The Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) is pleased to offer the Community Support Services Program (CSS). The Program is funded by the province of Ontario. It provides information, advocacy, and practical support that allows individuals to remain in their homes for as long as possible. It also helps to ease the weight of care provided by informal caregivers such as extended family. The CSS Program is available to all Indigenous people who wish to access our services. The Program’s primary focus is to help people who are elderly and/or chronically ill and who may be experiencing isolation or are having difficulty managing their disease or dealing with a terminal illness.
CSS services are coordinated with other community based programs and may include referrals to other agencies and programs such as Meals on Wheels, Adult Day Programs, Nursing, and Home Care. The CSS team uses the Common Assessment Tool that is used by all Community Support Services in the Province of Ontario. This enables us to make better service plans for our clients. The majority of our sites use the InterRAI Screener Tool. The following support services are available to help Métis and other Indigenous people across Ontario continue to live full and independent lives in their home communities.
CSS Coordinator Services
CSS Program services are carried out by CSS Coordinators who are knowledgeable about all the services available to Indigenous people in their area and can provide information, referrals, advocacy, and access to mainstream and other long-term care services including Community Care Access Centres. CSS Coordinators can also provide support with filling out forms, applying for Old Age Security, the Guarantee Income Supplement, ODSP Forms, and other such needs. CSS Coordinators are there to advocate on their client’s behalf to help get them the services they need. CSS Coordinators also work with some of our sister programs to provide workshops and community events. You do not need to be a CSS client in order to attend. All workshops and community events that our program staff put on are open to the community at large.
- Friendly Visits — One of the services that we offer through the CSS Program is friendly visits. This means that we provide clients with regular visits and phone calls, based on client wishes, to help to provide support for isolated or ill clientele while ensuring their health and safety. Through this service regular contact will be made through visits by MNO staff and volunteers as arranged by CSS Coordinators.
- Medical Transportation Services — One of the services that the CSS Program provides is Medical Transportation. This service is available to help transport clients to and from medical appointments. For clients who meet the criteria transportation will be arranged through either a volunteer driver or a CSS coordinator. Available transportation options include mobility bus services, regional bus services, Via Rail, Hope Air, and other affordable means that are available in that community. For medical transportation services clients will need to provide proof of appointment and attendance in the form of a prescription copy, stamped appointment card, doctor’s note, discharge papers, or admittance bracelet. Proof of appointment and attendance is necessary so that we can be transparent with our funders and show them that we are utilizing the funding that we have been given for its intended purpose.
- Caregiver Support Services — When know that there are times when informal Care Givers need assistance with taking care of their loved ones. That is why the CSS Program provides advocacy services and information to assist caregivers in their role. Through this service we provide referrals for respite care and friendly visits to help reduce isolation for both clients and caregivers. In the event that your loved one passes away we are also able to provide bereavement supports for caregivers. This includes providing caregivers with the names of funeral homes, helping with applications for death benefits, and providing referrals to further bereavement supports.
The Community Support Services Program is available in the following Métis Communities across Ontario:
- Fort Frances
- Thunder Bay
- Sault Ste. Marie
- North Bay
Volunteers are Always Needed
The CSS Program can always use more volunteer drivers, especially in some of the outlying areas. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer driver please contact the MNO’s Program and Services Manager Amanda Desbiens by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 705 – 474 – 2767 Ext. 307. All volunteers will need to submit copies of their driver’s licence, insurance, and a criminal background check for vulnerable populations. Expenses for mileage, meals, or the pre-approved flat rate will be reimbursed.
To access the Program’s services or if you’d like to know more information please contact the MNO’s Program and Services Manager Amanda Desbiens by email at email@example.com or by phone at 705 – 474 – 2767 Ext. 307.
Updated: May 26, 2020