About Us

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Contact Info

+0123456789
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1234 North Avenue Luke Lane, South Bend, IN 360001

Donors & Sponsors

Champions Club of Recurring Donors

We extend a special thank-you to our Champions Club of monthly donors, including the Empower Simcoe employees whose voluntary payroll deductions show their extra dedication to the people we support. Please consider joining the club with a monthly donation. We always have room for more champions!

Andrea Dickins
Rose Mary and Thomas King
Victoria Ptasiuk
Anna Rinaldi

Empower Simcoe Employee Giving Program
Daniel and Ann Johnston
Jessica Skinner
Surbhi Warach

Kelly Houston
Ron Ptasiuk
Joseph McIsaac

Our thanks to all of our supporters!  Your donations and event sponsorship mean the Empower Simcoe Foundation is always able the help the people and families who need it most.

A.K. EnterprisesDonald MathesonKathleen White-RasanenRBC Wealth Management Dominion Securities
Alvin MooreDoreen DamarenKelly HoustonRobyn Frame
Andrea DickinsDorr Capital CorporationKempenfelt Rotary ClubRon Ptasiuk
Anna RinaldiEmpower Simcoe Employee GivingKiwanis Club of BarrieRose Mary and Thomas King
Anthony FlorioEnbridge Inc.Lake Country Office Solutions Inc.Sergio Morales, Barrie Ward 9 Councillor
Arlette UttonEquitable Life of CanadaLinda ForestSheldon C Barris
Arner & Nancy ArmstrongEssa PaintingLinda LavaléeShirley Hutchinson
Barbara SintonEvelyn & Wayne SnellingLisa MarshallSinclair Sports Medical Center
Barbara Warne EstateExit Realty Welcome Home BrokerageLonelm ConstructionSpectrum Financial Strategies
Barrie ColtsGals That GiveLorrie FranklandStephanie Oldfield
Barrie Kitchen Saver Inc.Gen-eer ConstructionLothar and Brigitte ThiemannSurbhi Warach
Beth and Barry FryerGeorge NagelM.S.W. PropertiesTara Dawn Winstone
Bradanick Construction Services Inc.Gerald BruceMadelyn RutledgeTim Berry
Brenda KrohnGilda Ann WhyneMargaret GoodTodd Sloan
Brian SametzHelen ThompsonMarilyn & Michael MilnerTom Richardson Electric (Stroud) Ltd.
Cari WhyneHoward CourtneyMaureen OliverTrillium Mutual Insurance
Carol ForgetHuronia Alarm & Fire Security Inc.May Court Club of BarrieUnited Way Simcoe Muskoka
Century 21 B.J. Roth Realty Inc.IBEW Local 636Michael E. Reed Professional Corporation Victoria Ptasiuk
Chuck and Dorothy McIlraveyInnisfil Community FoundationMichael Tough Vipond Fire Protection
Claudine CousinsIODE West Gwillimbury ChapterMurray Mechanical Systems Ltd. Wall-Armstrong & Green
Colin PrenticeJaclyn McAlpineNEXIM Healthcare Consultants Inc. Water Depot Essa
Compu-SOLVE Technologies Inc.James DeitchNicole McKinnon Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company
Comvida CorporationJames ThompsonOptimist Club of Barrie Wayne Clements
Cowan Insurance GroupJay's Sticky BunsOrillia Electric Wendy Stephens
Daniel nd Ann JohnstonJessica MacDonald Architect Inc.Pam & John Bobbette WHS Automotive
David & Julia ElliottJessica SkinnerPamela Lynn Froehlich William Dorey
Deborah Wall-ArmstrongJoe's No FrillsPayPal Giving Fund Canada Winmar Barrie/Orillia
Desjardins InsuranceJoseph McIsaacPetro-Canada Caremakers Youth and Philanthropy Initiative Canada
Dominos PizzaJust JunkRandy Craig

Service Awards

Congratulations to our 2022-2023 Award winners!

