A message from Karla Verschoor, Inclusion BC

We’re Standing Strong Together

We’re very fortunate here in BC. We’re standing strong together.

We’re seeing extraordinary generosity and sacrifice to keep each other safe.

We’ve seen great leadership emerge at every level, from all levels of government, from our members across BC, our advocacy partners, right down to the neighbourhood, family, and individual levels.

We are very thankful that the B.C government has stepped up with thirty-five million dollars of emergency support for service organizations and home share providers through Community Living BC.

That spirit of community and inclusion has helped us avoid the dire consequences and fears that people, including people with disabilities and their families, are confronting in other places.

We also need to confront that despite our best efforts, despite all that we’ve accomplished and despite the great work of so many, things are not OK for too many in our community.

Many British Columbians are wrestling with fear, loneliness, and insecurity, but those with disabilities face an additional worry of whether their lives will be seen to matter if they get sick. So far we’re seeing excellent care and assurances from the top, but we need to ensure that’s the reality for all at the frontlines of our health care system.

We’re especially worried about the families who have had to step up in this time of physical and social distancing to fill in for closed schools, services, and community support programs.

These families have been asked to provide complex care and support for children, youth and adults with intellectual disabilities, 24/7, for an indefinite period of time, with very limited assistance.

Families caring for people with critical health needs can’t even get basic medical supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) needed to keep their loved ones safe.

Many of these families were already struggling and on the verge of crisis before COVID-19.

We’re now asking them to do even more, and families are being crushed by these unrealistic demands.

We need to urgently re-direct social supports to the families who have had to take on providing 24/7 critical care for children, youth, and adults with complex needs in the home setting.

This is a key focus of our current advocacy and collaborative work with governments and community partners in the coming weeks. I’m asking all British Columbians to support us in ensuring that we don’t leave our most vulnerable families behind.

Karla Verschoor
Executive Director
Inclusion BC

BC Government: $35 Million Emergency Funding

Emergency supports announced for
home share and support service providers.

On April 21, 2020, Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction announced provincial emergency funding that will be distributed through Community Living BC (CLBC) to ensure people with developmental disabilities stay supported and safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of the B.C. Government’s $5-billion COVID-19 Action Plan, up to $35.6 million will be available over three months from CLBC to support service providers to continue delivering residential services, including group homes, home-sharing, and supported independent living.

“The last six weeks have reinforced the critical role of the community-living sector in keeping people safe and supported,” said Karla Verschoor, Executive Director of Inclusion BC. “These emergency funds will allow organizations to continue providing essential services during the coming months. Inclusion BC applauds the government for its support of our member organizations.”

For the latest information from CLBC, visit CLBC Information on COVID-19.

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