CARMA

The Community and Residents Mentors Association (CARMA) was inspired by the experience of people with disabilities who left care facilities and established their lives in the community.

In the process of making this transition, they learned how to plan, where to go for information and who to ask for support. Most often, they relied on other people with disabilities who had taken a similar path.

The purpose of CARMA is to identify this network of peer support and to facilitate building relationships between mentors in the community and residents of George Pearson Centre. These mentoring relationships will in turn enable people with disabilities who are at Pearson Centre to dream, to plan and to pursue their life goals. For some, this will lead to resettlement in the community. For others who choose to remain at Pearson, it will help them to take more control of their lives.

Read about CARMA’s capacity building strategies.

Principles

  • Individuals have the right to self-determination
  • Services and supports are individualized and flexible
  • The community is a place of welcome

Goals

  • To provide opportunities for people with disabilities to encourage and to assist others to plan their life goals
  • To provide peer support for residents of George Pearson Centre who wish to make a transition to the community
  • To collaborate with service providers and government in the development of the most appropriate resources for community living
  • To research and evaluate the impact of peer mentoring on quality of life

CARMA is led by people with disabilities who are working together to gain control over the resources for their well-being. The project leaders and community mentors collaborate with service providers but they do not provide or coordinate services. Their role is to foster social networks and help Pearson residents to gain skills and information that will allow them to make more of their own choices.

Building strong, supportive relationships is a major determinant of health. CARMA is funded by the SMART Fund of Vancouver Coastal Health as a demonstration of how peer support can promote health.

Contact Information

CARMA Pearson Office Ward 1, Room 111

Tel: (604) 321-3231, local 3118 | Email: carma@disabilityalliancebc.org

Website: www.pearsonresidents.bc.ca