David Bailey, Mayor for the County of Brant, along with City of Brantford Mayor Kevin Davis, as well as members of the Social Services Committee and staff, officially opened the first of its kind Community Services and Social Development (CSSD) space at the newly built Cowan Health Hub in Paris on Thursday, July 14.
Development of the Health Hub location aligns with the 3 Pillars included in the recently released CSSD Vision Plan Making Life Better Every Day: A Vision and Plan 2022-2032 : People, Places and Partnering.
“Today is a very good day for the constituents and people of the County of Brant. This is a big step for convenience for the people of the County of Brant, and while the City of Brantford has always had a presence here to offer social services, this new place offers consistency in where to access these services here in the County,” said Bailey.
The communities of Brantford and the County of Brant are growing rapidly, and with that growth comes increased demand for social supports. With the negative impacts of ongoing economic pressures, social division and the global pandemic still being felt, the long-term vision comes at a time when the services provided by the commission are needed more than ever.
“This particular development is going to provide a much better level of service to Brant County residents. It shows what we can achieve as the City and County when we work together as partners in a collaborative way to improve the lives of residents in both the City of Brantford and the County of Brant. This new space is a vehicle to service residents and it’s what we do for individual residents that has the greatest meaning and impact,” said Davis.
The new space on the second floor of the Cowan Health Hub will offer local residents access to social support services in their own community, minimizing the need to travel to another municipality for services. Currently, the CSSD suite services Ontario Works clients with plans to develop the site into an access point for other Community and Social Services including housing supports and homelessness and child care subsidy along with our partner Ontario Disability Support Program and other partners. Joining the primary health, mental health, and specialized physical health services at the new Cowan Community Health Hub will benefit CSSD clients as staff will now be able to connect and support clients with convenient access to a range of health services, all in the same location.
“It’s wonderful to have the dignity of service in place here in the County of Brant. This collaboration develops actual tangible benefits for people. By having service in place, it not only helps people in this place but it helps the service providers understand and address the different issues that exist. I think it’s so important to share services, clients, staff and that we share with each other so we can better serve and provide better service for the entire community,” said Marc Laferriere, Chair of the Social Services Committee.
Improved access to service is one of the many ways that clients in both municipalities will benefit from a joint service agreement approved by the County of Brant and the City of Brantford earlier this year.
Lorrie Wolf, a single mother who has had to overcome many obstacles, told attendees in a video testimonial that, “…it was hard getting in and out of Brantford without a car. Now the office is right around the corner and there’s lots of other things I can access here such as the pharmacy.” With the support of CSSD services, Lorrie has recently completed the Grand Erie Learning Alternative adult education program and will be starting a post-secondary program in September where she plans to study social work.
The Community Services and Social Development suite is located on the top floor of the new Cowan Health Hub located at 25 Curtis Ave. N., Paris. Information regarding services provided at the Health Hub can be found at brant.ca/healthhub.