Kindale provides Community Living and Day Options to adults of all ages – from youth to seniors – and at all levels of functioning. These day programs make an immense difference in the lives of people with developmental and other disabilities. They provide opportunities for skill enhancement, recreation, socialization and community inclusion that significantly enhance self esteem and quality of life.
In recent years Kindale has committed to moving services out of ‘sheltered’ settings into the community wherever possible. This is particularly important for younger people who participated in the public school system and never experienced institutionalization. These young folk are often reluctant to participate in traditional programs. As a result Kindale has opened two ‘Community Inclusion Centres’ that operate more like a drop in or resource centres and many of the activities occur in the wider community. The first to open was ‘Mainstreet Connections’ in Downtown Vernon in 2008. ‘Independent Generation’ opened in a mall in Armstrong in 2009.
Mainstreet Connections opened in downtown Vernon in 2008 as an expansion of the New Beginnings program which began in 2002. Mainstreet is a resource for younger people who lead independent or semi-independent lives in the community and are not comfortable in traditional programs. Thanks to extra funding from organizations and foundations such as the Community Foundation of the North Okanagan, United Way and the Leon and Thea Koerner Foundation, it also reaches out to young people in the area who can be considered ‘at risk’. It offers a wide range of innovative services and activities including:
- A dynamic arts program
- Life skills and sex/relationship education
- Socials and movie nights
- Outdoor and wilderness recreation
In addition, a number of participants are able to earn extra money by working at various contracts that the Centre has with businesses in the downtown area. They also have ready access to an employment specialist who will work closely with them to find employment. Click here for more info about employment services.
Seaton Centre opened in 1993 in a commercial area of Vernon on land donated by the Kinsmen. It features 3,700 square feet of program space, is fully wheelchair accessible, and is designed to accommodate persons with a variety of disabilities. Seaton primarily serves older individuals, many of whom came to Kindale from large institutions such as Woodlands and Tranquille. Seaton Centre is also available to a variety of community groups such as Alcoholic Anonymous and Weight Watchers for evening and weekend use.
As the shift away from traditional, centre based programs continues, Seaton Centre is transforming into a multi use centre that will house a variety of partners, programs and services.
Independent Generation opened in a shopping mall in Armstrong mall in 2009. A few years later, Independent Generation was moved down the street from the main office and what was once Bechtold Centre, another day program centre. In 2017, Bechtold Centre flooded during a storm and was temporarily moved into the Independent Generation space. The two groups had so much fun together, that they decided to make the move permanent and the two Centres now operate as one at Independent Generation in Armstrong.
Like Mainstreet Connections, this centre reflects the shift towards greater community inclusion. Participants are encouraged to be active outside the Centre and many of the planned activities occur in the wider community.
The Salmon Arm Centre opened in 2015, right beside the Kindale Salmon Arm Thrift Store. This centre operates as a community inclusion centre and offers an outreach program, customized employment services, meal prep and planning options, and computer access for persons served to look for jobs and create cover letters and resumes with support.
The Salmon Arm Centre has Hot Lunch Days, where food is prepared and served to persons served to dine in a group setting, the centre also offers Healthy Emotions training which helps individuals to learn how to appropriately use and control their emotions, and it offers personal hygiene and laundry services to persons served. This centre also offers specialized activities and areas to those with sensory sensitivities, such as massage mats, rocking chairs, and a “sensory room” which has a simulated jellyfish tank where individuals can go to calm down and practice their concentration by tracking the jellyfish.
Through the customized employment program, in addition to providing support with writing resumes and cover letters, persons served can take part in odd jobs around the centre, such as cleaning binders and collecting and returning recyclables for money.