Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Sask. Government to Build Transition House for Displaced Residents of Care Home

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Sask. Government to Build Transition House for Displaced Residents of Care Home

Article excerpt

New transition house for mentally disabled

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MOOSE JAW, Sask. - The Saskatchewan government says it has accepted all 14 recommendations of a report to help people with mental disabilities move from a 24-hour care institution into community-based services.

Social Services Minister June Draude made the announcement Monday in Moose Jaw about the future of residents of Valley View Centre.

Draude also announced that the government will spend $1.2 million to build a transition house that will house five residents.

The minister says the residence will provide assessment and short-term stabilization supports as well as supports for individuals transitioning to their future home.

"It's the first of what I'd like to see across Saskatchewan because, right now, if somebody's living in a home and they have an intellectual disability they really don't have a lot of choices about where we can send them to," said Draude.

"It's a new opportunity here in our province to look at our people with intellectual disabilities with new eyes."

Valley View Centre currently has close to 200 residents and is slated to close in 2016. The Saskatchewan Party government has not said where the other residents will go nor what will happen to the 500 staff who work there.

June Avivi, family group co-chair for Valley View, was pleased with the plan. Her 57-year-old son has lived at the centre for more than 40 years and loves it.

But Avivi said the number of residents is dropping and the building -- which was constructed in 1955 -- is falling apart. She said it's important to make a plan prior to a crisis.

"I'm not saying this is an easy decision on anyone's part," Avivi said. "It's a decision that had to be made and we're fortunate -- and I can't repeat this often enough -- that we're working with a committee that represents not just government, but community and families."

Moose Jaw Mayor Barb Higgins said she wonders when the Saskatchewan Party government "will actually start to follow the recommendations that they've publicly accepted. …

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