Development of the over $22 million Charis Village Seniors Housing project is now underway after a ground-breaking ceremony was held north of Lacombe off of C&E Trail and 72 Avenue.
Warren Schnoor, board member of Charis Village Housing Society, said the development underway is the first phase of a long-term goal of providing wrap-around services for senior care.
“This project is a senior housing project will encompass independent living and eventually to assisted-living and long-term care,” Schnoor said.
Charis Village is intended to allow Lacombe residents to remain in Lacombe as they age.
“In many facilities that are provided in Central Alberta as needs change you sometimes can be forced into relocating to different facilities to provide care. Our vision here is to provide whatever level of care is required,” he said, adding that the service will also allow senior couples to stay together.
One key aspect of Charis Village is providing spiritual care to seniors.
“We are very much a Christian organization, but we open our arms to everyone,” he said. “We will operate day to day with those principles and mindsets right down to the people we hire to take care of our seniors.
Schnoor reiterated that anyone is welcome to become a resident of Charis Village regardless of faith, but the facilities will operate under Christian principles.
“I think that is a wonderful thing for anyone interested in making Charis their home,” he said.
The first independent living phase will consist of 10 duplexes along with a multi-dwelling unit comprised of 46 units.
“That is our goal for next year and we will begin marketing and selling those units over the winter. The plan and the goal is come spring time that we will complete our street sidewalks and begin construction on those units,” he said.
Following that, assisted-living, long-term care and palliative care will be phased into the development.
The project has been funded up to this point through independent investors, without government funding. The City of Lacombe is in the process of building an outflow from Henner’s Pond that is a requirement for any development in the area, but that project is not solely for the development of Charis Village.
Lacombe Mayor Grant Creasey said the project opens doors for a new approach to seniors housing.
“It allows them to age in place here with a variety of housing types and levels of care I commend the group for the work they have done. It has been over a decade in the making. I certainly wish them all the best,” he said.
He added seniors housing will continue to be a need in the community as the baby-boomer generation ages.
“I think it will continue to be an issue not only for Lacombe, but across our province. There is always more work to be done and thankfully with caring people like this, it is a great step in the right direction,” he said.