Do you remember waiting for 7:00PM, and then grabbing your pots, pans, spoons, or anything else you could bang to declare your support for the frontline heroes working through the pandemic? Do you remember the inspired racket for the healthcare and other essential services workers diligently and dutifully fulfilling their roles for those of us who needed them? Do you remember describing them as heroes?
Did you know that some of the workers you were celebrating were people supported by the Garth Homer Society’s Supported Employment Program? Did you know that people with diverse abilities were some of the heroes we were banging our pots and pans for? Did you know that people with diverse abilities are a highly valuable, yet underutilized portion of our workforce?
The Garth Homer Society supports people with diverse abilities to make ‘a life, a home, and a place in the world’ – and in doing so, they strive to create a sense of belonging. We all know how it can feel when we are made to feel as though we do not belong – it is a lonely and isolating feeling. But when we do feel that important sense of belonging – then, the world is full of possibilities:
“I have big goals. I want to be independent, get a place of my own and work in the transportation industry. I love nothing better than the idea of people going off on new adventures. In my spare time I like to ride back and forth on the BC Ferries. I would love to work for them or the cruise industry.” (Oliver Korsch, Supported Employment Program participant)
When people arrive at the Garth Homer Society for their Supported Employment Program, they are embarking on a journey to not only find purposeful and gainful employment – they are also on a path to further find their place in our community where they are valued and appreciated. To achieve this, the Garth Homer Society has a team of dedicated and talented staff who facilitate a comprehensive and supportive process to connect people with their goals.
Through an extensive “getting to know you” process, staff work with program participants to explore their individual abilities and interests. They then connect those attributes with employment options. Staff work with employers to identify and create specific tasks and duties that are not only essential to the employer, but help program participants demonstrate their full potential.
The Garth Homer Society currently supports over 70 individuals in their employment goals, but their Supported Employment Program has big plans for the future. As announced in March 2023, the Garth Homer Foundation received a transformational gift of $34 million dollars. With this funding, the Garth Homer Society is looking towards innovative new models and new possibilities for employment, training, and careers for people with diverse abilities.
“We are standing on the brink of an extremely exciting future. Our work at the Garth Homer Society has always had a strong undercurrent of innovation that propels us forward – but now we have the resources to really dream big and invest in new models that can redefine what is possible for the people we support.” (Geoffrey Ewert, CEO of the Garth Homer Society)
As the Garth Homer Society looks towards the future, they are looking to build a team that will champion their efforts to grow and develop their Supported Employment Program. To learn more about career opportunities available please contact the Garth Homer Society at:
The Garth Homer Society
813 Darwin Ave
Victoria, BC V8X 2X7