For two decades, Alice* has been trying to get meaningful, effective help for her two daughters.
“Foundry Terrace is the first place my kids have landed where they’ve felt comfortable,” she says.
Alice’s younger daughter has a mild intellectual disability, but without an autism diagnosis she wasn’t able to access TDCSS (Terrace & District Community Services Society) supports. Foundry offers services do not require a referral, and all services are free.
Her older daughter has used Foundry Terrace’s counselling and peer support, as well as participating in after school programs and the Youth Advisory Committee where older youth provide input on Foundry activities.
“The medical support has been very helpful as well. Having the nurse practitioner on hand means my daughter has access to accurate information, and it’s all confidential. For some concerns, she’s more comfortable asking the nurse practitioner than her family doctor. At Foundry, youth are welcomed no matter what.”
Support for the whole family
Alice’s family has had frustrating experiences with other health services. Sometimes their issues were dismissed, sometimes the solutions offered weren’t effective, and sometimes there were barriers to care including waitlists, referrals required, or restrictive rules around how to access services.
“Many parents have a lot of fear around asking for help. Foundry makes it wonderful — it’s not intimidating the way some other services are. I’ve had too many bad experiences, but the staff at Foundry were very reassuring. They make a point of getting to know you and listening to your concerns,” she says.
Alice knew what services her children needed, but she says they were floundering without a proper support system. Now at Foundry, the whole family feels supported.
“Nothing’s worse to me than being told ‘it’s just a phase.’ It’s not just a phase! And when a child doesn’t receive the right support, it’s affects the entire family — not just the individual,” she says. “Youth need to be surrounded by people who actually understand what it’s like to be a teenager today. The peer support workers at Foundry know what it’s like out there — it’s harder than it looks!”
Foundry provides services to youth aged 12 to 24, bridging the gap between childhood and adulthood. Youth are accepted regardless of their gender, sexual orientation or behavioural challenges, and learn coping skills so they don’t need to turn to drugs, alcohol or crime in order to feel fulfilled. All services are free, and no referral is required.
“TDCSS is an incredible place for those who have access; unfortunately there are limitations for who gets access, so Foundry provides a wonderful middle ground,” Alice says.
Foundry Terrace is currently operating out of a temporary, interim space at TDCSS headquarters, which was modified so they could begin offering Foundry services right away. The interim space is functional, but TDCSS is currently fundraising to build a larger, purpose-built space with much-needed affordable seniors housing above. The larger space will allow more local youth to receive a full range of supports — and free up the interim space for its original purpose, offering Community Living Programs to adults with diverse abilities.
*Name changed to protect privacy.