Communities where people of all abilities belong and are connected through meaningful relationships.
We engage with you to be empowered and express your gifts, together with your loved ones, to build a network of support that honours your choices for the life you want in the Waterloo Region.
To affirm the inherent dignity and worth of people living with disabilities and to walk with them to overcome isolation, live free of barriers to inclusion and experience belonging
- RESPECT – experienced as kindness, consideration, and regard for the rights, needs, wishes and wellbeing of others
- EMPOWERMENT – experienced as autonomy through the ability to exercise choice, advocate & self-direct
- GIFTS & STRENGTHS – experienced as opportunities to develop and use talents and abilities in service to one’s self, others and the community
- DIVERSITY – experienced as appreciation, acceptance, accommodation, and inclusion of all people as valued fellow citizens
- COMMUNITY – experienced as a valued contributing member within a network of supportive and meaningful relationships
- BELONGING – as experienced through a sense of connection, acceptance, value, safety, and being cared about
Our Principles & Practices
- Strengths-based approach: Building on strengths and gifts
- Community as a first resort: Accomplishing the dream
- Person-Directed & Family Supported: Ensuring that the individual drives the process
- Supported Decision Making: Honouring and supporting a person in making their decisions
- Self Advocacy & Determination: Assisting to make genuine choices, providing intentional planning
- Active Community Partners: Engaging families/loved ones and networks in the journey
- Innovation and Adaptability: Offering creative facilitation to support the uniqueness of each person
- Learning Opportunity: Ensuring the learning process is mutual and reciprocal for everyone involved in the process
- Citizenship: Honouring the democratic right of people to fully participate in their community
- All of our work is based on respect which means:
- Listening deeply
- Shared Learning
- Acting with kindness
Originally called Facile: Independent Facilitation Waterloo Region, we were launched as an initiative of The New Story Group in 2010 to assist people with disabilities and their families to plan for and build a good life in community. In 2016 we changed our name to Bridges to Belonging Waterloo Region, to reflect our continued focus on building a community where everyone belongs and became a registered charity. In 2018, Planned Lifetime Networks (PLN) merged with Bridges to Belonging to expand our offering and practice to include the Personal Support Networks and Future Planning Supports services.
Bridges to Belonging is a grassroots, relationship-based organization of independent facilitators and community connectors who work alongside youth, adults and seniors with disabilities and dual diagnosis to live, work and play as citizens, develop networks of support and experience belonging in a community.
We are facilitators of change, connection and contribution resulting in capacity and community building, resilience and a life of purpose, meaning and belonging.