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With the holiday season in full swing, we hope you have had moments of joy, good company, and celebration.

The holidays are always a wonderful time to look back on the year you have had.

For us, 2022 started with a bang. Through 2020 and 2021, CLGW was incredibly fortunate to have minimal COVID-19 outbreaks. However, someone forgot to share the fortune with 2022. As our team managed 20+ outbreaks in a matter of 4 months, other Development Service providers were praising our teams. We may have been having outbreaks, but they were not spreading from home to home. This was something we would later learn was rare, and a huge testament to the diligence and hard work of our DSPs. They accepted the charge when we implemented infection prevention and control (or as we call them, preventative measures). A big high-five to our staff, the people we support and their families and friends for helping us stop COVID in its tracks.

Our long-time Director of Service, Debb Young, retired in June. With more than 39 years dedicated to CLGW, Debb had seen it all. She brought compassion and thoughtfulness into her leadership. We celebrated her retirement and have since dedicated one of our meeting spaces in Harriston in her honour.

In July, we hosted a housing summit. Out of many meaningful conversations, one thing was clear: many people in our community are facing challenges to find and stay in affordable and accessible housing. People with disabilities face the additional barrier of requiring supports to live in their own homes. While CLGW has developed homes that create stable housing, there is still more to do. With 39 homes in our portfolio, and 150 people supported in those homes, we know there are approximately 140 more people still waiting, and many others in precious housing situations. From the summit came a strategy that will see CLGW have a long-term strategy to take intentional action to address housing issues, and the Board approved.

Through the summer, we launched the Pieces of the Pie Project. With well over 100 people contributing their artistic vision, we had the good fortune of unveiling the first Piece of the Pie art installation at our September Annual Meeting.

We also launched our 2021-2022 Annual Report in September. It offers a nice recap of the WITHology project (Accessible Little Libraries coming soon!). It also offers some snippets into how people are finding their way again in a less COVID-restricted world.

In October, we began a partnership with Project Read, Action Read and 2nd Chance Employment to offer LEG Up! To Retail. This employment readiness course got rolling in November and will wrap up mid January 2023.

We also got moving on construction for our Digital Hubs in Guelph. These spaces will offer a quiet space that provides the technology needed for people to access online support and activities. They will act as a compliment to our existing Day Services, and when complete, will be accessible to anyone who access the Community Living Centre in Guelph. Webinars, virtual classes, online friendship and advocacy groups, one-to-one planning, virtual doctor’s appointments, online job-readiness activities and more, can all happen inside a Digital Hub.

For Giving Tuesday, our team reached out to donors, families and friends to help. We were seeing an alarming increase in the number of people accessing the Grocery Assistance Program. Thanks to you, we restocked our pantry shelves in Guelph and put 4-6 months worth of funding into the Grocery Assistance Program for 2023.

2023 shows no signs of slowing down. In the New Year, you will hear more about the Digital Hubs. You will also learn more about our upcoming Strategic Planning project, the first Accessible Little Library installation, Connect and Plan Services – CLGW’s new database that will have a family portal, and much more.

On behalf of CLGW, wishing you and your family best wishes into the New Year.

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