Bridges to Belonging
Communities where people of all abilities belong and are connected through meaningful relationships.
We engage with you to be empowered and express your gifts, together with your loved ones, to build a network of support that honours your choices for the life you want in Waterloo Region.
To affirm the inherent dignity and worth of people living with disabilities and to walk with them to overcome isolation, live free of barriers to inclusion and experience belonging.
Bridges to Belonging began as a grassroots organization by families who wanted an alternative to segregated programs and residential placements for their sons and daughters living with disabilities. Originally called Facile Independent Facilitation we were launched as an initiative of The New Story Group in 2010 to walk with people and their families as they plan for and build a good life for themselves in their communities.In 2016 our name was changed to Bridges to Belonging to reflect our continued focus on building a community where everyone belongs. We were incorporated in Ontario in May of 2016 and became registered as a charity in June 2016.
What we do
Bridges to Belonging is a grassroots, relationship-based organization of independent facilitators and community connectors who work alongside youth, adults and seniors with disabilities and dual diagnosis to live, work and play as citizens, develop networks of support and experience belonging in a community.
We are facilitators of change, connection and contribution resulting in capacity and community building, resilience and a life of purpose, meaning and belonging.
As Independent Facilitators, we guide the entire process of walking with the person and their family as to envision and voice the future they want - creating various strategies and pathways based on gifts, strengths and interest to achieve specific goals - identify and access inclusive community resources as a first option - customize supports as desired and - build an unpaid network of natural support to sustain the highest level of independence possible while honouring the individual’s rights to direct and control their own lives.
Our founding families had a vision for a Waterloo Region where everyone belonged, a community where meaningful relations are valued, self-determination is respected, voices are listened to and people with a disability live everyday lives with full citizenship. Today and into the future Bridges to Belonging is committed to fulfilling that vision and carrying on that Legacy.
Since our humble beginnings, we have had the privilege of walking the path with over 150 people and families to realize their dream for a good life in the community and a safe and secure future. We have witnessed these amazing humans, achieved their goals to pursue post-secondary education and continuous learning, begin volunteering, finding employment, find a place to call a home of their own, engage in recreational activities and the arts, develop their gifts, pursue special areas of interests, build networks of support, create new friendships and romantic relationships and find belonging. In addition to providing resources, community connections and friendship for the person served, the network of support provided much-needed respite and peace of mind for parents and families, knowing their loved one would have the life they too wanted for their adult child and a safe and secure future where their voice is heard and their choices honoured.