(December 20, 2013) – A new centre has been launched in the Greater Toronto Area to offer Muslims with disabilities culturally and spiritually sensitive respite, residential and peer support programs.
The Canadian Association of Muslims with Disabilities (CAM-D) introduced Deen Support Services and unveiled plans for the Muneeba Centre at a luncheon at the Mississauga City Hall on Sunday, December 8, 2013.
“We plan to open the doors of Deen Support Services in 2014 at the Muneeba Centre, our new home in Mississauga,” said Rabia Khedr, Executive Director of CAM-D.
Deen Support Services will offer skills day programming, peer support groups, information sessions, respite services at the recently purchased home that has been named the ‘Muneeba Centre.’
“We are starting small but dreaming big in our effort to build and inclusive society,” Rabia Khedr told the gathering. “With critical gaps in services for people with disabilities, we strive to support Muslim families, and all persons with disabilities who can benefit from our programs.”
“We were able to purchase the property for the Muneeba Centre with the help of Ansar Cooperative Housing Cooperation,” she added.
The luncheon event included remarks from federal, provincial and city politicians, as well as a video message of support from the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, Honourable David C. Onley.
750,000 Canadians are living with a developmental disability. With just over 1 million Muslims in Canada, it is estimated that 24,000 of these individuals may be Muslim.
In Ontario, there are approximately 12,000 adults with developmental disabilities waiting for appropriate residential services. Many of these individuals and their families are in crisis. Some young men and women find themselves with nowhere to live and nothing to do. They end up in nursing homes, hospitals, and homeless shelters.
“Everyone has a need to belong and it truly does take a village to raise a child and that cliché is so true for people with disabilities, especially people with developmental disabilities – they need people in their lives, they need things to do, they need good things to do,” Rabia Khedr told the audience.
“InshaAllah, God willing, the Centre will meet the needs of many Ontarians, and many members of our community who are extraordinarily vulnerable to access housing and other services and support,” she added.
“Our dream is to create a space where people belong.”