Participation Lodge supports the choices of individuals with complex needs to empower and enrich their lives.
Is to be a community leader fostering citizenship for people with complex needs.
A joint committee made up of the Ontario Federation for Cerebral Palsy and the Georgian Bay Lutheran Cluster (LutheRanch) started working together, with the goal of developing facilities that would provide recreational opportunities for families with developmental and physical disabilities. The initial plan to create accessible camping facilities was accomplished, but the survey they conducted at the start of the project revealed a need that went well beyond vacation opportunities; attendant care, housing, recreation, therapy, and other services were urgently required in Grey Bruce. The committee’s scope expanded with this knowledge, and led to the creation of Participation Lodge on 25 acres donated by LutheRanch. The project began with a million-dollar grant from the Ministry of Culture and Recreation in 1981 that required matching dollars, so fundraising began in earnest. Participation Lodge opened its doors in 1982 as primarily a vacation/relief program which was very successful. In October of 1985, the Ministry of Community and Social Services recognized the need to provide operational support, and the funding they provided opened the doors to 12 permanent supported individuals and enabled the creation of a life skills day program.
PLGB opened its first apartment program in Owen Sound at St. Francis Place, enabling 6 supported individuals to move into their own apartment with 24 attendant care as required. This program later expanded to 10 supported individuals. The same year The Ministry of Health - Housing provided funding for an expansion at the Holland Centre location and a new wing was built, large enough to house 12 supported individuals and provide two private respite rooms, which offer short-term accommodation to individuals with a disability.
The Lodge was later selected to provide a Grey Bruce program called ‘Attendant Care Outreach’, which enabled PLGB to provide attendant care to persons with disabilities in their own homes.
A second apartment project was started in Hanover at St Matthew's Place, to provide 24 hour attendant care to 9 supported individuals. This program later increased to 10 apartments and supported individuals, and the main site in Holland Centre increased to 22 full time supported individuals and 2 respite rooms.
The Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) program was started, providing training and group living supports to people living with brain injuries. The department started with 3 supported individuals and later increased to 6.
A bathing program was started to serve 30 individuals in the community, as an extension of the Attendant Care Outreach program.
Individualized supports program was initiated ‘Owen Sound Community Supports’ to serve 2 supported individuals in their own homes, and community. This program has now expanded to 3 supported individuals, with plans to increase our support capacity.
Over the years Participation Lodge Grey Bruce has developed and maintained numerous community programs which help increase revenue, enhance visibility and relationships with the public, and provide important services to members of the community. These include pool use and rental, a gym program, the Snoezelen Room, and a banquet hall with kitchen available for community use. We are excited to continue to expand our reach and capacity to provide support to our community, and look forward to being able to reopen our doors to the public this year as COVID-19 restrictions slowly wind down.