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On Wednesday, MPP Laura Smith and MPP Stephen Lecce congratulated the team at Reena on the Capital grant it received from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) to improve its HVAC systems in the buildings that host its community participation programs for persons with developmental disabilities. The news of the grant came on the day that Reena marked its 50th Anniversary in the community.

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“Having a positive safe, healthy and fun environment allows our most vulnerable population to flourish and grow – which is what makes this grant announcement all the more pertinent,” said Laura Smith, MPP for Thornhill. “Reena is an incredible organization, and I am grateful for their hard work, dedication, support for and positive impact on Thornhill. Our government is proud to invest in more fruitful lives for our seniors and individuals with disabilities.”

With this funding, Reena will replace three existing HVAC rooftop units that are 26 years old with new equipment operating in accordance to new building code provisions pertaining to IAQ (Internal Air Quality), which is especially important during and post-COVID for vulnerable individuals. This includes, but is not limited to, increasing the amount of fresh air in circulation, full utilization of economizers that contribute to saving energy (Green approach), and integration with new Building-Automation-Software (BAS) for all units allowing for better scheduling of operations, which saves on energy. Reena will also integrate a special UV built into system devices to eliminate airborne contaminations and viruses.

“Our government continues to invest in Reena’s positive mission of delivering support and opportunity to Ontarians with developmental difficulties,” said Stephen Lecce, MPP for King-Vaughan. “While our government continues to invest in new residential homes dedicated to adults living with a developmental disability, we are also upgrading our existing homes with state-of-the-art ventilation to keep residents and staff safe.”

Reena cannot expand its community-participation programs without improved air quality. Thanks to this grant, the life of the premises will be extended with more environmentally friendly HVAC systems leading to better air filtration and air quality, keeping the vulnerable individuals Reena supports safer.

“We are very grateful to the Ontario Trillium Foundation for investing in Reena,” said Bryan Keshen, CEO, of Reena. “This grant provides us with the funds necessary to support the upgrades of HVAC units, including air purification systems and BAS upgrades in all new and existing units, ensuring excellent air quality and circulation in Reena’s community participation programs.”

Community-participation programs boost participants’ mental and emotional well-being. Many vulnerable individuals with Developmental Disabilities want to continue spending time in their communities, but having a disability can impede this. However, with the support and resources provided by Reena, community involvement is made possible.

About Reena

Reena promotes dignity, individuality, independence, personal growth and community inclusion for people with diverse abilities within a framework of Jewish culture and values. Reena was established in 1973 by parents of children with developmental disabilities as a practical alternative to institutions. Since that time Reena has grown to provide support for 1,000 individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.

About the Ontario Trillium Foundation

The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF), an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations celebrates 40 years of grant-making in Ontario and making a lasting impact in communities. Last year, OTF invested nearly $209M into 2,042 community projects and partnerships, which included funding for the Government of Ontario’s Community Building Fund. Visit otf.ca to learn more.