Participation Support Services was established as "Participation House Brantford" in 1975, thanks to the foresight and dedication of a group of people from Brantford and Brant County who wished to provide quality opportunities for persons with physical disabilities.
In June 1978, Participation House opened the 10 Bell Lane site with 30 residential spaces to provide community living accommodation for persons with physical disabilities.
Many of the individuals who came to live at Participation House had been inappropriately placed in large institutions and chronic care wards of hospitals. These unsuitable placements only increased their challenges, creating further barriers to their efforts to play a more integral role in the community. They quickly came to view Participation House as their home.
From the beginning, therefore, PSS directed most of its energy to helping residents realize their full potential whether spiritually, emotionally, or physically, and the organization continued to expand as opportunities arose.
In September 1985, the opening of the Participation House Supportive Living Apartments (now called the Colborne Street apartments) allowed 11 residents of Bell Lane to move into private apartments.
The Attendant Care Outreach program, which began in 1987, provided continuity for those individuals who had moved on to independent living, but who required self-directed personal care. Currently over 30 individuals receive personal care and support in activities of daily living in their own homes through this program.
In 2008, funding from the Aging at Home Strategy allowed PSS, in collaboration with Brant Community Living, to establish permanent respite services for individuals with disabilities who are aging and living at home or living at home with aging caregivers.
In August 2011 PSS opened 25 new apartment units at 255 Colborne Street which were build to accomodate the specific accessibility needs of our tenants. This project was made possible through partnership with Northern Gate Investments and the provincial and federal government's Affordable Housing initiative.
Also in August of 2011, PSS received funding for a pilot project offering assisted living and personal support services to high risk seniors in Brantford's downtown core. Through this program, PSS makes scheduled and unscheduled visits to these seniors, providing support with bathing, rising and retiring, and medication administration as well as security/wellness checks. The goal of this program was to allow these individuals to remain safely at home and reduce their need to access the emergency department or hospital.
In September 2013, PSS recieved funding to provide transitional care for seniors and individuals with disabilities to be moved out of the hospital while they waited for a long-term care bed or alternate living options. In in partnership with the City of Brantford/Brant County Housing Department, PSS opened a shared supported living apartment for 3 individuals at 40 Queen Street, and changed permanent beds at 10 Bell Lane over to the much-needed transitional care beds for the community.
In September 2015, PSS received funding to expand the Outreach Services to Seniors program to provide personal support services to over 150 seniors in living at home independently in the Brantford and Brant County area, and this program continues to expand. Because Brantford does not have supportive housing for seniors, this program helps to the gap in services gap to seniors in our community.
In July 2016, the PSS Board engaged Blueprint Agencies to perform a brand audit, which included a survey, focus group, and a full review of all brand elements including the website, social media, print, and our mission and values, to ensure that our name and brand accurately reflect our current identity.
As a result of this exercise, in April 1, 2018, the PSS board adopted the new name, "Participation Support Services," and slogan, "Your care, your way, your home," to communicates the breadth of services we offer and our commitment to providing care that is tailored to each individual’s unique needs and abilities.
Today, Participation Support Services provides services to approximately 300 individuals in the Brant/Brantford community through both a supportive housing model and an outreach model of care. Services are available to individuals with a physical disability, complex care needs and seniors. As our community's needs have grown and shifted, Participation Support Services has remained commited to ensuring that the needs and rights of persons with disabilities and seniors are met innovatively and flexibly.
Participation House established
10 Bell Lane opens
Colborne Street Apartments open
Attendant Care Outreach Program begins
First respite beds open at 10 Bell Lane
Opening of new units at 255 Colborne Street
High Risk Seniors pilot project begins
Transitional care beds opened at 10 Bell Lane
Opening of 40 Queen St
Expansion of Outreach to Seniors Program in Brant County/Brantford
"Participation Support Services - Your care, your way, your home" adopted as new name and slogan