Community Living Hamilton supports 1,400 people with developmental disabilities such as Down Syndrome and Autism. We are the largest service provider in Hamilton for these individuals and their families, and we are one of the largest not-for-profits and registered charities in our community.

With over 250 staff members, 100 volunteers and valued community partners, we empower people with developmental disabilities to fully participate and contribute to their community. Together, we help build great lives. We encourage full inclusion through person-directed planning…. and promote independence and personal choice, so our clients can lead the lives they want.

Whether it’s living independently or in a group setting, working in competitive employment, or sharing in community activities, we are here to help people achieve their full potential and dreams.

Our Important Work

Community Living Hamilton began when a group of mothers came together in a church basement to explore how they could support each other and their sons and daughters with special needs. More than 70 years later, their determination, spirit and support are reflected in our wealth of programs and services that help build great lives. These include:

  • Community day programs where people with developmental disabilities can plan and participate in social, recreational and skills development activities.
  • Fee-for-service options such as weekly social gatherings and skills-building sessions.
  • Essential respite care that eases the burden on caregivers and provides a safe, enjoyable experience for kids and adults.
  • Residential care through group homes, family homes and support for independent living.
  • Resource teachers and facilitators who support the inclusion of kids in licensed childcare settings.
  • Valuable employment services, supports and more.

Mission, Vision & Values


Dedicated to providing opportunities and support to help people with special needs build great lives.


All people with special needs achieve their full potential and are included in our community.

G-R-E-A-T Values

Growth that exceeds expectations

Respect for all

Excellence and safety in everything we do

Abilities first

Trust and integrity



Advocacy for the Individual

Our services are built on personalized planning that aims to tailor activities to the wants and needs of the person we are supporting. We help individuals identify goals that are meaningful to them – such as education, vocation, recreation and personal fulfillment – then work with them to create plans to achieve their goals. Our advocacy includes such things as helping our clients find a job, obtain accommodation, enroll in recreational activities, manage their personal finances and navigate the various systems to ensure they have access to all available supports.

Advocacy in the Community

We work with various partners in the community so that people with developmental disabilities are included in all aspects of life. This may include working with employers to adapt practices to better suit people with disabilities, or working with the educational system and childcare sector to build capacity for more inclusive practices. It also involves partner consultations, on-site support, training and, above all, sharing knowledge within our community.

Advocacy in the Sector

We are members of provincial groups that strive to raise awareness of developmental disabilities and advocate for full inclusion of people with disabilities, such as Community Living Ontario and the Ontario Agencies Supporting Individuals with Special Needs (OASIS). These groups work with government ministries and elected officials to improve legislation and to enhance the funding and resources that support individuals with developmental disabilities. These groups also influence communities to be inclusive of everyone.

Board of Directors

Community Living Hamilton is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors.

Joe Obermeyer, President
Joe Obermeyer
Joe was elected to the Board in 2008 and has been serving as President since 2018. He is the Plant Manager at Sun Chemical in Burlington. Sun Chemical is the world leader in manufacturing and supply of printing inks and graphic arts materials to the printing industry. As a member of the Business Community, very involved in and supported of inclusive employment. Joe has been a community partner with Community Living Hamilton’s Employment Access Program since 2001.
Brad Pugh
Vice Chair
Brad Pugh joined the Board of Directors in 2020, bringing over a decade of experience in healthcare services and dementia research management. With a robust background in clinical operations and a commitment to enhancing patient care, Brad currently serves as a Quality and Process Consultant in Ambulatory Clinical Services. His role focuses on optimizing healthcare delivery and improving patient outcomes. Brad holds a Project Management Professional (PMP) designation and a Lean Green Belt in Healthcare, highlighting his dedication to operational excellence and continuous improvement.
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Maggie Gallagher
Maggie Gallagher was elected to the Board of Directors in 2020. Maggie holds designations as both a Certified General Accountant and Chartered Professional Accountant and brings with her approximately 30 years of financial expertise in the non-profit sector. She previously served as Comptroller of the McMaster Student Union and Finance Officer at the Mohawk Student Association.
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Careen Jones
Careen was elected to the Board in 2023. Careen has extensive experience and a long career in the Ontario Public Service with the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. She has provided executive leadership and management of legislative and policy requirements including planning, developing and implementing strategies to achieve the ministry’s mandate and priorities. Careen also led Human Resources policy development initiatives with the City of Hamilton. She holds a Masters of Arts with a concentration in Labour Relations and Policy Analysis. Careen is also a volunteer tutor and member of the board for the Hamilton Literacy Council.

