Focus is a community inclusion program in Parksville BC that has been operated by J. Garnons Williams Ltd. since July, 1994.
At Focus we provide community based recreational opportunities and assist with job readiness skills to prepare for community based work placements. Developing life skills and communication tools are ongoing parts of our daily interactions. Participants who attend Focus are all unique individuals with a wide range of interests and abilities. Some common goals are learning to be as independent as possible and enhancing their overall life experience by integrating into their community as fully as possible in a fun, positive and socially interactive way. The individuals currently attending have a tremendous range of abilities, needs, strengths and aspirations and are a wonderfully supportive group of people.
Our hours of operation are Monday to Friday 9-4 and we are able to support up to 18 adult individuals daily.
There are regular participant meetings during which there is discussion about upcoming activities in the community and an opportunity for participants to talk about things they would like to do. An activity calendar is developed in advance each month, posted at the program and a copy is sent home. The program is very busy, some days the building is locked up as everyone is out in the community – each day everyone does a community based activity and in house activities are provided for individuals who choose to stay at the program. Some of the regular monthly activities provided include: swimming, nature and community walks, museum visits, learning the city bus routes, shopping/price comparing, job search, sports/yoga, cooking, crafts, singing/music and many more.
Focus staff help participants attain the skills they need for community integration and recreation. We promote independent thinking – a crucial point for anyone to make responsible, informed choices in their lives. We encourage participants to do as much as they can independently. Positive outcomes for the individuals attending this program include: support for better maintenance of mental health issues, opportunity to attain vocational goals through staff supported placements, increased choice, participation and satisfaction with their social and recreation opportunities through improved access and improved problem solving skills.
We have very involved families and a Community Advisory Committee made up of participants, family members, home share providers and staff. The Advisory committee meets quarterly and provides direct feedback on the outcomes of the program.
Referrals to the Focus Program are initiated through the Parksville CLBC office. Their phone number is 250-951-6002.