Chances are you’ve never heard of Luso Canadian Charitable Society. But the organization has been helping adults with disabilities for over 10 years in Hamilton. The centre focuses on interaction, and for participants, it’s a home away from home.
It’s a place to play music. A space to keep to fit. Or to hang out with friends. But most of all, the Luso Canadian Charitable Society works like a family with a focus first on care, and then participation.
Jacinto Ribeiro is the Executive Director of Luso in Hamilton: “They engage in every aspect of life. From the household tasks, cooking cleaning doing laundry and all that stuff to community engagement .”
The organization was formed in 2003 by a small group of parents in the Hamilton Portuguese community whose sons and daughters were on waiting lists for programs for adults with disabilities. It quickly expanded to include people of all backgrounds across the city. Currently there are about 50 participants who learn life skills daily. Often through giving back to the community.
This group is planting beans and potatoes at Victory Gardens which grows fresh produce for Hamilton’s food banks.
Daniel: “We came here early in the morning. The last two weeks we planted flowers, the seeds and vegetables.”
Something Daniel and his fellow participants can feel good about while working together: “I enjoy myself. I do the same thing at my parents house we do a lot of things working as a team.”
Nicole DaCosta is an educational assistant: “The community helps out our program as well so it’s nice to give back to the community as well.”
In the kitchen, a group is baking lemon cupcakes in preparation for a garage sale fundraiser this weekend. while the building is government funded. Daily operations at Luso are not. Participants pay 75% of the cost for coming here. Donations cover the rest.
“There are some families that need extra support because they don’t get support from the government for several reasons. We’re also helping some of these families as well.”
If you’d like to help out Luso, you can drop by their garage sale this Saturday from about 7am until noon at 67 Sunninghill Ave in Hamilton. They’re hoping to raise about $1,000.