How it all began
The History of The Humboldt & District Community Services
In 1994, a job shadowing project called FACE TO FACE took place in Humboldt. Produced by the Saskatchewan Association for Community Living (SACL, now Inclusion Sask), the program was designed to educate employers about hiring individuals with disabilities.
This led to a community awareness committee called the Humboldt Partnership for Inclusion. Their primary goal was to strategize and develop ways to create awareness about persons with disabilities, their potential in the work force and to help create employment opportunities. This committee evolved into the Alternative Employment and Independence Group (AEIG).
In 1998, AEIG and SACL merged and hired a coordinator to provide career and employment development activities for youth with disabilities. Two years later, AEIG incorporated as a non-profit community-based organization under a new name – Opportunity Employment and Independence Group (OEIG). OEIG’s mission would be to provide services for persons with employment barriers.
The organization later started its first Summer Program with the purpose of providing a summer filled with activities for youth with disabilities, while providing relief for caregivers. The Summer Program celebrated its 20th year in 2020.
Since this time, the organization has been contracted annually to provide such services on behalf of the Ministry of Immigration and Career Training/Labour Market Services.
2006 - 2008
In 2006, no longer with a sole focus on supported employment programming, partnership were made with other community agencies in addressing the needs of families in the community. One of the requests was looking at respite options.
By 2008, after committee research was completed, a Special Needs Care Coordinator was hired to pilot regional respite care programs. The project, funded through the Community Initiative Fund, was a success. The Ministry of Social Services/CLSD agreed to continue funding the program, now called Community Inclusion Support Services (CISS). This program addresses unmet needs and provides integrated case management services to individuals, families, and the community. During that time, work also was being done on the development of HILDA Home, a 4-bedroom group home. The home was designated as part of the Ministry of Social Services 440 Waitlist Initiative.
2010 - 2020
In 2010, after the development, construction, and the hiring of staff, the doors to the HILDA Home opened. The organization was soon after renamed, Humboldt and District Community Services (HDCS), to reflect its overall services.
Between 2010-2020, programs and services expanded and shifted. In addition to employment services, support services and residential services, as well as other contracts were taken on. Inclusive social programming now includes youth and adult social clubs and monthly inclusive dances. 2019 marked the 10th anniversary of hosting the dances. A job search resource centre for the public has also been provided, with equipment and resources to support anyone looking for employment. We currently have 20 staff delivering 11 projects and services to the Humboldt region.