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Community Living slashes jobs for mentally challenged adults

MAPLE RIDGE – More than two dozen developmentally challenged adults will be without a job at the end of the year because a government agency is cutting funding for the program that employs them.

Community Living is axing the $300,000 dollar budget for a program that pays the group minimum wage to work at a Maple Ridge recycling plant.

For the people employed there, it’s not about the money, but the feeling of dignity and satisfaction that comes with having a job.

Another local program, which places developmentally challenged people in volunteer positions, is also seeing its funding slashed.

“We’ve specifically built a work site where this group of people can experience success in a job setting,” says Kim Day with Ridge Meadows Recycling Society. “The reality for many is that if they did not have the additional extra support that is required for that success, they would not remain employed.”

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But the director of CLBC says it’s not a cost cutting measure, and the agency will meet with workers to find new options.

“We want to focus toward more real employment in community in a variety of community settings,” says Carla Thiesen, Regional Director with Community Living BC.
“We’ll be working with them. The contract has been extended until December, and we are meeting with the families to start a planning process going forward.”