At the end of August, Community Living Cambridge welcomed Chris Heath as the new Director of Residential Supports. Chris brings with her a varied background of supporting people with disabilities in the community as well as in residential home settings. As COVID continues to keep us all safely at home, we thought it would be nice to virtually introduce Chris to our Community Living family.
Chris grew up in Oakville as a middle child with two sisters, and she credits her parents for keeping her grounded while growing up. As the middle sister, Chris learned to listen and problem solve and was often the go-between for her sisters. These skills and her passion for working with, and supporting others, is what inspired her career path to social services.
Chris was first introduced to Community Living while she was in school, completing a placement with Community Living Oakville. It was her first experience working with people with developmental disabilities. What she enjoyed most about that placement was working with the people saying, “…I just loved going into the group homes to meet and get to know the participants.”
True to her kind and compassionate nature, Chris enjoys the person-centered culture of CLC. She has always been passionate about working with management, as she enjoys problem solving and using her big picture thinking to help make decisions to drive the agency forward. Alongside our Managers, Chris is participant-focused. She is an advocate for the staff and people we support, working hard to ensure everyone has the things they need. The other component of her new role, which she enjoys, is working with other agencies seeking best practices for staff and participants. She admits, “…we are in some challenging times, but we all need to stay the course and it will pass. We need to continue to stick together.”
What drives Chris is being with people and seeing them happy. No surprise here, she also enjoys a good laugh. She lives in Hamilton with her husband, 20 year old daughter, 17 year old son, and their beloved dog Jaxon, who 12 years earlier was their rescue puppy.
Chris speaks of her time with us thus far by saying, “…I am honoured and ecstatic to a part of this team. Thank you to everyone who has been so welcoming to me!”
We are so glad you joined our team!