Parents and workers unite to stop closure of home and relocation of residents with developmental disabilities in Durham Region.
Workers and parents of people with developmental disabilities currently living in Community Living Oshawa/Clarington homes are uniting to fight management’s decision to close a home and relocate residents in a different municipality, and are urging the provincial government to step in to stop the closure of the home. This heartless decision will uproot residents and reverse years of progress achieved through continual care provided by their current caregivers, warns the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), representing workers at the Community Living homes.
“It is unacceptable for management to just uproot people from their homes, their families and their community,” said Donna Wright, CUPE National representative for Local 2936. “We are talking about residents who require special care from caregivers who they are familiar with. It took years of continual care for residents to be comfortable in their homes and with their caregivers – now management has decided to disrupt their lives by closing their home and moving them away from their familiar surroundings. This is wrong, and we will work with parents to urge decision-makers to stop this move.”
Parents of residents living in the Wyndfield home in Whitby were informed of the home’s closure and told their children will be relocated to Oshawa on June 22. Meanwhile, family members of a resident living in the Rossland home in Oshawa were told their child will be moved to Scugog on June 23.
“We met with the parents to hear their concerns and what we found was that the parents, just like the workers, were not involved in deciding the fate of the home and the relocation of their children,” continued Wright.
“We were given different reasons why the home is being closed, including underfunding and operational challenges. But these reasons cannot justify why residents, some who have lived there for decades, should be moved without discussions on what it would take to keep them in their homes. The parents and the residents were just told they had no rights – well, we beg to differ, and we are outraged, not only with the decision, but also with the way the whole thing is being handled.”
The group is planning to meet with decision-makers, including management, the board of directors, local MPPs, and the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services to stop the closure and relocation of residents. “So far, the decision-makers have not been forthcoming with information nor have they been willing to help the families. The decision-makers must do the right thing and keep residents in their homes with their caregivers, and in their community, with their families.”
To arrange for an interview with family members or a CUPE representative, and for further information, please contact:
Donna Wright, CUPE National Representative, 416-894-5475
James Chai, CUPE Communications, 905-739-3999