Home For Children With Intellectual Disabilities – Photo Courtesy of CNW
June 16, 2011 @ 11:30AM
MONTREAL, Quebec, June 16, 2011 — The Taylor-Birks Foundation today hosted hundreds of guests at the grand opening and open house of Eleanor Côté Home, a brand-new specialized children’s respite home in Beaconsfield, which corporate donors, West Montreal Readaptation Centre (WMRC), Centre Marc Vanier (CMV) and the community have helped to grow over two years by raising over $1 million.
The facility will provide much-needed respite to parents of children with an intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorder and/or severe behavioural disorder. It will be able to accommodate up to six children at once, including those with physical disabilities, and will provide those children with a wide variety of fun activities tailored to their interests and needs.
“This house is a dream come true for the families of children with complex needs,” said Gary Whittaker, chairman of the fundraising committee and the WMRC Board of Directors.
“We built this house for them because there’s no other way they can get a break from caring for their child full-time.
“To our partners, our employees, our community and all of our donors: we really couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you for your dedication, collaboration, and hard work.”
Eleanor Côté Home is located in Beaconsfield behind WMRC’s Department of Child and Family Services with its specialized staff and facilities, which include a gym and multisensory room.
While the Taylor-Birks Foundation raised the funds necessary to build the house, WMRC partner Centre Marc Vanier contributed seed money, owns the building’s title and will be in charge of maintaining it.
“Because it has been built from scratch, Eleanor Côté Home’s design and every detail have its future clients in mind,” said Michel Massie, president of the property management non-profit. “It is perfectly adapted to their needs.”
From the beginning, planners insisted that the house be a “home” and not an institutional residence. It is spacious, accessible and safe, with playful and colourful decor inspired by Louise Chaddock Design.
“Not only is this house desperately needed, it has turned out to be more beautiful than anyone ever imagined,” said Martine Beaurivage, director, Child and Family Services, WMRC.
“It is a real home that blends in with our family-friendly neighbourhood. It’s comfortable, inviting and safe.”
The house has been operating for three weeks and will allow 48 families to receive one three-day respite period per month. Please visit a Website dedicated to the home at http://www.crom-wmrc.ca/maison-repit
Who will benefit?
The respite home’s services will be chiefly available to families from the West Island, Lachine, LaSalle, Point St. Charles, Westmount, NDG and Park Extension. Six children will be able to stay in the home at once, for up to three nights in a row, providing hundreds of “children nights” of respite to parents and siblings of children with complex needs and slashing WMRC’s waiting list for respite by almost half. Ultimately, this respite home will help to keep our community’s families together.
“There is a huge need for projects like these, which go beyond what the government can provide, and the community recognized that,” said Ian Moodie, president of the Taylor-Birks Foundation.
“We can’t be grateful enough for the tireless efforts of our campaign team and the generosity of our donors.”
The facility is named Eleanor Côté Home in recognition of the Eleanor Côté Foundation, the donor that “put the Building Hope campaign over the top” and launched the home’s construction.
Mrs. Côté herself energetically shoveled the first pile of earth at a ground-breaking ceremony for the home one year ago. Nearly 90 years old, Mrs. Côté has been a volunteer and community organizer for the West Island, and for people with an intellectual disability, for over five decades.
Among other major donors, the Rotary Club of Westmount helped to launch the campaign in 2008 with the first major donation, followed by Power Corporation of Canada, the Tenaquip Foundation, the Service d’adaptation et d’intégration de Montréal and the Trottier Family Foundation.
The project has also benefited from several WMRC employee-driven and community fundraisers as well high-profile donations from MNAs Yolande James (Nelligan), Geoffrey Kelley (Jacques Cartier), François Ouimet (Marquette) and Pierre Marsan (Robert Baldwin).
Other corporate donors have included Desjardins, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Telus, Dormez-vous? and the BMO Employee Charitable Foundation.
About the Taylor-Birks Foundation
A longstanding partner of West Montreal Readaptation Centre (WMRC), the Taylor-Birks Foundation aims to strengthen the network of families supporting people with an intellectual disability or autism spectrum disorder.
As a registered charitable foundation, it financially supports projects that improve quality of life for WMRC users and their families, but that lie outside government mandates.
The Building Hope campaign is the biggest in the foundation’s history and has so far raised $1 million to build a respite home on WMRC property.
More information on the Taylor-Birks Foundation and how to donate is available at http://www.crom-wmrc.ca/taylor-birks-foundation
About Centre Marc Vanier
Centre Marc Vanier (CMV) is a non-profit property management foundation that has partnered with West Montreal Readaptation Centre (WMRC) since 1980 to provide quality housing for individuals with an intellectual disability or autism spectrum disorder.
Eleanor Côté Home, a new respite home inaugurated in June 2011, will bring the number of homes CMV owns and manages to 30.
More information on Centre Marc Vanier is available at
West Montreal Readaptation Centre
West Montreal Readaptation Centre (WMRC) is a rehabilitation centre for children and adults with an intellectual disability or autism spectrum disorder living within the territories of the CSSS Cavendish, CSSS Jeanne-Mance, CSSS de la Montagne and the CSSS de l’Ouest-de-l’Île.
Over 400 bilingual employees help to provide habilitation, rehabilitation, residential and community integration services in English and French to some 600 children and close to 1,000 adults.
WMRC earned its first accreditation from Accreditation Canada in November with an exceptional first-time grade of 96.9 percent.