The Community and Residents Mentors Association (CARMA) was inspired by the experience of people with disabilities who left care facilities and established their lives in the community. In the process of making this transition, they learned how to plan, where to go for information and who to ask for support. Most often, they relied on other people with disabilities who had taken a similar path.
The purpose of CARMA is to identify this network of peer support and to facilitate building relationships between mentors in the community and residents of George Pearson Centre. These mentoring relationships will in turn enable people with disabilities who are at Pearson Centre to dream, to plan and to pursue their life goals. For some, this will lead to resettlement in the community. For others who choose to remain at Pearson, it will help them to take more control of their lives.
- Provide opportunities for people with disabilities to encourage and to assist others to plan their life goals;
- Provide peer support for residents of George Pearson Centre who wish to make a transition to the community;
- Collaborate and develop strategies with Pearson residents to enable their self determination;
- Develop and promote activities that build bridges between the community and the residents of Pearson Centre;
- Support and facilitate Residents participation in planning for the future for Pearson Centre;
- Collaborate with Residents Council and Pearson staff to implement the Eden Alternative to improve the quality of life at the Centre.
CARMA is led by people with disabilities who are working together to gain control over the resources for their well-being. CARMA is a program of the Disability Alliance of BC (DABC) (formerly the BCCPD) (www.disabilityalliancebc.org) and is funded through the SMARTFund of Vancouver Coastal Health www.smartfund.ca