Essex Town Council goes to bat for Independent Facilitation Matters

Essex Town Council unanimously agreed to pen a letter of support for Independent Facilitation Matters Monday night.

Dan Balind holds down several jobs but the 31 year old still lives with his parents, because he has to. The Essex native is developmentally disabled and without the help of independent facilitation programs he won't be able to get out from under his parents wing.

He planned on moving out on his own before the Ontario PC's cut $3.2-million in funding for services that help him get out and do everyday tasks people take for granted.

"Dan wants his own life but he can't do that without the proper supports in place. It's hard for us to know if everything for him to help him manage his day," says his mother Karen, who goes on to say facilitation helps Dan communicate out in the world when his parents aren't around.

She addressed council members on behalf of more than 100 families in Windsor-Essex, several councillors acknowledged Dan's hard work in the community before agreeing to pen a letter to the government and Essex MPP Taras Natyshak.

"We started having meetings right away, writing letters to our MP's and MPP's so we can educate people on this and what's happening. Every family has just taken it upon themselves figure out how they're going to get the news out," she says. "We're just going to keep fighting and seeing what we can do until then, from then on, I don't know ... I haven't thought that far ahead. I really don't know what we're going to do after that."

So far an online petition has gathered more than 3,500 signatures via the group’s website and Facebook group.

More than 1,300 people and their families use independent facilitation programs in Ontario.