THUNDER BAY – Jordan Prechuka feels a sense of pride to be a member of the community.
Prechuka, the chair of Community Living Thunder Bay’s self-advocate council, was on hand Tuesday afternoon at city hall as the organization’s flag was hoisted in front of the building to celebrate Community Living Month.
“It made me feel proud, excited and happy to be part of it,” Prechuka said.
Many in the organization, like Prechuka, who overcome intellectual disabilities on a daily basis strive to gain a sense of inclusion in the community.
Being recognized in front of city hall provided them with that experience.
Lisa Ellacott, vice-chair of the board of directors, described the reactions from those gathered outside as “heartwarming” when the flag was raised while Vance Montgomery led a rendition of the national anthem.
“The folks out there are passionate about that,” Ellacott said. “They want the same as everybody else. They want regular jobs with regular pay, to be treated with respect no different than what the rest of us want.”
Coun. Aldo Ruberto read the proclamation on behalf of Mayor Keith Hobbs. He said the organization has a dedicated staff that provides a valuable service enriching the lives of those with intellectual disabilities in the city.
“It’s a pleasure watching individuals express themselves freely and care-free,” Ruberto said. “It’s exciting knowing these individuals are part of the community and that the community responds to the needs of every individual.”
Community Living Thunder Bay, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, serves about 300 adults and seniors with intellectual disabilities in the community. The organization operates group homes as well as supportive independent living programs.
They also work with community partners to provide employment and volunteer opportunities to nearly 100 of their members.
Community Living Thunder Bay will be holding a Walk for Inclusion on June 1 with the proceeds being used to fund programs and services not covered by the government.
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