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2012-12-05 at 10:32

Almost ready

By Jodi Lundmark, tbnewswatch.com
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THUNDER BAY -- The Sister Leila Greco Apartments are 97 per cent complete.

Just the finishing touches are left, which includes fixing a few deficiencies like nicks in the walls and cleaning the eight-storey building from top to bottom.

“We’re very hopeful and sure we will be on target, on schedule and our first three clients will be moving in Jan. 2,” said Heidi West, manager of housing and long-term care community support programs for St. Joseph’s Care Group.

The supportive housing building consists of 132 one-bedroom apartments for seniors that require some level of care.

About half of the apartments will be filled with people who have been living in McKellar Place and the rest will be people living in the community who have been on the waiting list for assisted living.

“We know there’s people in the community that require this level of assistance and we haven’t had enough units,” said West.

Supportive housing allows people to get the assistance they need but still maintain independence.

“Supportive housing delays long-term care admissions. It delays unnecessary hospital visits,” said West. “It just provides a sense of wellbeing and I think anybody would rather be in their home rather than an institutional environment.”

The Sister Leila Greco apartments add 132 units to the 181 at the PR Cook apartments, which St. Joseph’s president and CEO Tracey Buckler said is a fantastic addition to the care and support levels available in Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario.

“Hopefully we can accommodate people’s needs in as timely a way as possible,” she said.
The building has taken less than two years to complete and is one phase of the Centre of Excellence for Integrated Seniors’ Services.

“We’re happy with the progress. It has been on time. It has been on budget,” Buckler said.

The next step for CEISS is the long-term care addition for Hogarth Riverview Manor, which is currently out for tender.

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