Years of ServiceStaff NameTitle
35Sandy CalvertEmployment Support Coordinator
30Sherri BeuckCommunity Support Worker
30Sandra ChildsAccommodations Support Worker
30Carol SteevesAccommodations Support Worker
30Laurie RussellSupported Independent Living Worker
30Velvet BurnieProperty and Procurement Manager
25Shirley GuitardAccommodations Support Worker
25Mike TurnerCommunity Support Worker
25Nadine LaFramboiseAccommodations Support Worker
25Tania DruryService Planning Coordinator
25Elaine EvansAccommodations Support Worker
25Thoralynn LaughlinAccommodations Support Worker
20Anthony OliverSupported Independent Living Worker
20Sheri BlincoeAccommodations Support Worker
20Shannon MooreAccommodations Support Worker
20Judi BentonEarlyON Program Facilitator
20Brad HooperInformation Technology Supervisor
20Debbie YoungEarlyON Program Facilitator
20Angie BendoSupport and Services Manager
20Soulange BurrowsAccommodations Support Worker
20Tammy DemersAccommodations Support Worker
20Louise LarocqueAccommodations Support Worker
15Brittany DurnfordCommunity Support Worker
15Michelle BakerAccommodations Support Worker
15Carolyn HarrisRespite Coordinator
15Amy BigelowAccommodations Support Worker
15Kristine PatenaudeAccommodations Support Worker
15Ashley JuddAccommodations Support Worker
15Heather KlanertSupported Independent Living Worker
15Anne LambertsenAccommodations Support Worker
15Tim LoftusAccommodations Support Worker
15Ron CameronAccommodations Support Worker
15Andrea Van LeusenFamily Home Social Worker
15Lori CastonAccommodations Support Worker
15Samantha HallidayAccommodations Support Worker
15Kelly BellSupports and Services Supervisor
15Judy PorterAccommodations Support Worker
10Tracy TemplemanAccommodations Support Worker
10Joe AdamsI.T. Support Specialist
10Kayla HallSupports and Services Supervisor
10Linda SmyeProcurement Coordinator
10Jennifer DoveAccommodations Support Worker
10Stephanie O'LearyAccommodations Support Worker
10Louisa CanziAccommodations Support Worker
10Jessica BagleyAccommodations Support Worker
10Candice MooreAccommodations Support Worker
5Jennifer BadranSupported Independent Living Worker
5Nicole BrammallAccommodations Support Worker
5Devyn ThomsonAccommodations Support Worker
5Shannon GlenAccommodations Support Worker
5Tosha ClissoldSupported Independent Living Worker
5Nicole BoltonAccommodations Support Worker
5Adam UrenAccommodations Support Worker
5Jude UyaeboAccommodations Support Worker
5Tamara HannonSupports and Services Supervisor
5Christopher FosterAccommodations Support Worker
5Erin SmithAccommodations Support Worker
5Greg MartinAccommodations Support Worker
5Georgina Drikos-WaltersAccommodations Support Worker
5Sarath RamananAccommodations Support Worker
5John JiangFinance and Operations Director
5Michael StevenAccommodations Support Worker
5Carol LajoieEarlyON Program Facilitator
5Kristina GynizioAccommodations Support Worker
5Ashley PatenaudeAccommodations Support Worker
5Michelle McIlraveyHousing Access Worker
5Luke AllenHousing Access Worker
5Dr. Claudine CousinsEmpower Simcoe CEO
5Evita PastorskaHuman Resources Manager
5Ceri ChaplickFinance Associate
5Angela HillAccommodations Support Worker

Congratulations on reaching these milestones, and thank you for your continued efforts to empower people to lead a meaningful and inclusive life.

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My Place Adult Services Inc

FOUNDATION

Legacy Gifts

Our deepest thanks to the families behind My Place Adult Services Inc. After 20 years of fundraising in Orillia, the families were looking for a charity that could fulfill their goal of residential services for adults with disabilities, and they chose the Empower Simcoe Foundation. The legacy of their fundraising will be a new home or facility in Orillia, to be announced by Empower Simcoe in the near future.

We also express our heartfelt gratitude to the Estates of Barbara Warne and Dorothy Wieder. Their legacy gifts first sustained their adult children within the care of Empower Simcoe until the end of their children’s lives. Then, from the balance remaining, each of these thoughtful donors also supported the Empower Simcoe Foundation with a gift in her will.

Consider Your Legacy

Naming the Empower Simcoe Foundation in your will is one of many thoughtful legacy gifts you could make. These include gift options that can help reduce your tax burden now. Whatever option you choose, your gift could help Simcoe County residents lead meaningful and inclusive lives for generations to come. Legacy gifts also provide seed funding for innovative housing projects like Lakeshore Ridge. You have the flexibility when planning your estate to ensure your family is taken care of while also supporting the charities that matter to you most. Click the button below to find out more.

