In 2007, four local agencies who shared a common mission decided to join forces. Community Support Connections—Meals on Wheels and More was formed to enable people to live at home with independence and dignity. This merger created one organization which could provide a holistic, client-focused approach to accessing supports and services for adults in Waterloo Region.
Meals on Wheels & Community Home Support of Cambridge, Meals on Wheels Kitchener-Waterloo, Kitchener-Waterloo Friendship Group for Seniors, and RAISE Home Support Services for the elderly officially amalgamated in May 2, 2008. One phone call now enabled an older adult or adult with disabilities to access a variety of services with only one assessment required.
At the time of the merger of these agencies, the areas of support included home delivered hot meals, friendly visiting, transportation and shopping, and home help. Bringing four organizations into one, the newly formed agency had the opportunity to reflect on best practices, streamlining intake processes, volunteer recruitment, and uncovering capacity in back office efficiencies to reduce waste and redirect staff time into client facing activities. That same year we acquired our first agency vehicle to support our transportation and shopping programs, and adopted the Wellness Active Living Club (WALC) gentle exercise program from Grand River Hospital.
In 2013, Community Support Connections joined forces with Victoria Order of Nurses and Community Care Concepts to expand exercise programming to more than 130 locations in Waterloo Wellington, while adding falls prevention classes to its portfolio.
A long-time dream became a reality in 2014 alongside a move to our present location in Breslau, when we were able to build and open the doors to our very own kitchen. The community’s support makes it possible to invite volunteers in and accept fresh, local food donations to help increase quality and value while maintaining costs. The benefits are phenomenal—individual attention to customer’s specific dietary needs and personal preferences, the ability to respond quickly to requests and changes, and the opportunity to access donations of food. The later addition of a large vegetable garden and a donated greenhouse have led to even more organic and locally grown produce.
Since our inception, we have grown with the times, being mindful of the needs of our clients, the changes in healthcare, the demands on the system, and the ever-changing political climate. We are led by the need to be able to sustain our programs, evaluate their effectiveness, and initiate new projects. We rely on our 700+ volunteers to guide us, deliver these supports and services, and to be the face of our organization. Without the dedication, passion, and caring of these people, be it governance, service or infrastructure volunteers, we could not do the amazing things that we do without them.