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Developmental Services

We’re there for those who need us most.

Through our Developmental Services Department, YWCA Hamilton offers 24-hour Residential and Supported Independent Living programs that support adults with differing levels of independence and abilities. Services are designed to support individuals 18 years and older in building life skills, community safety skills, as well as in promoting community participation and social inclusion, which are key factors in developing lasting relationships.

Our Community Participation Day Programs focus on delivering engaging recreational activities outside the home that promote health and wellness, build self-esteem, empowerment and social connections geared to both younger and older adults. The following is a list of Community Participation Day Programs currently offered by YWCA Hamilton:

  • Imagine Day Program (in-person small groups by DSO referral)
  • Fee-For-Service Programs (in-person by self-referral)
  • Online Participation Membership (online by self-referral)

Imagine Day Program

(DSO referral Community Participation Day Program)

The Imagine Day Program (formerly Y’Art and Cass) focuses on therapeutic recreation services for adults and seniors with developmental disabilities. The program takes a person-centered approach that fosters individual empowerment while maintaining and building social and community connections.

  • Person centered approach – we draw from each client’s personal history, interests, and goals to provide appropriate intervention. We look at the whole person, and adapt each program to meet each client’s needs.
  • Individual empowerment – we focus on inclusion, and empowering our clients to live their fullest life by removing any barriers
  • Building social and community connections – we believe that all clients should live in a state of dignity and share in all elements of living within their community with support and encouragement

The Imagine Day Program is offered at two locations:

  • Imagine Day Program – YWCA Hamilton MacNab Street
  • Satellite Imagine Day Program – Putman Family YWCA (currently available to residents only)

Program Details:

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

To learn more about eligibility and application process, please visit Developmental Services Ontario

For more information, please contact Alysha Hoar

Community Participation Online Membership

(Self-referral Community Participation Day Program)

Introducing the DS Community Participation Online Membership to provide monthly access to unlimited online programming aimed to decrease social isolation, enhance cognitive stimulation, and promote emotional and psychological health and well-being of participants.

Register with membership to receive your activity kit* and access codes for innovative monthly programming.

DS Community Participation Online Membership is considered an expense reimbursed through Passport Funding.

*Participants 16 years and older with Developmental Disabilities or Dual Diagnoses.
Participants require device to access Internet Connection

Dates and times
Tuesday and Thursday afternoons
$40 + tax per month

For More Information or to Register
Alysha Hoar (she/her)
Program Supervisor — Community Participation
(905) 522-9922 x 178

Fee-for-Service Programs

(Self-referral Community Participation Day Program)

Programs are offered on a seasonal basis, subject to change according to number of registrations. For more information on each program or to inquire as to the next available session, please call 905 522 9922 ext. 178 or Please email if you would like your email to be added to our seasonal newsletter promoting the registration of open programs.

We are committed to enhancing the opportunities that are offered to our community. If you have a suggestion or inquiry of programming that may benefit the community we serve please send your suggestion to

Experience a multi-sensory environment that blends sights, sounds, textures and motion to provide stimulation of primary senses.

This client-centred room can be modified to meet specific goals and sensory needs to ensure every individual has an opportunity for meaningful relaxation and sensory awareness in a tranquil environment.


$10/hour with your own support staff (please inquire about one-time training fee for support staff)

$15/hour if a trained Therapeutic Recreation Practitioner staff is required.

Location: 75 MacNab Street South.

For more information or to register contact Alysha Hoar at 905-522-9922 ext. 178 or

Community Recreation to Enhance Wellness (C.R.E.W.)

The YWCA Hamilton C.R.E.W. program is most beneficial to participants that have some independent living skills with a 1:5 staff ratio.

Daily activities are designed to promote individual growth through creative expression (craft, art, creative writing, drama, music), group team-building games, fitness games, community outings, group volunteering. Activities address improved wellness in the following areas:

  • Independence in and awareness of the community
  • Psychological well-being and emotion regulation
  • Social networking and social interaction skills
  • Physical literacy, health and wellness
  • Intellectual and cognitive processes
  • Leisure, recreation and boredom busters

Dates: Mondays to Fridays (excluding stat holidays)

Time: 10a.m.-3p.m.

Cost: $200-$250/week

10% discount for full camp registrations (8 weeks).

Location: YWCA Hamilton, 75 MacNab St. S., Hamilton.