Milestone Service Awards

Congratulations to our 2021-2022 Service Award winners

Years of ServiceStaff NameTitle
35Sandy CalvertEmployment Support Coordinator
30Sherri BeuckCommunity Support Worker
30Sandra ChildsAccommodations Support Worker
30Carol SteevesAccommodations Support Worker
30Laurie RussellSupported Independent Living Worker
30Velvet BurnieProperty and Procurement Manager
25Shirley GuitardAccommodations Support Worker
25Mike TurnerCommunity Support Worker
25Nadine LaFramboiseAccommodations Support Worker
25Tania DruryService Planning Coordinator
25Elaine EvansAccommodations Support Worker
25Thoralynn LaughlinAccommodations Support Worker
20Anthony OliverSupported Independent Living Worker
20Sheri BlincoeAccommodations Support Worker
20Shannon MooreAccommodations Support Worker
20Judi BentonEarlyON Program Facilitator
20Brad HooperInformation Technology Supervisor
20Debbie YoungEarlyON Program Facilitator
20Angie BendoSupport and Services Manager
20Soulange BurrowsAccommodations Support Worker
20Tammy DemersAccommodations Support Worker
20Louise LarocqueAccommodations Support Worker
15Brittany DurnfordCommunity Support Worker
15Michelle BakerAccommodations Support Worker
15Carolyn HarrisRespite Coordinator
15Amy BigelowAccommodations Support Worker
15Kristine PatenaudeAccommodations Support Worker
15Ashley JuddAccommodations Support Worker
15Heather KlanertSupported Independent Living Worker
15Anne LambertsenAccommodations Support Worker
15Tim LoftusAccommodations Support Worker
15Ron CameronAccommodations Support Worker
15Andrea Van LeusenFamily Home Social Worker
15Lori CastonAccommodations Support Worker
15Samantha HallidayAccommodations Support Worker
15Kelly BellSupports and Services Supervisor
15Judy PorterAccommodations Support Worker
10Tracy TemplemanAccommodations Support Worker
10Joe AdamsI.T. Support Specialist
10Kayla HallSupports and Services Supervisor
10Linda SmyeProcurement Coordinator
10Jennifer DoveAccommodations Support Worker
10Stephanie O'LearyAccommodations Support Worker
10Louisa CanziAccommodations Support Worker
10Jessica BagleyAccommodations Support Worker
10Candice MooreAccommodations Support Worker
5Jennifer BadranSupported Independent Living Worker
5Nicole BrammallAccommodations Support Worker
5Devyn ThomsonAccommodations Support Worker
5Shannon GlenAccommodations Support Worker
5Tosha ClissoldSupported Independent Living Worker
5Nicole BoltonAccommodations Support Worker
5Adam UrenAccommodations Support Worker
5Jude UyaeboAccommodations Support Worker
5Tamara HannonSupports and Services Supervisor
5Christopher FosterAccommodations Support Worker
5Erin SmithAccommodations Support Worker
5Greg MartinAccommodations Support Worker
5Georgina Drikos-WaltersAccommodations Support Worker
5Sarath RamananAccommodations Support Worker
5John JiangFinance and Operations Director
5Michael StevenAccommodations Support Worker
5Carol LajoieEarlyON Program Facilitator
5Kristina GynizioAccommodations Support Worker
5Ashley PatenaudeAccommodations Support Worker
5Michelle McIlraveyHousing Access Worker
5Luke AllenHousing Access Worker
5Dr. Claudine CousinsEmpower Simcoe CEO
5Evita PastorskaHuman Resources Manager
5Ceri ChaplickFinance Associate
5Angela HillAccommodations Support Worker

Congratulations on reaching these milestones, and thank you for your continued efforts to empower people to lead a meaningful and inclusive life.

Risk Identification Mitigating actions/controls (currently in place)
Labour shortage of employees in various departments and programs and at all levels
Ongoing recruiting drive. Ensuring competitive wages and benefits. Advocate for cost of living funding increase. Seek Employee feedback on how to improve work conditions.
Lack of cost of living funding increases resulting in the erosion of quality and capacity of service delivery over time.
Consistent dialogue and advocacy with funders. Reliance on fundraising to supplement government funding shortfalls. Invest in efforts to improve efficiency and productivity.
Labour disruption
Union negotiations with the support of labour relations lawyer. Work stoppage/contingency plan.
Cyber Security Breach
Employee cyber security training. Invest in up-to-date cyber security technology and best practises. Off-site backups. IT audits.
Temporary or permanent loss of funding from main funders.
Consistent dialogue and advocacy with funders. Maintain contingency fund. Maintain fundraising efforts.
Major disruption to operating environment due to natural disasters, pandemics, war, terrorism and other catastrophic events.
Pandemic planning, business continuity planning, insurance, contingency fund.

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Team and Department Meetings

150

Employees for Journey to Belonging Webinar

42

Participants for Family/Community Partner Information Sessions

CORE VALUES  RESPECT

JOURNEY TO BELONGING

Journey to Belonging: Choice and Inclusion lays out the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services’ long-term vision for developmental services in Ontario, where people with developmental disabilities are supported so they can participate and live meaningful lives in their communities and have access to the same opportunities and services as their fellow Ontarians.  It’s recognizing that being included in the community is about being respected and feeling welcomed.

