True Experience Supportive Housing & Community Work Program

201 Forest Street East
Dunnville ON  N1A 3G5

Phone: 905-774-6165

True Experience Supportive Housing & Community Work Program

Supportive Housing

The True Experience Supportive Housing Program is a client centred program which began in 1981. It is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care.

We operate a seven bed transitional/congregate living residence named “Opportunity House”, and apart from offering affordable housing, also focuses on teaching activities of daily living, personal budget management and involvement in the decision making process. The Supportive Housing Program also offers supports to clients living independently in the community.

Existing Client Services

The True Experience Supportive Housing Program provides:

• Medium support accommodation
• Assistance and support to the resident in attaining his/her optimum level of functioning
• Assistance to resident in preparing for independent living in the community
• Promotion of effective use of leisure time through development of social and recreational skills
• Encouragement to the resident to develop wellness strategies (medication compliance, healthy lifestyle choices)
• Encouragement to resident to increase involvement in work activities, continuation of education and/or volunteerism
• Advocacy for resident with landlords and other community services
• Limited crisis intervention (medical, psychiatric, situational)
• Family education and support
• Community outreach and education


Intake and Eligibility Criteria

• 17 years of age and over, with a diagnosis of mental illness
• Demonstrated means of income, i.e. Ontario Disability Support Program, Canada Pension Plan (Disability), Ontario Works, Children’s Aid Society support
• Self-referral
• Referrals from other Mental Health agencies, Clergy, Family Doctor, Family members, Hospitals, other community resources
• Completion of “Application for Service” form and “Consent of Disclosure” form
• Interview with Supportive Housing staff and other residents
• Voluntary participation in program

Benefits for the Client/Resident

• 100% Rent Geared to Income
• Community integration/re-integration
• Non-institutionalized program and facility, a “home”, not just a house
• Socialization, Recreational activities
• On-going staff support
• Increased sense of belonging to a greater community
• Peer involvement and support
• Extended family atmosphere – caring, sharing, concerns
• Reduction of stigma associated with mental illness

Client/Resident Responsibilities

• Willingness to voluntarily participate in Supportive Housing Program and meaningful activities
• Desire to learn new skills and enhance present skill levels
• Fully participate in their recovery and well-being which includes following medical/psychiatrist prescribed medication regimen as an essential component in reducing re-hospitalizations and psychiatric episodes
• Ready to accept being socially, personally and financially responsible and accountable
• Being involved in the daily decision making process, and becoming empowered


Community Work Program

The True Experience Community Work Program began in 1981. It is a client centred program focusing on vocational training, skills development as well as employment, and is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care.

Program Activities

The Community Work Program provides vocational training skills development and employment through the following activities:

• Spring and Fall Property Cleanups
• Seasonal Lawn Maintenance
• Seasonal Snow Removal
• Janitorial Contracts
• Piecework, Packaging, Sub-Assembly

There are no fees/charges to participate in the program. There is no waiting list.



Existing Client Services

The True Experience Community Work Program provides:

• A self-sufficient, sustainable work program/environment
• A safe and healthy supervised work setting
• Individualized schedules for work/training/skills development for each participant
• Diversity of employment possibilities dependent on client choice, interest and ability
• Support to participants who wish to secure private sector employment
• Non-institutionalized program – “Reality Based”
• Assistance to participant in preparing for potential employment in the private sector
• Access to computers to learn keyboarding, resume writing, internet browsing
• Assistance and support to the participant in attaining his/her optimum level of functioning
• Support for filling out O.D.S.P. Earnings Report Forms
• Encouragement to increase work/skills training/hours of participation

Intake and Eligibility Criteria

• 17 years of age and over, with a diagnosis of mental illness
• Demonstrated means of income, i.e. Ontario Disability Support Program, Canada Pension Plan (Disability), Ontario Works, Children’s Aid Society support
• Self-referral
• Referrals from other Mental Health agencies, Clergy, Family Doctor, Family members, Hospitals, other community resources
• Completion of “Application for Service” form and “Consent of Disclosure” form
• Interview with Work Program Staff
• Legally able to work in Canada
• Voluntary participation in program

Benefits for the Client/Participant

• Individualized program, i.e. hours of work per day/week
• Increase in skills development, vocational training and employment related activities
• Opportunity to increase income
• Participants are paid prevailing Provincial Minimum Wage
• Participants receive semi-annual incentive bonuses based on individual hours of participation in work/employment activities
• Socialization with peers
• Staff support
• Community integration/re-integration
• Increased sense of belonging to the greater community
• Reduction of stigma associated with mental illness
• Realistic work/employment focus, i.e. expectations
• Increased sense of self-esteem and accomplishment
• Participation in a “highly thought of” program by the community leads to Social Inclusion

