Major Milestone: Rezoning and Concept Drawings for new development complete
What started as a bunch of keen women lobbying council to set aside money from Community Initiatives in November 2019 for a seniors project has now led to Council allocating a portion of land south of the high school on Ash Street for a multi-phase seniors development.
On December 8, 2020, council approved rezoning for the parcel. They have committed to finding funding and working with the society to extend sewer to the property, which was a bit of a hiccup, to say the least. Senior staff and planner Megan Vicente have stepped up recognizing there’s a need and an opportunity. So we’re truly grateful for that.
With concept drawings, the Valemount Senior Citizens Housing Society will seek funding from various agencies. We’ll submitted our application to BC Housing in early January for 16 independent units. Since programs and services are needed as much as housing for seniors, we are seeking additional grants and fundraising for the common areas.
These plans have come together with input from our seniors (2019 Housing & Care Needs Survey, 2020 Valentine’s Tea event, July 2020 Public Input Meetings) and meetings with stakeholders like Northern Health staff, home care workers, Robson Valley Community Services and Valemount Seniors’ Club to name a few organizations.
We’ve identified two phases to the development – the first phase is Independent Living enhanced by services like housekeeping, meals and activities. The future phase will be long term care.
Check this video to walk through the proposed building.
For the first phase, we have decided on Lounge, Dining Room, Kitchen, Multi-purpose Room for Services/ Activities, Lift Tub, Office and Guest Room as the extra non-residential spaces. The plan also includes an outdoor covered walkway with a gazebo. (Please note that these drawings were updated and will undergo revisions to meet the funder’s guidelines.)
We know finding grants to cover the extra spaces will be a challenge, so we’ve set a fundraising goal of $100,000 to show community support and match grants. Many thanks to Valemount Secondary School PAC, Valemount Seniors Club (Ellen Duncan in particular) and donations from numerous individuals. We have $16,351 – as of January 2021. Amazing!
We have far to go and since it’s coming to the end of the year, you can donate online via PayPal Giving Fund or GoFundMe Charity (see link below) and instantly get a tax receipt. Or you can contact Rashmi Narayan at 250 566 1302 or Ellen Duncan at 250 566 3045 to donate by cash or cheque and get a charitable tax receipt as well.
We’re so excited that in just over a year, we’ve come far … and yet there’s a long ways to go to make sure our seniors can continue to live and age in the community among friends and family.
For more details about the project, you can contact Rashmi at [email protected]