Jon’s Journey to Independent Living

Jon’s Salus journey began at Fisher, one of our Transitional Rehabilitation Programs designed to support adults living with mental illness in a group setting. After graduating from Fisher, Jon moved into a Salus-owned independent living apartment building.

Reflecting on his time at Fisher, Jon acknowledges its pivotal role in his successful transition to independent living. He shares that the program encouraged him to be accountable for household responsibilities such as chores, group programming, and cooking, that prepared him for living alone.

Jon and Theo, Salus Community Developer

Jon and Theo, Salus Community Developer holding Jon’s high school diploma

Jon fondly recalls the positive impact of our recreology staff and programs on his recovery journey. Participating in activities including ping pong, foosball, running, and biking with Salus recreologists played a significant role in his overall health and well-being. Thanks to the Irene Despard Fund, which is funded by our generous donors, Jon received financial support during his time at Fisher to purchase running shoes and biking equipment, enabling him to stay active and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Living independently now, Jon continues to have a supportive Salus community around him. He emphasizes the positive connections he has built with the neighbours in his building. He gladly helps with taking the garbage out for one of his neighbours, and she reciprocates by preparing meals for him.

Jon gratefully acknowledges that without Salus, he would not have a stable home. Now, his home provides him stability and the freedom to relax, and also pursue his ambitions, as he says,

“Home is where you can just sit back and relax and move forward. It’s the place you always have to come back to.”

Jon also values that independent living gives him ability to focus on his personal and educational growth.

Jon receiving his achievement award

Jon receiving his achievement award

Driven by his determination to progress in life, one of Jon’s goals is to enroll in a police foundations program at Algonquin College. He feels that having a stable home has helped provide a foundation to go to school, seek employment and dream about his future.

This past fall, Jon was nominated for an achievement award at Salus’ client and community partner event. Theo, his community developer nominated Jon for his recent achievements of receiving his high school diploma and security guard license.

Jon’s journey is a testament to the transformative impact of Salus’ Fisher program and the support of our community.

Together, we are creating a brighter future for individuals like Jon, providing them with the stability, independence, and hope they deserve.

“I couldn’t have become a licensed security guard or even thought about challenging the Police Foundations program at Algonquin College without a stable home and amazing supporters to see me through my personal goals. Thanks, Salus.”

-Jon

Finding Hope and Independence:

Claire’s Journey with Salus

A self-proclaimed chatterbox, Claire Burrows loves to be around people and bring people together.

Just recently, Claire joined Mark MacAulay, Salus Executive Director, and Lindsay Taub, Salus Board Member, for an interview on An Hour to Give local radio show.

Claire talked about her experience with mental illness, the role Salus played in her recovery, and what she aspires to do now that she is living independently.

Claire heard about Salus’ services and knew that our combination of housing and mental health support would be key for her recovery journey ahead – in her words it just “made sense.”


Pictured left to right: Camille Therriault-Power (Salus Board Chair), Claire Burrows (Salus client), and Denyse Lacroix (Salus Rehabilitation Worker)

She toured our Fisher building – Salus Transitional Rehabilitation Program – experienced our welcoming staff, and made a new friend during this time. Her visit confirmed Claire’s conviction, and within a week, she had moved into our Fisher building. 

Acknowledged widely as a cutting-edge approach to recovery support, Salus Transitional Rehabilitation Programs assist adults recovering from mental illness while living in a community setting. Over the next 12 months at Fisher, Claire’s level of independence increased as she developed key life skills and abilities through daily programming.

Claire is particularly proud of how she learned to be more assertive, say “no” and advocate for others. As part of the Recreology program, Claire joined the biking group and would go on bike rides around the canal. She also quickly built her reputation as an amazing cook and baker! The Community Developer at Fisher noticed her passion for food and encouraged Claire to complete a food safety training course – she was eventually awarded a Food Handler’s certificate.

What made Claire’s experience even better was having a Salus Case Worker to help her along the way. Claire says having a Case Worker to help is the icing on the cake. “It’s just really nice to have someone to talk to.”

After graduating from Fisher, Claire moved into our Gladstone independent living apartment building, where she continues to cook and bake for her community and receives support from a Case Worker and onsite Community Developer.

Looking to the future, Claire is working on finding employment and hopes to inspire people who may be in the position that she was once in. Claire wants to let people know that “there is hope for everyone and that it’s not the end of the road—it keeps on going.”

We are honored to have played a role in Claire’s journey and look forward to seeing all the amazing things she will accomplish.

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