose and connection in their lives is what we are here to do.

As you may have heard, St.Amant has accepted the responsibility of providing case management to most families in Manitoba who have a child diagnosed with autism. Over the last few months, we have been recruiting case workers (Registered Social Workers), who will help families plan, advocate and connect to available services in the community. So far, we have hired our first group of case workers and are starting to receive hundreds of files from Children’s disABILITY Services.

Construction of the River Road Housing project is well underway, right at the front of our property at 440 River Road. Crews have poured foundations for two out of three new houses and work on the third home will begin soon. We expect construction to take about a year. Once complete, those houses will become homes to ten people moving mainly from Health & Transition Services and the Manitoba Developmental Centre.

Next Wednesday, May 10, is Bear Witness Day, a day meant to honour the legacy of Jordan River Anderson and recommit to the full implementation of Jordan’s Principle in Canada. We believe that all children belong with their families, their culture, and their community. On this day, we invite you to honour and celebrate Jordan River Anderson and Jordan’s Principle by watching Jordan River Anderson’s: The Messenger (https://www.nfb.ca/film/jordan-river-anderson-the-messenger/). Bear Witness Day is also an important opportunity to thank our many partners in First Nations across Manitoba, who have welcomed our staff into their communities and allowed us to walk alongside their children.

Enjoy your weekend,

Ben Adaman
President & CEO

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