Client/Participant Responsibilities

• Willingness to voluntarily participate in the Community Work Program and meaningful activities
• Desire to acquire new skills and enhance present skills levels
• Fully participate in their recovery and well-being which includes following medical/psychiatrist prescribed medication regimen, as an essential component in reducing re-hospitalizations and psychiatric episodes
• Being socially and personally responsible and accountable

Social Recreation

A significant amount of data exists describing the correlation between mental health and socialization including fitness, work and healthy lifestyle. A Japanese study done in 2011 found a definite connection between the extent of face-to-face contact time and quantified mental health. The results suggest that people who experience large amounts of social interaction tend to have less stress, thereby improving their mood and overall mental health.
To that end, we recognize that a work-life balance is a vital component to everyone’s health and well-being. As part of our holistic approach to support people living with mental illness, we offer a variety of social recreation programs.
The primary purposes of these programs encourage participation and include:
• Interaction, engagement and activity on a consistent basis
• Supports and strategies for managing mental illness
• Physical activity to help combat obesity, diabetes, mental illness
• Encouragement to adopt a healthy lifestyle as an element to wellness

Club T.R.U.E. (Together - Recreation, Understanding & Enjoyment)
With the support of United Way Haldimand-Norfolk, True Experience repurposed space within its building to establish a “clubhouse”. The activities that take place in the “clubhouse” are designed to stimulate physical activity, social interaction and a sense of community and belonging. There are scheduled activities such as pool, darts, and euchre. These indoor activities provide a routine and stimulation particularly during the winter months…and more importantly – something to look forward to!
True Experience is fortunate to have a large outdoor space to accommodate badminton, horseshoes, and volleyball when the weather cooperates!
Inside or outside, physical activities are good for the heart and soul and contribute to a balanced lifestyle.

The PHINN Project (Promoting Health, Inspiring New Networks)
Aberdeen Health and Community Services Foundation, based in Brantford, Ontario believes in supporting exceptional community health and social services. It is with the generosity of this foundation that the PHINN Project was born.
People living in a rural community can experience the added stressor of lack of transportation. Without a consistent transit system or access to a car, people can become isolated. With isolation comes loneliness that can lead to a feeling of despair. Couple isolation due to transportation, with financial limitations, this closes the door for many to enjoy activities in nearby urban centres. The PHINN Project removes both of these critical barriers and provides opportunities for True Experience clients to visit places such as Ripley’s Aquarium, take in a Toronto Blue Jays game, watch a live musical production or enjoy a hike in a conservation area.


True Experience Supportive Housing and Community Work Program provides vocational, residential and social programs for adults that live with mental illness

True Experience is a community based, not for profit charitable organization that supports people living with mental illness. Established in 1981, we provide supportive housing (Opportunity House); community work program (helps seniors stay in their homes longer by taking care of the outdoor yard maintenance); social recreation programs (reduce isolation and increase social interaction for people living with mental illness).

Established November 1981, Non-profit charitable organization supporting people living with mental illness; provide employment opportunities (for people living with mental illness) in our lawn care and maintenance service business that also helps seniors

Our mission is to help adults challenged by psychiatric disabilities, with a primary focus on schizophrenia, to attain a fulfilling and independent lifestyle within the community, by providing vocational, residential and social programs.

Show Map Website

Business Information


Founded: November 1981

Categories: Counseling & Mental Health, Non-Profit Organization

Hours

Mon: 8:00 am - 4:00 am
Tue: 8:00 am - 4:00 am
Wed: 8:00 am - 4:00 am
Thu: 8:00 am - 4:00 am
Fri: 8:00 am - 4:00 am



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Past Events

True Experience Car Wash $8 Exterior ONLY - BBQ - Bake Sale

True Experience Car Wash $8 Exterior ONLY - BBQ - Bake Sale
09:00 am - 28 April 2018

At True Experience Supportive Housing & Community Work Program

Established in 1981, True Experience is a community-based charitable organization that serves people in the Dunnville area living with a mental illness. In April...

World Suicide Prevention Day

World Suicide Prevention Day
04:00 pm - 10 September 2017

At True Experience Supportive Housing & Community Work Program

IGNITING HOPE – SUICIDE AWARENESS EVENT Sunday, September 10, 2017 4:00 p.m. T-Shirt Pickup – (pre-registration required) 5:00 p.m. Walk (from True Experience....

Dunnville Grand Tour Supporters and volunteers info session

Dunnville Grand Tour Supporters and volunteers info session
06:00 pm - 27 June 2017

At True Experience Supportive Housing & Community Work Program

We are about two months away from the ride. We are holding the first commite meeting to start putting the pieces together. Please bring your ideas, questions and...

Ride Don't Hide

Ride Don't Hide
08:30 am - 25 June 2017

At True Experience Supportive Housing & Community Work Program

About the Ride The Canadian Mental Health Association, Brant Haldimand Norfolk Branch and True Experience is calling upon cyclists levels to join the movement...

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