SMILE (Supporting Manitobans toward Independent Living Equity) is a new project to address the lack of appropriate, adequate and consistent support available to folks who need support to live independently but “fall between the cracks” of current government funding criteria.
A nugget of an idea is quickly becoming quite a project! We think you might be a “stakeholder” in this effort and hope that you can jump aboard for the exciting ride ahead. All of our combined stories, imagination, fortitude and resources will bring about changes that will be of benefit to all Manitobans.
While FAN (Family Advocacy Network) has recognized this pressing need in our communities since its inception in 2018, it is now possible to make a comprehensive effort with hope of advancing knowledge and action in this area of equitable living for every Manitoban. We invite you to visit the FAN website www.fanmb.ca or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on FAN initiatives.
Working with the Manitoba Research Alliance, under the able supervision of Nadine Bartlett, PhD, University of Manitoba, SMILE researchers will compile a comprehensive bank of research that identifies the current situation as individuals transition to adulthood in their late teens and early 20s. We hope this lays the groundwork for policy and procedure changes. It is an exciting time in this sector with many initiatives emerging at the same time. FAN hopes that we can all work collaboratively to help “the system” meet the needs of the people in our province.
I want you to know about this and to encourage your participation, whether that is saying “yes” when you are contacted by a researcher, writing a letter of support, helping to build a community of participants who would like to share stories of their experiences of support as they moved from youth to adult, joining the SMILE team, or simply spreading the word about this initiative.
Throughout this phase of the research, we expect to encounter a number of people who have had late diagnoses or no diagnosis, who will not have had supports in a school setting, but who have expertise living as an adult with need for support. They also have stories to tell and we will create a venue for those to be told. Equity is for everyone!
It is incredibly exciting and hopeful to see that all the hard work over the years might become something tangible in a systemic way. Please “stay tuned” for updates and further requests for your input. As well, please, please, offer any suggestions you might have, questions or concerns, resources. Thank you. These can be directed to SMILE at email@example.com or you can contact myself or SMILE Project Co-ordinator, Patricia Baker (204) 416 0133.