Surex Community Services was developed in 1980 as a pilot project to repatriate people who had long resided in Huronia Regional Centre. This was the first attempt in Ontario at integrating institutionalized people with severe disabilities into community based services. This was accomplished by creating two community homes, one for eight adolescents (Dentonia) and one of eight adults (Hurndale).
Surex was initiated by the Ministry of Community and Social Services, through Surrey Place Centre and Extendicare Ltd. The name Surex was derived from these two organizations. Extendicare withdrew their involvement in 1983 and the Reena Foundation was approached to provide administrative services. At this time, a community based Board of Directors incorporated as a non-profit charitable organization retaining Reena’s administrative support.
In 1985 the Ministry of Community and Social Services approached Surex’s Board to assist with the repatriation of 20 people being discharged from two provincial institutions: Durham Regional Centre and D’arcy Place. The majority of these people were senior citizens, many of whom had been institutionalized for over 45 years. This resulted in the creation of 4 community homes and a multi-service Community Supports Program at the John Carbone Centre. Also, in 1985, Surex assumed ownership for its own administrative responsibilities and thus completed its cycle from a pilot project to a self-sufficient organization.
In 1988 the Ministry asked Surex to be involved in creating two residential homes (Morrish and Military Trail) through the \"Challenges and Opportunities\" initiative for 8 multi handicapped young adults being discharged from Ontario nursing homes. In 1991 employees voted to join OPSEU and local 5102 was certified to represent the employees. In an effort to meet the increasing needs of the community, the Community Supports Program further expanded in 1995 to include services for people residing with family members and people from other agencies. In 1996 Surex participated with the Ministry in accepting three young adults from the \"Transitional Age Youth\" program. This enabled us to open a new community home (Coatsworth) for four Surex seniors. In 1997 Surex again expanded by repatriating nine adults from the Huronia and Edgar Institutions through the \"Community Living Initiatives\". The adults live in three town-houses located in the Grace Hartman Co-op.