Miriam Home and Services is back on campus this summer
Since its establishment in 1962, Miriam Home and Services has been providing rehabilitative, social, community, work and residential resources and services to people with intellectual disabilities and autism spectrum disorders so they can reach their full potential.
Over the years, Dawson has partnered up with the organization to offer its clients a range of work opportunities on campus as part of the Miriam on Campus Program, which allows them to develop work abilities and acquire practical, hands-on experience working alongside other employees.
After a two-year absence due to COVID-19, the partnership was relaunched in November 2021 at Dawson, and we are excited to welcome them back this summer.
Learning new skills
“Our purpose is to promote the development of work, social, and interpersonal skills in an integrated work environment for people with special needs,” said Melicha Dorset, the Special Care Counsellor who oversees the group of four at Dawson.
The group has been coming to the college Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., performing various tasks while developing autonomy. These tasks may include paper shredding, helping in the cafeteria, laundry, shipping, and much more.
Three times a week, the group will be dedicating two hours of their work time to the gardens in collaboration with the Sustainability Office. Between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m., they will be helping with gardening, removing weeds, replanting, and more, all while learning about Dawson’s Living Campus.
“The collaboration has been amazing,” said Melicha.
Resuming a long-standing partnership
The resumption of the centre’s partnership with the Sustainability Office came to be during Earth Week, said Jennifer de Vera, who is in charge of the Sustainability Office’s Program Development.
“I met the current group when they signed up for Living Campus tours during Earth week last month and they were introduced to the many sustainability projects and initiatives that shape our campus,” said Jennifer. “Their participation in the garden work is a great initiative and I hope it is going to be a partnership that will continue every summer moving forward!”
The Miriam on Campus initiative is part of the centre’s Work Integration Program that was revamped in 2016 to have more of a work integration focus, according to Melicha.
“Some of my clients get a paid job after the program,” she said. “That is what we hope for — real integration so that they can get a job in society.”
Melicha invites the Dawson community to reach out with any possible task opportunities for the group. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“[We] hope to assist the college while increasing our inclusion and integration in the Dawson community,” she said.