In supporting this bold vision, Empower Simcoe Chief Executive Officer Dr. Claudine Cousins launched the agency’s first steps into Journey to Belonging; Choice and Inclusion by attending every program and supported living team meeting, having active conversations with employees, families and self-advocates, sharing updates on Empower Simcoe’s website and intranet, and hosting an Empower Simcoe employee Journey to Belonging webinar.  By ensuring that each and every employee, self-advocate and family has the information and necessary tools to implement Journey to Belonging; Choice and Inclusion, Empower Simcoe is positioned to be on the forefront of this transformational shift in how responsive services are chosen by people and families in the community.

Together, we can all make a meaningful impact and better support people with developmental disabilities.

Learn more below about how the Ministry of Children, Community, and Social Services, and Empower Simcoe are working on a long-term vision for developmental services, where people with developmental disabilities fully belong in their communities and are supported to live the lives they choose.

Respect Highlights:

  • Implementation of Listening forums to gather input from employees
  • Hiring of a Recruitment Coordinator to welcome new employees
  • The launch of an employee referral program

CORE VALUES COMMUNITY

A CELEBRATION OF BLACK HISTORY

During Black History Month and as part of our commitment to educating, making change, and celebrating the richness of Black history and culture, we learned how a number of our Empower Simcoe Black employees and people receiving services celebrated their history and culture.

By elevating the voices of these Empower Simcoe Community members, many vital stories were shared and celebrated – stories that should not only be celebrated during Black History Month but all year long.  Empower Simcoe’s Board of Directors, our Senior Leadership Team, and Empower Simcoe’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Advisory Council are actively working on creating and maintaining an inclusive culture where every employee, volunteer, and person supported feels valued and respected.

By celebrating the rich, cultural mosaic our employees, volunteers, and people supported bring to Empower Simcoe, we will honour and recognize the many contributions individuals from diverse backgrounds make to our agency, the community, the nation, and beyond.

Community Highlights

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Complex Care Profiles Reviewed For Placement Consideration At Lakeshore Ridge

CORE VALUES DRIVEN

A PLACE TO CALL HOME

As dignitaries, local officials, and Empower Simcoe’s Senior Leadership team members cut the ribbon at the front doorstep of Lakeshore Ridge, Empower Simcoe’s newest state-of-the-art supporting living location officially became a home.

In partnership with the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services (MCCSS), and Mackenzie Health, opening the doors to Lakeshore Ridge is a tangible reminder of our mission to empower people to lead a meaningful and inclusive life by providing the highest quality of services,” says Empower Simcoe Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Claudine Cousins.

When officials from MCCSS approached Empower Simcoe to suggest the project that eventually became Lakeshore Ridge, it was in response to the Ontario Ombudsman’s 2016 report “Nowhere to Turn,” citing “Ontario’s systemic failure to help desperate families who are unable to care for loved ones with developmental disabilities that has left vulnerable people in dire and often dangerous circumstances.” Lakeshore Ridge is Empower Simcoe’s response to this crisis: a home for adults with developmental disabilities who also have high support and complex care needs.

Welcoming Lakeshore Ridge to the neighbourhood was not without its challenges.  Early in the project, some neighbours voiced concern about the home and the people who would live there, being in the community.  As an organization driven to empower people to lead meaningful and inclusive lives, Empower Simcoe undertook a campaign to dispel any myths and misconceptions in the community. Door-to-door canvassing by the Lakeshore Ridge Project team, Town Hall Information sessions, and leave-behind fact sheets have effectively met the neighbourhood’s desire to be consulted while building trust and respect. 

For the people who now call Lakeshore Ridge home, in the tranquil setting of Oro-Medonte, a special community has formed where every individual’s unique challenges are understood, and everyone is supported to define and enhance their quality of life.

Driven Highlights

CORE VALUES ACCOUNTABLE

MATTHEW'S MEANINGFUL FAMILY TIES

Every month, Empower Simcoe conducts Reliability interviews to gain valuable insight into the lives of children, youth, and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  Based on The Council on Quality and Leadership’s twenty-one Personal Outcome Measure indicators, Empower Simcoe Reliability Interviews cover various topics, including choice, health, safety, social capital, relationships, rights, employment, and more.  Each interview helps to form a truly person-centered plan and tracks progress in implementing that plan to provide a reliable measurement of individual quality of life.

During his Reliability interview, Matthew communicated his desire to be further connected to family and natural supports.  Matthew’s Dad, Lance, has been unable to make regular visits to Orillia, so Matthew, with the assistance of an Empower Simcoe Support Worker, has been making the four-hour trip to Wyoming, Ontario, near Sarnia.  Supporting Matthew to have regular physical visits, supporting multiple phone calls each day, and even connecting online are ways Matthew is being supported to stay connected with who’s most important to him. 

As an accountable organization, Empower Simcoe collects Personal Outcome Measures data to analyze the impact of supports, identify effective services, and highlight areas where additional work is needed so that Matthew and everyone supported by Empower Simcoe can attain their individual goals and dreams.

Accountable Highlights