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Founder of Lennon House ‘shocked’ she was fired as centre’s executive director

Dianne Younger says she felt issues have been going effectively proper up till the day she was instructed she would now not be the chief director of Lennon Restoration Home and was now not allowed on the property. 

Younger stated she was simply finalizing supply particulars for new tiny houses that may let Lennon Home present housing to individuals who’d been via its addictions program when board members and a newly employed HR particular person met together with her and instructed her she was being faraway from her job

She stated she was blindsided. 

“I simply didn’t count on this and it was simply not proper, any method you take a look at it,” stated Younger, who fundraised for and based Lennon Home in reminiscence of her son. “It was all so very quick — and brutal, actually.”   

Lennon Recovery House is a large yellow building, it's shown at it's location in Rustico, P.E.I.
Lennon Restoration Home opened in Rustico in April 2020. It is named after Dianne Younger’s son Lennon Waterman, who struggled with addictions and psychological well being points earlier than his loss of life in 2013. (Laura Meader/CBC)

Younger stated she was handed a letter detailing eight completely different complaints about her administration of the Rustico facility. 

“In, like, 10 minutes, I used to be terminated, I used to be disciplined after which I used to be provided one other place,” she stated. 

Younger believes labour legal guidelines weren’t adopted, saying her behaviour wasn’t written up in any method or addressed together with her earlier than the assembly at which her job was terminated. 

She gave CBC Information a replica of the termination letter she was handed. Amongst different issues, it says she had not complied with Lennon Home insurance policies and procedures — lots of which she had written — and had demonstrated unprofessional conduct. 

Board, employees say Lennon Home will proceed

CBC Information spoke with appearing board president Ronnie Nicholson, who confirmed Younger was fired from the job however wouldn’t go into any particulars about why, citing authorized causes. He declined to give an interview, however did say Lennon Home would proceed with its mission of serving to susceptible shoppers. 

Shannon Plouffe shown in her office at Lennon House.
Interim government director Shannon Plouffe stated Younger created a legacy that may dwell on. Lennon Home at the moment has 19 residents participating in its applications. (Laura Meader/CBC)

Nicholson additionally confirmed the board provided Younger a distinct job she might do from a distant location, as Lennon Home’s housing co-ordinator and fundraiser. Younger agreed that occurred, however stated there was no followup with any particulars in regards to the alternate job.

Interim government director Shannon Plouffe, who has labored on the dwelling for 4 years, instructed CBC Information that Younger is to be counseled for her advocacy work and what she achieved in establishing the house. 

“She is clearly the rationale Lennon Home is right here,” stated Plouffe. “She definitely was the face of Lennon Home.”

All of us consider in her imaginative and prescient of a peer-supported group, community-run, the place we are able to simply supply supportive after-care to individuals.— Shannon Plouffe

She added: “All of us consider in her imaginative and prescient of a peer-supported group, community-run, the place we are able to simply supply supportive after-care to individuals.” 

Plouffe stated she wasn’t concerned within the termination course of however confirmed interviews have been underway to discover a new government director. 

“We’re very comfortable to proceed within the work that we all know that we are able to do,” she stated, including that 19 residents are at the moment being cared for on the 27-bed dwelling, and applications are going effectively.

Cottage style tiny homes have been set up beside Lennon House in Rustico.
4 new tiny houses have been just lately arrange beside Lennon Home to offer housing for residents who’ve accomplished the applications however nonetheless want help. (Laura Meader/CBC)

4 new tiny houses are anticipated to be prepared to be used on the Lennon Home acreage by the spring, serving as transitional housing for individuals graduating from the Lennon Home residency program, Plouffe stated. 

Future fundraising a priority

Each the board president and Plouffe stated Younger introduced in important donations for the centre through the years, and there may be some concern about not having that income sooner or later. 

The board stated the province gives Lennon Home with $936,000 yearly, and fundraising often gives about $200,000. 

Dianne Younger inside Lennon Restoration Home in a file picture from 2019. (Steve Bruce/CBC)

The Division of Well being and Wellness additionally confirmed further funding was offered to rent an exterior marketing consultant to help in finishing an HR assessment at Lennon Home in 2021.

A spokesperson stated the province was not concerned within the operations of Lennon Home or its providers. 

Dedicated to addictions restoration 

Younger began the Lennon Home Restoration Affiliation in 2017, with the house opening in April 2020. 

The house is called after her son, Lennon Waterman, who struggled with psychosis and addictions earlier than dying as a consequence of suicide in 2013.

Dianne Younger is pictured in 2014, in the beginning of her marketing campaign for residential look after addictions remedy on the Island. (CBC)

Within the wake of his loss of life, Younger grew to become a outstanding advocate for higher addictions remedy on the Island. She additionally ran within the 2015 provincial election as a Progressive Conservative candidate. 

“If there was a Lennon Home when Lennon was alive, I believe Lennon would nonetheless be alive,” she stated. 

“Lennon Home has saved lives and I simply hope it would proceed to take action,” 

She stated it is notably heart-wrenching to her that she isn’t allowed inside Lennon Home.

Plans for the longer term

Nevertheless, she intends to proceed advocating for individuals with addictions and is already considering of different initiatives she will be able to sort out. 

For instance, she stated she’s taking a look at making an attempt to arrange a tiny dwelling village someplace on the Island, in addition to smaller restoration houses in P.E.I. communities aside from Rustico. 

“In my thoughts I am considering a five-bedroom home can be a lot simpler to handle,” she stated. 

“I want to see extra restoration houses in and round Prince Edward Island.” 

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