Building community is an integral part of our purpose. It flows from the long-term nature of relationships, the opportunities to gather, and the caring of individuals for one another.
The members of the board are drawn from various sectors of the community, providing a knowledgeable and compassionate base for decision-making. The fact that many of its members are also apartment volunteers, and that two residents are members, makes the board very sensitive to the needs of the residents. The working board meets often to keep abreast of developments through reports from coordinators and standing committees, to consider new ideas, and to assure financial security.
Volunteers are at the heart of L’Abri en Ville’s success. Most volunteers are attached to one of the apartment teams that support each group of three residents. But others contribute on an ad-hoc basis with such things as helping with apartment repairs or redecorating, driving to special events, or advising on the artwork for holiday cards.
Support also comes from groups. Faith communities provide many of our volunteers, offer the use of halls for gatherings, welcome residents and volunteers to speak about mental illness, and raise money in various ways. Service clubs and businesses donate goods and services such as storage, delivery and printing.
Staff (called “coordinators”) are experienced in the delivery of community mental health services. Coordinators are responsible for creating and delivering the program. They screen applicants for residency, meet candidates wishing to volunteer, and train and support them. They network with agencies offering various services for individuals living with mental illness. They maintain contact with the medical team that follows each resident and give individual residents tailored support, as well as facilitating weekly house meetings at each apartment.
Our donors and sponsors include individuals, foundations, the provincial government, businesses, faith communities and service organizations. Together, they make up a wider community which shares our commitment to including those who have been isolated through mental illness.