Our Impact Why We Exist

In 1955 a group of dedicated parents launched an educational and social program for their children with developmental disabilities. Almost 60 years later, Community Living Victoria (CLV) has become a vibrant not-for-profit organization that provides services to people of all ages with developmental disabilities.

Mission: CLV supports persons with developmental disabilities, together with their families, support networks and the community in a wide range of services that promote their full citizenship.

Our work is guided by our values, experience and long history, and draws from strong roots in the Victoria community. We recognize how important it is for everyone to have a full range of life choices, including access to education, affordable and appropriate housing, leisure options, gainful employment and participation in community. The principle of community living reflects a belief that healthy communities encourage and value the involvement of everyone.


Our Story What We Do

Over the past 6 decades, CLV has assisted people with developmental disabilities to access the same opportunities to live, work and volunteer in the Victoria community as other citizens, and has promoted respect for the diverse gifts that people of all abilities offer. CLV also links individuals and families to services and supports that maximize their personal development and participation in community.

Participant Vignette:

“Z’s” family consists of three generations of family members – grandparents, mom, and daughter - living together, trying to do what they can to support each other during tough times. Each generation of this family has personal barriers that make it difficult to access systems effectively and efficiently. Both mom and daughter have developmental disabilities. Things that many of us take for granted, such as the ability to manage time, to do research and to make informed decisions, have been a constant struggle. 

A few years ago the family found help from CLV's Parenting Program, designed to assist adults with a developmental disability who are parenting their own children. Then, when "Z's" complex behaviors increased, CLV’s Family Support Worker was also introduced to the family’s support team. She helped the family make informed decisions regarding which other services best fit “Z’s” needs, goals and interests, as well as the family’s situation.

“Z” now has a team of professionals working with her. CLV continues to play a central coordinating and advocacy role. “Z’s” grandparents and mom now feel they better understand “Z’s” needs and what resources are available.  Their confidence continues to grow as they become increasingly educated about the systems they are involved in, learn how to advocate for “Z’s” needs, and connect with other families in their community.  Since the family was able to organize services that were best suited to “Z” and their particular life situation in a timely manner, “Z” had the opportunity to acquire many skills she needed to be successful in kindergarten.  Their willingness seek assistance has transformed them from a family in constant turmoil to a family ready, able and determined to help “Z” succeed! 

Simon BurgeOur Programs How We Do It

CLV offers a wide range of supports and services for persons with developmental disabilities that can be grouped into 4 areas: Community Services; Youth Programs; Community Inclusion; and Residential Housing.

Community Services

  • Employment Services help individuals find and maintain employment in rewarding and satisfying jobs
  • Family Support is driven by family and individual needs, and includes support, networking, referrals and advocacy.
  • Host Agency assists individuals and families to put the supports they want into place, using their "individualized funding."
  • Parent Support Program provides assistance to parents with developmental disabilities who are living with the everyday joys and challenges of raising their own children.
  • Supported Apartment Living provides daily supports to individuals living in their own apartments.
  • Supported Independent Living helps people who are living in their own homes to manage their home, their health and their social and working lives through regular visits.

Youth Programs:

  • Autism Services offers community-based 1:1 support, social groups, and day camps for children and youth with autism, aged 6 - 18.
  • Children & Youth with Special Needs (CYSN) provides up to 5 hours per week of direct 1:1 support for children and youth with developmental disabilities who are involved in multiple service systems.
  • Teen Community Connections (TCC) is a fun, safe, community-based after school program program and full day camp during summer that is designed to meet the care and social needs of teens. Activities are geared to building social connections and strengthening skills for independence.
  • VOCYL is a youth advocacy group that visits schools in the area, bringing the message of inclusion and anti-bulling to hundreds of students.
  • Facts For Life provides youth with the opportunity to have their social and friendship needs met while developing practical life skills that can be lived out in the program, at home and in their community.

Community Inclusion: CLV offers a range of program options that promote meaningful community inclusion and choice. These focus on supported volunteerism, work skills, recreation and leisure, and retirement.

Residential Housing

  • 14 Family Style Homes located throughout Greater Victoria provide 24 hour support in environments that help people live as independently as possible.
  • Home Share matches individuals to housing based on their needs and lifestyle preferences.

What You Can Do

With your help, we can make a difference in the lives of people with developmental disabilities.  We need your support to fulfill our vision of a community where everyone’s dreams, regardless of abilities and experiences, can be fulfilled. 

Donate now through CanadaHelps.org or make a tax-deductable donation during one of CLV's annual fundraisers: "Reach for the Stars" (fall/winter) & "Reach for the Sun" (spring/summer).

The Community Living Victoria Foundation also hosts a concert every fall. All ticket proceeds go directly to enhance the lives of people we support. Consider becoming a sponsor and/or attending this spectacular event. The Foundation also welcomes other opportunities to raise funds and the profile of CLV.

There are also volunteer opportunities throughout the year that are extremely rewarding to those who donate their time and talents!


Ellen Tarshis
Executive Director
250.477.7231 x226
Charitable Number: 118837830RR0001

Donate Now

Finance & Governance