Established in 1990, CCMF, in partnership with the Ontario March of Dimes, has built a specialized group home, Standing Oaks, at 1212 Michigan Ave. It has full time Ontario March of Dimes support staff, who provide care for six medically fragile individuals. This has allowed these individuals to live in a family-oriented home, rather than an institution.
This partnership also includes the Rotary Foundation, and the Ontario Ministry of Health.
In 1989 a group of parents of medically fragile children realized that needed services were not available in the Sarnia-Lambton area. Visits to several group homes throughout southwestern Ontario helped Community Concerns for the Medically Fragile (CCMF) identify and plan for the ideal home-like environment for the medically fragile young people in the Sarnia area. The submission of proposals to various Ministries of the Government were considered, rejected, revised and re-worked.
In 2000 a partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Health, Long Term Care Division, the Rotary Foundation, the Ontario March of Dimes and CCMF was developed and finally approved. In 2001 a temporary solution was piloted-a three bedroom, wheelchair accessible townhouse was rented from the Sarnia and District Association for Community Living. It was immediately filled with three young adults—one who had been living at home with his parents, and two who had been living on the Long-term care ward of the local hospital. Plans continued for our permanent home and in February 2004 CCMF proudly opened the doors of Standing Oaks.
Standing Oaks sits in a park-like setting and is home for five young adults. It is staffed 24 hours a day by caring individuals from the Ontario March of Dimes. Parents, families and friends are welcome to visit, and remain involved in the lives of their family members. A respite bed is also available there, to help families who continue to care for their loved one at home. The respite bed allows the families to have a break from the 24-hour/7day/365 days a year demanding care that their child/adolescent/young adult requires.
Our community has supported CCMF and Standing Oaks throughout the years. When we think of all of the people and organizations that have helped this ‘hidden gem’ come into existence, it truly boggles the mind. Dedicated volunteers sit on the Board of Directors of CCMF and assist in administrative and fundraising activities as needed. Students from Lambton College gain experience and insight into the care of the medically fragile by working at Standing Oaks as part of their Co-op placement. Local businesses, media and just ordinary people have given of their time, money and ideas to support this unique group of individuals. CCMF continues to assist the residents at Standing Oaks by providing many of the extras that make a house a home.
We are so proud of Standing Oaks and all it represents. We couldn’t have done it without you!