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Tri-Cities non-profit promotes Inclusion Month and the need for more inclusive housing

Celebrate Inclusion Month in B.C. this October by learning about inclusive housing
CVS brings attention to community inclusion.

What does it mean to live in an inclusive society?

Essentially, it calls for opportunities to exist for all of us to live a purposeful, meaningful life.

It’s the mantra of Community Ventures Society (CVS), a non-profit society that serves the Tri-Cities area, and beyond, by assisting those with developmental disabilities and their families on a variety of fronts, from housing to employment.

And each October, which is Community Inclusion Month in communities across B.C., CVS brings that ideal to the attention of an increasing number of people.

“Inclusion month is a way of highlighting for the community all the values that we bring as an agency, as well as all of the people with disabilities who we support, and everything they bring to the community,” says Linda King, executive director of CVS.

In general, most people are unaware how the challenges of living with a disability are addressed and how organizations like CVS work to make lives better in areas such as employment and housing.

“I think people are incredibly surprised. They assume housing is taken care of and readily funded for people with disabilities,” King says. “And that’s just not the case.”

CVS manages two types of housing. One is for those who require higher levels of support. And the other is shared living, when an individual lives with a couple or a family.

“What happens is an adult with a developmental disability lives and shares a home with a family or couple who provides them with the assistance they need,” King says. “The challenge is that those two options aren’t necessarily the right solution for everybody.”

Many individuals would prefer to live independently, but with high housing costs in the region, that’s not a reality.

“So, a large number of people with disabilities are living in circumstances they don’t really want,” King says.

There are many associations who are working towards more inclusive housing. Inclusion BC, for instance, provides one-to-one advocacy support for families and individuals. From there, affordable, inclusive housing connections are sought and secured.

Still, the need often overwhelms the resources and, as a result, a disproportionate number of those with disabilities find themselves in homeless shelters.

While it’s an ongoing struggle to find suitable housing, the concept shows how far organizations like CVS have come.

During Inclusion Month, CVS is working with the Port Moody Station Museum to show the past, present and future of those with disabilities and their lives within our community.

“The museum will show the old method of institutionalization in facilities such as Woodlands, how people with disabilities are living now, and how we’d like to see them live in the future,” King says, adding the display is a good educational opportunity to see the hopes and dreams of CVS and the overall community. The exhibit will be launched at the end of October 2021.      

For more about Community Ventures Society and the work it undertakes, visit their website at