Forward House began as a small organization which prided itself on supporting individuals who needed intensive supports to be successful living in the community. The organization initially opened two large group homes and our Community Integration Center which offered day supports to access volunteer and employment opportunities. Forward House quickly learned that individuals were happier and more successful living with fewer people so we began to help them to move to individual or smaller group residential settings while continuing to provide intensive supports. Team members also advocated for the individuals to be able to access any volunteer, employment or recreation possibilities from their homes instead of the C.I.C. By the late 1990’s those first two large group homes and day program were closed.
Forward House has a wealth of experience supporting individuals who have/had a history of dual diagnosis or behavioural challenges. We were the first local organization to train our support workers in crisis intervention. However, over the years we have developed expertise and quality supports for people with varying diagnoses, medical needs, aging, transition age youth, and more. Individuals seeking support have moved from a variety of institutional settings, other developmental or youth organizations or from their family homes.
Forward House continues to provide supports to adults in their homes as well as in their individual pursuits of continuing education, employment, leisure and contributing, in a variety of other ways, to community life. In recent years, Forward House initiated a Passport Program to support individuals in the community who wanted someone to provide support hours or to manage their passport funding.
Forward House has always been a person-centered organization and we strive to enhance the personal growth, abilities and competencies of the people we support. Our organization is regulated by the Supports and Services to Promote the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities Act. Forward House is routinely inspected by MCCSS Compliance division and found to exemplify excellent standards. Forward House actively advocates to address systemic issues which impact our community such as the availability of affordable housing, navigating public health crises, and ensuring we maintain both the funding from our Ministry and the flexibility needed to address our changing needs. The agency is also developing support services which meet the needs of diverse communities including those deemed difficult to serve, newcomers to Canada and Indigenous people.