In the 70’s Care providers of residential homes found that there was a need to provide a coordinated and unified voice to represent themselves and the population they were serving, in discussions with both municipal and provincial governments. Areas discussed then and today are funding, regulations or standards, client personal needs and quality of life. There were originally two associations, the Homes for Special Care Association and the Domiciliary Hostel Association, both of these had regional or catchment groups throughout the province which communicated directly with a central board. This facilitated communication both from individual members to local authorities and the two ministries and back to the membership. In 2000 the two associations were amalgamated as we recognized along with the ministries that we were providing almost identical services to our clients.
The profile of the resident was and remains today wide and varied. They are adults ranging from psychiatrically diagnosed, dually diagnosed, victims of drug and alcohol abuse, developmentally and physically challenged, brain injured and finally those who for various reasons can not care for themselves, including frail seniors with limited resources & those with cognitive impairments.
The resident populations are housed in 3 distinct programs: Housing with Supports, Homes for Special Care, operated by the Ministry of Health under the Homes for Special Care Act & Habitat Homes (whom are exclusive to the Toronto Region). Homes for Special Care and Habitat Homes service the same client profile and their funding is the responsibility of the Ministry of Health however, Habitat Homes receive 80% coverage by the Ministry cost sharing the remaining 20% with Metropolitan Toronto. Housing with Supports are funded 80% by the Ministry of Community and Social Services cost sharing the other 20% with participating municipalities and regions.
OHSNA has established a Code of Ethics and Commitment to Residents which each member of the association is committed to follow. Working with community partners the association has been involved with the establishment of standards, improvements to the daily rate for care and accommodation as well as increases to the residents personal needs allowance. These standards and ethics are the base from which Provincial and Municipal authorities have requested OHSNA participate in discussions, committees, focus groups and task forces over the years. It is from the implementation of these standards that the best quality of life for our residents can be assured.
Many homes province wide belong to OHSNA. These are homes that have chosen to belong and are very much committed to providing and maintaining a safe & comfortable living environment, with healthy and nutritious meals all in compliance with our Code of Ethics and Commitment to Residents. OHSNA members continuing ability to adapt, coordinate and often go above and beyond what is required of us as Residential Care Operators is something we are very proud of and something we will continue to strive at to provide a safe and secure homelike atmosphere. We are here to serve ‘Special People with Special Needs’.
OHSNA membership is your best assurance of quality and peace of mind.