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Inspiring Possibilities
Image Credit: Fred Chartrand
Living in a small town in a rural area, it might seem daunting to search for help for someone with an intellectual disability. Not so in the Ottawa Valley. "Because we live in small towns, there's wonderful support from the people close by," says Jennifer Creeden, executive director of Community Living, Renfrew County South. "They are accepting and helpful. Companies offer jobs and some families help again and again. We hold annual events, and everyone comes out." The support workers run group homes, oversee two respite apartments and help some people live independently, in their own apartments. They offer a range of programs, training and placement help. Two people who enjoy some of the best Community Living has to offer are Rebecca Zimmerling and Debbie Broome. Rebecca is an enthusiastic young athlete who goes to the Special Olympics. Ball hockey is one of her strongest events. She is also works for Blue Iris Catering, a Community Living group that provides food services. Debbie is another beloved member of the Community Living family. She loves playing bocce ball and lives on her own, with some weekly support from Community Living. Jennifer says, "We work with others to improve the quality of life for people with developmental disabilities. And we love to do it."