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Vimal Vyas
Vimal was elected to the Board in 2023. Vimal is a finance and operations professional with many years of diverse and progressive experience in both the ‘for profit’ and ‘not-for-profit’ sectors. Vimal has previous volunteer Board experience, serving as Treasurer and Board member for CARP – Hamilton chapter. He currently serves as the Vice President of Finance, IT and Asset Management for YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka. Vimal holds several certifications including CPA, CMA and CSC, to name just a few.
We are always pleased to receive applications from people who want to join our Board of Directors. If you are interested, call our main office at 905-528-0281.

Publications and Resources

The Advocate

View our Spring 2017 edition here: The Advocate Spring 2017
View our Winter 2017 edition here: The Advocate Winter 2017

View our Fall 2016 edition here: The Advocate Sept 2016
View our Summer 2016 edition here: The Advocate July 2016
View our Winter 2016 edition here: The Advocate January 2016

View our Summer 2015 edition here: The Advocate August 2015
View our Spring 2015 edition here: The Advocate May 2015
View our Winter 2015 edition here: The Advocate January 2015

View our Fall 2014 edition here: The Advocate Fall 2014
View our Summer 2014 edition here: The Advocate Summer 2014
View our Spring 2014 edition here: The Advocate Spring 2014

View our Winter 2013 edition here: The Advocate Winter 2013

Annual Report

View our 2023/24 Annual Report here: CLH Annual Report 2023-2024
View our 2022/23 Annual Report here: CLH Annual Report 2022-2023
View our 2021/22 Annual Report here: CLH Annual Report 2021-2022
View our 2020/21 Annual Report here: CLH Annual Report 2020-2021
View our 2019/20 Annual Report here: CLH Annual Report 2019 2020
View our 2018/19 Annual Report here: CLH Annual Report 2018 2019
View our 2017/18 Annual Report here: CLH Annual Report 2017 2018
View our 2016/17 Annual Report here: CLH Annual Report 2016 2017
View our 2015/16 Annual Report here: CLH Annual Report 2015 2016
View our 2014/15 Annual Report here: CLH Annual Report 2014 2015
View our 2013/2014 Annual Report here: CLH Annual Report 2013 2014
View our 2012/2013 Annual Report here: CLH Annual Report 2012 2013

Audited Financial Statements

Our Policies

Special Needs Resourcing – Newsletter

Family Engagement Resources

Embracing Inclusion Audio Series

See below for episodes of Community Living Hamilton’s Embracing Inclusion audio series. Each weekly episode touches on a different theme with the goal of supporting inclusive education in early childhood settings during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. The series promotes discussion and offers tips and suggestions on how to fully include children with special needs.

Episode 16

Episode 15

Episode 14

Episode 13

Episode 12

Episode 11

Episode 10

Episode 9

Episode 8

Episode 7

Episode 6

Episode 5

Episode 4

Episode 3

Episode 2

Episode 1


Strategic Plan Framework

Drop 'n' Shop

When you ‘shop’ or ‘drop’ off items you are helping to build great lives for people with special needs right in your community.

Drop ‘n’ Shop is a thrift store operated by Community Living Hamilton, in partnership with the City of Hamilton. We accept a wide variety of pre-owned and gently used items for sale, including kitchenware, books, jewelry, toys, furniture, clothing and other goods. All money generated from the sales at the Drop ‘n’ Shop are reinvested in Community Living Hamilton programs and services. For people with diverse abilities, these programs are life changing.

Hours of Operation

Store Hours

Donation Hours








9am – 5pm

9am – 5pm

9am – 5pm

9am – 5pm

9am – 5pm

9am – 5pm


8am – 6pm

8am – 6pm

8am – 6pm

8am – 6pm

8am – 6pm

8am – 6pm



The store is located at the Community Recycling Centre on the East Mountain, 37 Kilbride Road (Upper Ottawa & Rymal Road) in Hamilton. Telephone: 905-385-3434.


Although we truly appreciate you donating your gently used items to Community Living Hamilton, unfortunately there are some items that we cannot accept:

Household Items:

Mattresses (any)

Furniture i.e. sofa, hutches, large tables, dressers – acceptable furniture: chairs, night tables, small shelving units (as space permits)

Appliances (large) i.e., major kitchen appliances – examples of acceptable: microwaves, countertop appliances





VHS tapes

Textbooks, encyclopedias, reference books older than 2020

Hockey equipment

Out of season sporting goods

Building Material/Debris

Automotive/Marine Batteries

Any item or machine requiring fuel (gas or propane) to function

Computer Hard Drives

Paint or Hazardous Materials

Propane Tanks or Gas Canisters


Household Garbage

Very Dirty, Wet or Broken Items

Large Exercise Equipment, i.e.,treadmills, ellipticals


Car Seats

High Chairs



Safety Gates


Exersaucers, etc.

Any safety items including:


Smoke or CO2 Detectors, etc.

Gardening machinery:

Gardening Machinery (gas powered)


Weedwhackers etc.



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