We offer programs and services in 4 areas:
- Residential support;
- Day programs for local adults;
- Functional Skills Assessments;
- Workshops for the wider community.
Transitional Residential Support: We welcome up to 2 adults in our farmhouse, providing a comfortable atmosphere for community living. Each person has their own bedroom, and participates in all aspects of living in the historic home. We have staff who support each resident to achieve their best level of skill in cooking, cleaning, self-care, getting along together and maintaining a balanced life. Everyone takes a turn with household responsibilities, and also participates in work teams outside of the home – gardening, farming, grounds keeping, animal care, etc. We also ensure a balance of social and recreational activities all week long!
Day Programs to build transitional skills: We also welcome adults for weekday programming to achieve skills that help them toward their own goals of independent living, relationships and employment. Participants can attend part-time or full-time, and their programs are individualized according to their own needs and goals. Activities of farming, gardening, cooking, cleaning, self-care and community events all enable new skills and connectors, to enhance wellbeing and opportunities.
Therapeutic Agriculture and Gardening: We welcome local adults whose mental health needs could be met through participating in outdoor, healthy exercise and engagement with plants and animals, during our Day Programming activities. If this interests you, please contact us for more information.
Functional Skills Assessments: Everyone has different strengths, abilities and personal goals. The Open Sky Functional Skills Assessment process involves working with an accredited Speech-Language Pathologist to review an individual’s life experiences, prior assessments and academic reports to date, carry out a structured assessment of real-life skills, complete a communications skills assessment, and then compile all the information into one comprehensive report. Recommendations for the best way forward (focused skills-building, mobilizing interests, utilizing best practices) makes this a practical document for use by Open Sky to design an individualized program, and/or for families to use as they pursue other resources too. All Open Sky participants are assessed for skills before their programs are designed, to ensure appropriateness of approaches and optimum impact.
Community Education: Open Sky Co-operative offers support to the community, to help all of us learn more about the causes and effects of, and treatments for, social, development or mental health challenges. We also enable understandings about the barriers that prevent the participation of persons with disabilities in their community life, and about the support services available to persons suffering from such disabilities. We do this in a variety of ways:
- By hosting a Parent Support Group, for parents of children or adults with disabilities or mental illness;
- By hosting community inclusive social events;
- By inviting groups and individuals to visit us at Open Sky;
- By accepting invitations to speaking engagements;
- By demonstrating and modeling different ways of being in relationships together, so that all are respected and included.
- By offering Mental Health First Aid Certification Training, several times throughout the year.
If you would like Open Sky to work with you or your organization in these areas, please Contact Us.
If you would like to become a participant at Open Sky, please Contact Us to make an appointment for a site visit. Then, if this feels right for you, we will provide you with application forms and a process to pursue admission.
Employment Development: Being able to generate income for self-sufficiency is an important goal for many Open Sky participants, and assisting them to find and keep a job is a part of our regular programming. However, not everyone can fit into others’ work environments. For those who can’t, Open Sky has developed our BYOB – Be Your Own Boss – Employment Program. This is Open Sky’s keystone employment development program, designed to meet diverse mental health and disability needs, preparing participants for either employment or self-employment. Offered in partnership with provincial co-operative business development organizations, this program especially prioritizes the creation of new co-operative businesses. In a co-operative business, owner-members can create the type of workplace and relationships they prefer, so that employment is managed more easily. An example of a business that Open Sky helped to foster is Powerhouse Co-operative Ltd., that offers several business lines: house cleaning, business cleaning, car cleaning and municipal crossing guard services.