Community Resource Services, with offices in both Kitchener and Guelph, were seeing about 500 clients per year, while close to 3,000 community visits annually were made to the Family Resource Centre. With significant help from corporate sponsors, a “Snoezelen Room” was built at Kingsway Drive in 1994 for use by Sunbeam’s residents, and people from other community organizations. The “Snoezelen Room”, only the second of its kind in Ontario, provided a multi-sensory experience that stimulated user senses in an atmosphere of relaxation and “gentle quiet”. In 1997, corporate donations permitted the construction of a “Snoezelen Spa” at Kingsway Drive, which combined the sensory / relaxation elements of Snoezelen with the therapeutic effects of a whirlpool spa and for the first time, people living at home with their families were able to participate in Day Program Services at Kingsway.
As a result of MCSS’s Making Services Work for People, Sunbeam’s Community Resource Services was selected to operate a ‘Systems Access Model’, which combined coordinated information and central intake functions; assessment; service planning; as well as single point access to residential beds. CRS was renamed The Developmental Services Access Centre – Waterloo Region (DSAC), and it formally began operating on April 1, 2000.
In 1997, with people still living at Kingsway, a proposal was submitted to M.C.S.S. outlining an ambitious redevelopment of the centre. The model was approved; and by summer 2002, Paradise, Rothsay, Breckwood and Zeller Group Homes were built in the community for 20 residents of Kingsway. A $1million dollar MCSS capital grant and a $1million dollar community fundraising drive allowed Sunbeam to build four additional homes (Kingsdale, Vos, Sims and Whaley Houses) on site, by 2004. Kingsway’s final 20 residents, as well as additional people who were “medically fragile & technologically dependent” were served through this initiative. Thus ended 48 years of institutional care at Sunbeam, forever.
In September 2005, the Board approved a new 5 year Strategic Plan, “Renewing Our Commitment to Excellence”, which set forth new MISSION, VISION and VALUES statements; and delineated the service directions for Sunbeam into 2010.
Also in 2005, the Ministry, undertook province-wide consultations, promoting a new “Transformation of Developmental Services”. This multi focus policy initiative spoke to the closure of Ontario’s last three institutions; a provincial eligibility and application process. The introduction of Passport funding for community participation, and the enhancement of specialized services for people with a dual diagnosis. Today, we host the Developmental Services Ontario gateway for Central West Region, the conduit to Passport and all other MCSS-funded services for adults.
In 2008, MCSS introduced the Services and Supports to Promote the Social Inclusion of Persons with Developmental Disabilities Act to replace the 1974 Developmental Services Act. The new Act reflects the needs and opportunities of a modernized developmental services system in Ontario. The legislation and its accompanying regulations have already had significant impact on service delivery across the province.
In the spring of 2009, we helped four gentlemen living at our Rainbow location move into a 30 year old four bedroom bungalow in Kitchener. “Champlain House” was occupied in November 2009. Sunbeam closed its other Rainbow location and assisted its residents in relocating to our newest group home, Eagen House in 2013.
Starting in mid-2014, Sunbeam Centre began a major renovation of our Kingsway facilities, including a new state-of-the art” Sensory Room, expanded Day Program activity space, and increased respite care capacity.
In January 2015, we began offering events & workshops for the MCSS Passport Program, catering to adults 18 years of age and older.
Sunbeam continues to provide optimal care and support to those it serves and their families. A highly motivated team of staff and volunteers strive each day to stay at the leading edge of service delivery, innovation and quality assurance.