Open Sky Co-operative provides skills programs, vocational assistance and community connections for adults who require support to improve their quality of life. We especially welcome adults who face barriers due to social disabilities such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, and/or mental health challenges like depression, anxiety and schizophrenia. Open Sky is a resource for social, functional and life skills assessments, and public training for Mental Health First Aid. We are a charitable co-operative social enterprise, made up of many different people and organizations.Open Sky is located on an 11-acre farm in Middle Sackville, not far from Silver Lake Park and the Trans-Canada Trail. The farm is within walking distance of downtown Sackville, as well as Mount Allison University. Open Sky has a 5-bedroom house, barn, henhouse, greenhouses and many acres of lawns, gardens and pasture.
At Open Sky, adults can live in residence and participate in programs to improve their own well-being, as well as learn about and assist in sustainable farming and gardening. Day programs are also available for adults who do not live onsite.
Sometimes, participants simply need a supportive place to regain health and ‘get their lives back’. Others may benefit from intentional skills training that fills gaps in life, social and/or employment skills. Open Sky welcomes those who may benefit from assistance in any of these areas.
The Open Sky vision: Open Sky Co-operative believes in fostering inclusive communities where people can thrive, contribute and experience a sense of hope, value and belonging. We believe that foundations for well being can be built through living in community and sharing in meaningful work. Each participant has their own goals toward independence, while deriving benefits from participating at Open Sky. The principle of “nothing about us without us” guides all decision-making about life at Open Sky. We engage co-operatively in local, sustainable agriculture and social enterprise with a view to having a positive transformative effect on our community, our land, on business models, on services and on the ideals and expectations of the wider world.
Why a co-operative social enterprise? …because we value and are guided by these principles of co-operatives:
- Voluntary and open membership
- Democratic member control
- Autonomy and independence
- Education, training, and information
- Cooperation among co-operatives
- Concern for community
and because as a co-operative, we are better able to help grow new business and employment opportunities with our members.