A new community for Dave thanks to our supporters …

One of the most difficult things for everyone during the pandemic was the feeling of being cut off from others.

Through our virtual program, Nikki Coulson was able to gather a group of participants together on Zoom for socializing and exercising through daily sessions like Mind, Body & Soul, which featured yoga and tai chi, or the Around the World, a time to chat about different locations. Fridays were dance parties where participants chose their favourite songs.

For Dave, a normally quiet person, the virtual program was a chance for him to connect with others and begin verbalizing again. He thrived with the support he received from Nikki, the other participants and even Nikki’s dog Cooper.

At home, Dave’s sister noticed him starting to verbalize more, speaking full sentences rather than one-word responses. “He takes a long time to reply with an answer, so people usually finish it or move on,” says his sister. “He is just processing it. The Zoom meetings are helpful.”

Nikki is proud of the way Dave’s confidence has grown and how all the participants embraced the program. The program brought together a group of people who otherwise wouldn’t have had the chance to meet.


Emily Adams normally lives at our Queenston Residence, but she spent the pandemic living at home. With her interest in the culinary arts, Emily decided to take the intensive 15-week Basic Cook Level 1 training program at Liaison College.

Emily’s mom got in touch to find out if Emily’s Passport would cover tuition. The Passport Program, funded by the Ontario Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services, provides funding for adults with developmental disabilities to help with community participation, activities of daily living and skill development.

Since tuition is not normally covered under the guidelines, Community Living Hamilton submitted an extenuating circumstance report. Emily was approved and was able to use the full amount of her 2021-2022 funding to cover a portion of her course fee.

While the course was a lot of hard work, Emily loved learning to make new dishes, from pastas and sauces to cakes, pies and even French omelettes for brunch. We were so proud when Emily finished her final exam with an amazing 87%! But Emily wasn’t done yet. She wanted to go on and do the more advanced level, so we submitted another extenuating circumstance report. It was approved as well, and she was able to use her 2022-2023 Passport Funding to cover a portion of the cost of her next course.

Emily graduated the program and is now all set to go with her diploma, her official chef’s uniform provided by the school and the Food Handler certificate she earned. She would love to be a chef in a restaurant kitchen some day. We know Emily will do great things with the exciting new skills she’s acquiring, meeting lots of new peers along the way!


Married for an impressive 42 years, Margaret and Charlie are able to live independently with some help from the Supported Independent Living program and their amazing staff person, Mary.

The two are well known for their active involvement in our drum corps for many years, as well as their participation in the Special Olympics playing baseball.

The couple’s goal is to live independently for as long as possible in their apartment together. Community Living Hamilton helps them achieve that goal with resources that include lift chairs, hospital beds, alert buttons and walkers, as well as coordination of services from other agencies, such as a personal grocery shopper, Meals on Wheels delivery and a personal support worker every day.

All of this support allows them to thrive at home while still going out and being active participants in their community – something that means a lot to them. Whether they’re at a Bulldogs or Tiger-Cats game or out bowling, the friendly and active duo love to socialize. And we love to help them do just that.


Singalongs. Campfires. Swimming outdoors. Camp experiences are a meaningful part of the lives of so many of the people we support.

That’s especially true for Ron Goodwin from Appleford Residence, an enthusiastic camper for a long time. Outgoing and friendly, Ron always looks forward to seeing familiar faces at the Muskoka camp he has attended for years, where he loves swimming and kicking around a ball.

Unfortunately, when things shut down in 2020 because of the pandemic, Ron’s camp shut down too. As the world grew more isolated, he had to miss out on the activity he loved. Thankfully, great news came in August 2021. Ron was thrilled to hear he could attend camp once more when the province allowed camp programs to run again with COVID safety plans in place.

We worked closely with Ron, his family and the camp to support Ron’s goal of attending, reviewing the camp plan and completing risk assessments.

Ron had a blast, renewing old friendships and making new ones in a community of people just as enthusiastic about camping as he is!