MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard spoke about L’arche Comox Valley’s I Belong Project in the Legislature

Today, MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard spoke about L’arche Comox Valley’s I Belong Project in the Legislature. You can watch the video here, or read the transcript below.

It is my privilege to rise today to speak of L’Arche Comox Valley and its ambitious I Belong project to build six new units of supportive housing for adults with developmental disabilities. It includes important space for outreach and activities where people with diverse abilities can build friendships and grow together.

L’Arche had a target of raising $800,000. I’m proud to say they surpassed that amount, the lion’s share generously donated locally. They have now raised $1.1 million. They are to be congratulated, because after only three short years from when fundraising began, today I Belong opened their doors.

I would like to acknowledge some of those who kept this boat afloat and landed it so well: Christine Monier, the executive director; Murray Presley, Robert Mulrooney and Paul Helpard, who jointly chaired the successful fundraising committee; Tony Reynolds, former board chair; and Frank van Gisbergen, the current chair of L’Arche Comox Valley.

Summing up the human value of this project are the words of Donna Dukart, whose son Kevin will be living and thriving at I Belong. “We are so reassured that Kevin has a home and community that can continue even when we are not around. We know that Kevin is in a safe place, where L’Arche and fellow residents will look out for him, and we can still be involved. It is his home.”

A bouquet of flowers from a neighbour to the L’Arche newcomers on the block reflects that living with — of doing with, and not doing for — enriches all our lives. Today we celebrate, because we are a better community for L’Arche’s vision.