A Place to Call Home
A story of true care coordination
Having escaped to Canada from her war-torn country two years ago, Diana* came to Waterloo Region with her young child in tow. New to the country and to the area, Diana was alone, frightened, and unsettled. Thankfully Diana was met by the warm embrace of the Centre for Family Medicine and Reception House where she was connected with the temporary resources she needed to begin her life here in Canada.
Having lived with a developmental disability since birth that resulted in significant health and cognitive issues, Diana was struggling to raise her 5 year old son on her own. As the Resettlement Assistance Program federal funding, already extended by 12 months, was coming to an end, Diana was placed in crisis housing while the Waterloo Wellington LHIN worked feverishly with care coordinators to find her a place to live.
Jessica Bauman from Emergency Management Branch with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care worked tirelessly to collaborate with multiple care providers to find her a more permanent place to live. “We knew that Diana was running out of time and that without intervention, she would be facing homelessness,” says Jessica. “Given her health situation and her cognitive state, she was in a very vulnerable position.”
Jessica reached out to Waterloo Wellington LHIN care coordinator Sharon Viscardi, who is currently supporting the Sanctuary Health Centre, for vulnerable newcomers that provides tailored health care treatment for refugees. Sharon was able to work closely with Developmental Services Resource Centre Waterloo Region (DSERC), already connected to Diana, as well as multiple other community partners who were able to secure additional funding through Parents for Community Living to ensure Diana could find permanent housing.
Just under the wire of her funding expiry date, Diana will remain at a supportive living residence where she receives much needed care and support to live a healthy and active lifestyle.
Unable to care for her young son, Diana maintains a close relationship with him through an open adoption and regular visits. Diana also attends a day program five days a week where she plays her favourite game, basketball.
Thanks to the dedication and collaboration of Waterloo Wellington LHIN staff and community care providers, Diana now has a place she calls home.
* Name has been changed to protect privacy