NouLAB Academy 2018 Cohort


Housing for people with complex needs - from pei

In Prince Edward Island there is a lack of appropriate residential services for adults experiencing disabilities with complex needs. The complexity of the problem is multifaceted and is described in the responses provided within this question and the following two.
• It is estimated that in PEI, 5-13% of adults with complex needs are inappropriately residing in Long Term Care and Community Care Facilities or are occupying inpatient beds, predominantly in our acute mental health units.
• Many adults (aged 45-60 years) with complex needs are living with aging parents leading to significant parental anxiety for their children’s wellbeing, if they should become ill or die. There is significant concern over the ability of ageing parents in these situations to provide adequate care to ensure the security and safety of their adult children as well as themselves.
• The parents of younger adult children have different expectations than the previous generation of parents. They expect their young adult children to experience full citizenship, which includes leaving home and living without parents present.

This problem is important for many reasons, including, but not limited to:
• The current situation places pressure on acute care, long-term care, community care and mental health beds. This results in significant bottlenecking along the care continuum with individuals unable to access the appropriate level of care when needed. Additionally, there are a number of individuals living at home, and the scope of the problem is not fully understood. Many times, families approach government for a residential placement during a crisis; in most situations, there is not a placement available, leading to additional stress and inappropriate placements, or additional burden on acute care.
• Adults with complex needs are not receiving the appropriate supports and interventions required for them to thrive. In many instances, individuals regress which makes appropriate placements more difficult.
• Burden placed on families with adult children is enormous.

At the end of the academy, the team came out with a prototype idea called 'Home-ful' (a play on hopeful) to work on centralizing services to reach those with disabilities and their families before the housing need is in crisis.



Team members

Jennifer Burgess - Team Lead - Manager Corporate Support and Seniors -

Mike Gaudet - Acting Coordinator Residential Services

Joe Coade - Provincial Manager for Residential and Support Services

Bill Lawlor - Executive Director - Queens Country Residential Services Inc.

Calvin Joudrie - Long Term Care Subsidization Manager - Health PEI

Literacy needs

Becoming a literate citizen is foundational to success and empowers people to reach their full potential and thrive in their communities. By improving New Brunswicker’s value for literacy as well as their access to programs and resources which support literacy development, we will improve quality of life, economic growth and output and have a healthier population.

Acquiring literacy skills has traditionally been and continues to be a significant challenge in New Brunswick. All sectors of society play a role in literacy acquisition as it is a shared responsibility of individuals, parents, families, government, employers and community organisations. Currently our province has a multitude of literacy programs and resources in government and non-government entities, but we believe that they are so busy working on individual mandates that many of these groups do not have time to align resources, collaborate or work in partnerships to complement each other. Resources are stretched and we suspect competition exists for limited funding and services.

We know that we need to build on existing strengths and better coordinate efforts for the best return possible, but how do we do this? The problem is complex because there are so many factors that have an impact. Influences include the shift from being resource based to a more specialized service based economy, intergenerational values, parents believing that learning begins in school, student absenteeism, marginalized and missing citizens, access in rural areas to programs and resources, language duality and the stigma related to accessing literacy related services.

The literacy team came out of the academy with a prototype to test a mobile book service to reach those in vulnerable communities.


Team Members

Nathalie LeBlanc-Boswall - Team Lead - Senior Policy Advisor responsible for the New Brunswick Literacy Strategy -

Beth Corey - Early Childhood Literacy Project Manager

Cheryl Brown - Community Literacy Coordinator

Wendy Sinclair - Literacy Learning Specialist

Clare Archibald - Regional Director, Early Childhood Services, Anglophone East School District

Food bank team

Food banks have been distributing emergency food to people in need in New Brunswick since the early 1980’s. As the demand for emergency food continues to increase, the availability of donated food and money is getting more and more difficult to come by and is not sustainable in the long-term. OPT 2 plan builds on the momentum of the first New Brunswick’s Economic and Social Inclusion Plan launched in 2009. The process provided an opportunity to restate values and actions identified in the first plan and identify new priority actions to be taken in the future. It was acknowledged that emergency food programs such as food banks, community kitchens and school breakfast programs are essential for some people to meet their basic food needs. In fact, nearly 20,000 New Brunswickers use food banks every month and nearly 60% of food banks across the province have reported an increase in use in recent years. As a society, we need to act collectively to implement sustainable measures addressing the challenges of food security.

To get all 60 food banks on the same page, collaborating with one another in one unified effort will be our complex challenge. To have food banks embrace both a philosophical change and a change in process will be key in moving this effort forward. As food banks work to end hunger and increase food security within New Brunswick it will take a real unified effort from the food bank front-line workers of more than 60 food banks in New Brunswick. Historically, food banks have been very independent in their efforts, relying on themselves fully without a real focus on collaboration and communication.

The food bank team is working on a standard of care and incentive program for all 60 food banks in NB to improve services and work toward ending the hunger cycle.


Team members

Christine LeBlanc - Team Lead - Provincial Consultant - GNB, Department of Social Development - Wellness Branch -

Benjamin MacMichael

Christine Bourgoin - Coordinator - Economic and Social Inclusion Corporation

Sarah Norman - Executive Director - St. George and Area Food Bank

Carol Boudreau - Executive Director - Vestaire St Joeseph

Laura Reinsborough - Network Director - New Brunswick Food Security Action Network