For more information, contact Alysha Hoar at or 905-522-9922 ext. 178

  • $60 + tax for 8 Weeks
  • 8-week program designed to stretch and strengthen muscles while learning fun and safe ways to incorporate fitness into your daily lifestyle. This program will lead participants in adapted and accommodated physical activities to increase opportunities for physical activity each week.
  • 905 522 9922 ext 178 or to register
  • $60 + tax for 8 weeks
  • Offers participants the opportunity to participate in calming mindfulness-based art activities with the purpose of enhancing mood and quality of life. All supplies included.
  • 905 522 9922 ext 178 or to register
  • $40 + tax person session (one Saturday per month for up to 4 months)
  • Provides participants the opportunity to learn the skills and competencies of adventure therapy-based activities such as nature hikes, festival visits and various cultural events. Participants are guided in the community with staff to ensure appropriate accommodations and supports are received.
  • 905 522 9922 ext 178 or to register
  • $40 + tax per session (one Saturday per month for up to 4 months)
  • Participants build creative energies, developing self-esteem, confidence and an increased understanding of socially appropriate emotional expressions through the use of dramatic arts activities.
  • 905 522 9922 ext 178 or to register
  • $2 Drop-In Fee
  • All participants are invited to attend to play board games and more! Learn to problem solve, practice social skills and team build with friendly, enjoyable company.
  • Offered September to June on Thursday Evenings from 6 to 8pm

905 522 9922 ext 178 to register

  • $60 + tax per 8 Week Session
  • Create beautiful Jewellery with your own unique and artistic flair! Beginnger and experienced jewelers are welcome to participate and discover a new creative outlet.
  • 905 522 9922 ext 178 or to register
  • $60 + tax per 8 Week Session
  • Provides participants with the opportunity to learn new recipes within group activities with the purpose of educating participants on kitchen safety and healthy foods to increase independent living skills.
  • 905 522 9922 ext 178 or to register
  • $60 + tax per 8 Week Session
  • Come join an innovative form of exercise that promotes the use of laughter as a physical form of exercise. No need to be funny or know jokes, just be ready to have fun and laugh your heart out!
  • 905 522 9922 ext 178 or to register
  • Mondays beginning September 11, 2023
  • 6-7pm
  • $45 for 4-Week Sessions
  • Participate in an inclusive class where instructors will adapt techniques to individuals abilities.

905 522 9922 ext 178 or to register

  • $40 + tax per session (one Saturday per month for up to 4 months)
  • This fun and interactive workshop will provide the opportunity for participants with a photo taking device to practice photography skills and self-reflection. Participants will have the opportunity for their photos to be displayed to the public.
  • 905 522 9922 ext 178 or to register
  • $60 + tax per 8 Week Session
  • 8 Week Certificate of Participation Workshop that will teach young men and women the skills to develop and maintain helathy, violence free relationships. Participants learn about rights and responsibilities, elements of healthy relationships and sexuality, social skills, effective communication, problem solving and generate a sense of agency in their personal bonds with others.
  • 905 522 9922 ext 178 or to register
  • $40 + tax per session (one Saturday per month for up to 4 months)
  • A Certificate of Participation workshop that will help participants learn self-advocacy skills and the competencies to voice their opinions, make choices, participate in brain-storming/voting activities and learn about their rights.
  • 905 522 9922 ext 178 or to register

Residential Programs

YWCA Hamilton operates a wide variety of housing options for adults with developmental disabilities. These include group homes, residential care facilities and supported apartment settings. All residential group living provide 24-hour support and supervision to adults with a Developmental Disability based on their abilities and skills associated with activities of daily living. The home environment provides residents with the opportunity to further gain independence building life skills, social and communication skills, and puts an emphasis on social inclusion and community participation.

For more information, please contact Tracey Helwig, manager Developmental Services  at 905-522-9922 ext. 153 or

A semi-independent housing model for 10 individuals located on the entire 6th floor of a geared-to-income city housing complex in partnership with Wesley Urban Ministries and St. Joseph’s Hospital. The program mandate is to provide permanent housing for individuals who are dually diagnosed and inappropriately placed within the hospital.

For more information, please contact Tracey Helwig 905-522-9922 ext. 153 or

YWCA Community Support Programs (CSP) and Supported Independent Living (SIL) provide in-home support to adults living with a developmental disability. Supports are based on individualized needs in all areas of daily living skills. The emphasis is on skill-building development and increasing or maintaining independence.

Recreation & Leisure activities are offered regularly to provide opportunities to enhance social skills and develop meaningful friendships.

For more information, please contact Carol Fraser, manager Developmental Services-Community Supports at 905-522-9922 ext. 153 or

Developmental Services Stories

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