The pandemic continues to present challenges for the provider community in 2021. Providers have to face tough decisions, whether around the workforce crisis, funding or redefining services. Despite all these roadblocks and so many unknowns, providers continue to put individuals they serve first. Community integration and employment are still a priority, even though COVID-19 has presented its challenges.
Many social enterprises and community businesses have also been impacted by the pandemic. Some have closed, while others have had to hit the pause button.
Over many years working with agencies in our community, we’ve learned about social enterprises and community businesses and the tremendous impact these programs have had on individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. These programs create opportunities for individuals with disabilities to participate in meaningful work, while helping them build genuine connections with their communities.
Last year, we decided to help celebrate the work of these agencies by compiling a Social Enterprise Directory, a catalogue showcasing social enterprises and community businesses run by agencies in our community and the stories of the individuals that work at these enterprises.
From bakeries to wood shops, these programs offer quality goods that help sustain crucial supported employment programs. We welcome you to browse and share this directory, to help promote the role of social enterprises in creating employment opportunities and fostering community integration. More importantly, as we take steps to get back to a sense of normalcy, we want to help spread the word about the amazing work YOU are doing.