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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Abode Respite Service secures new home in Essex Centre

- this transition will allow for overnight respite options -

Photo submitted: Heather McCann, Founder and Executive Director of Abode Respite Services

by Sylene Argent Abode Respite Services, a non profit organization dedicated to providing out-of-home respite services to adults and inclusive community programming to people of all abilities, has secured a residential home to rent, located in the heart of Essex Centre.  The new space will allow this service to offer its current daytime and evening respite services and allow for the addition of overnight and 24/7 temporary respite options. Overnight respite is an option that has limited availability in the community, but there is a high demand for this service, Heather McCann said, who is the Executive Director.   Abode will receive the keys to the new rental unit at the end of the month and it is hoped the service will be moved into the new space by mid-April.   From there, the service expansion will be rolled out in phases, including evenings, weekends, and overnight. “Then, we will be open 24/7,” she said.   McCann said that typically, respite services are done in the home, but this is redefining the traditional care model.   Adobe, McCann said, has been looking for an appropriate home since last summer. “We had to make sure the house was right for us. We want to include members and be active in the community. Being able to walk to amenities offers independence,” she said. “The house is wonderful and has all we need.” If anyone has any suggestions on how the service should be delivered, McCann encourages them to reach out. “We would love to hear from you. This is brand new to us and our members and we want to make sure it is the best service it can be.” Currently, the local organization can only offer daytime and evening respite services from Brooker Baptist Church in Cottam. Its space there has been set up to be like home. “Abode’s mission has always been to create a home-away-from-home for our members,” McCann said. The service began from McCann’s Woodslee home in April of 2017. She founded the businesses in memory of her little sister, Hannah, who had cerebral palsy and passed away at the age of ten. “The whole idea for Abode was for Hannah,” McCann said, adding her family knew that as Hannah got older, she would require a home that could provide her with the supports she would need. It is hoped the 24/7 service Abode is reaching to offer, McCann said, will help families in need of overnight respite services as there is still around a 20-year waiting list for people with special needs to find permanent housing with supports. Everything Abode has done to date has been with an aim to offer the 24/7 respite service. “We thought this would be way in the future,” she said. On February 1, 2019, Abode was incorporated as a Non-Profit organization. McCann is now working on obtaining charitable status. For more information about Abode Respite Services, log onto

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