Everyone deserves a chance. A chance to grow, a chance to work, and a chance to be a part of something.
But not everyone is given that chance. Many Manitobans experiencing poverty or those living with educational difficulties, mental health concerns, and disabilities do not have the same chances that many of us take for granted.
ND Property Services (NDPS) exists to give people that chance. They are a social enterprise lawn care business that provides marginalized individuals with meaningful employment, hands on technical job training, and enhance employability through essential skills development.
Nelson Sumner is an example of someone that was not given the chance many take for granted. He decided he wanted to work after given the choice of going back to school or going to work.
After recently becoming a father, he made the choice to be there for his family and decided to continue his work with ND Property Services to support his family.
Nelson loves doing flooring work for ND Property Services’ clients where he specializes in removing and installing flooring and has done some painting for clients looking to do some minor renovations.
“I know what I am doing, and I can get it done fast,” says Nelson. “And painting walls is a cherry on top.”
He enjoys coming in to work every day and is constantly cracking jokes and having fun doing what he loves.
Peter Goosehead Ross is another young man utilizing the benefits of ND Property Services.
“I went from dumb nonsense and jail to being a dad of a boy and a girl,” says Peter.
On probation, Peter did not think he would benefit from working for a property maintenance business but was ordered to go into the program by his probation officer.
Once he started, he quickly changed his mind, and Peter has been able to make a lot of changes to his life that he wanted. He sees the benefits that ND Property Services has on his life, and he has not regretted his decision.
ND Property Services helps children, adolescents and adults in a variety of settings. These individuals may be at risk youth, individuals that may have an intellectual disability and/or physical disability and/or use American Sign Language to communicate.
Sheldon Guyer started with ND Property Services in June, after Sarah Riel’s lawn-care business From the Grounds Up was shut down. He applied to NDPS because he already had the skills he needed.
His favourite part of NDPS is that he gets to just hang out with the guys.
“I really like the guys, getting along with them, being all part of a team and completing shifts,” says Sheldon. “There’s no stress and no pressure. You just have a good day at work.
Sheldon specializes in mowing lawns for the various ND Property Services clients.
Alex Guidry — Coordinator of ND Property Services, says he is impressed by a lot of the individuals that come to work every day for ND Property Services.
“They can be sitting on the couch all day collecting disability benefits, but instead they choose to come in every day and work. They want to be here and be a part of something” says Alex.
Michael Kozler is another of NDPS’ newest lawn-care experts. He heard about ND Property Services when the Sarah Riel program asked if he would be interested in getting back to work and has been working since early July 2020.
“It’s great because I am doing stuff, I feel comfortable with and there’s not a lot of stress,” says Michael.
Michael also likes that he can work shorter shifts with NDPS and still fit in appointments with his therapist.
He has an Environmental Science Degree from the University of Manitoba, and is hoping that one day, he can use his skills to get a job more in his field of study.
“This is definitely a step in between fully jumping back into work,” adds Michael.
Michael is interested in pursuing a career with his environmental science degree, and is glad that ND Property Services gets him back into a healthy routine; waking up every morning, making a lunch, having a good breakfast and getting to work on time.
“Sometimes you get in those bad habits, staying up till 5 a.m. and sleeping all day. They’re not good.”
ND Property Services has different benefits for each person that works there, but there are benefits none the less.
“I’ve had multiple cases where previous graduates of the program will come back looking for employees and will come to us to hire our guys,” says Alex Guidry.
This has led to stable employment for several ND Property Services employees, Alex claims.
Without a chance to gain the skills and experience that ND Property Services gives people; many would still experience barriers to employment.
If you or someone you know might be interested in the work that ND Property Services provides, or that you believe could benefit from working for ND Property Services, please contact them at: