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2023 03 28 | Host: Govind Deol | Darren Bradley - North Okanagan Community Life Society

Darren was kind enough to provide Members with an overview of NOCLS, the North Okanagan Community Living Society. The Society, a registered non-profit organization in BC was founded in 1984 with the mandate of supporting adults living with disabilities. When these individuals turn 19 years old they are no longer supported by youth services, and must then and support elsewhere.

Originally the Society was focused on providing living accommodations and services in homes the Society owned. Funding came from both the families of residents and Community Living BC (CLCB), the provincial ministry supporting individuals living with disabilities. But in 2015 the Society shifted its focus from providing and running these facilities to helping families navigate the complexities of finding the right resources available to them, and in pursuing funding directly from CLBC; a daunting task. Contracts are ultimately between CLBC and the families themselves, only supported by NOCLS' expertise in negotiating them on behalf of the families.

Darren spent a fair bit of time explaining and answering questions surrounding the fact that today, the Society receives no grant funding from government. Instead it receives funding through fund-raising, a small administrative fee (3%) it can take from the funding provided to its client families, and in renting out the properties it owns. It does this by predominantly renting disability supportive rooms in the homes at below market rates for individuals that qualify, and basement or nanny suites at market rates to the general public in order to supplement total costs.

Host Govind Deol provides Darren with a VSSRotary pen to "light his way"

The Society currently is supporting 24 families with a staff of only 5. And we can all get involved by participating in one of the several fund-raising events they host, including the Golden Burger Challenge and the Ladies Night Out event, among others.

For more information, please visit NOLCS' website: https://nocls.com/