ALBERTON -- Aside from all the new furnishings, Linda Hobin finds something even more special about moving into Hope Centre Clubhouse’s brand new apartment building.
“This is my first chance – they’re giving me a chance – on my own, and I’m very, very happy about that,” Hobin said Tuesday.
Just a day earlier Hobin became the first tenant in Hope Centre’s six-unit supportive housing complex. It is attached to the Canadian Mental Health Association’s building, which also houses offices, a bingo hall, bowling lanes and Hope Centre.
“I love it because it’s beautiful,” said Hobin. “It’s brand new and it’s just fantastic. We’ve got new furniture. The staff worked so hard for us. Not too many people would go that far for Canadian Mental Health residents. They are really fantastic.”
At least two more tenants are moving in this week and more will be in by April.
Natasha Dunn, Hope Centre director, said the apartments fills a need in West Prince. “We’ve been trying to get apartments up here for 13, 14 years, and the funding sources just fell in our favor this time,” she said. “We were able to pull it off.”
Nearly $400,000 in federal and provincial funding was provided to assist with construction of the addition. Besides the six apartments – four upstairs and two down, there are two offices and a boardroom downstairs.
Other features include storage rooms, a laundry room and, in the apartments, electric heat, air exchangers and a buzzer system on the doors for security.
I feel like a family when I come here, even without the apartments, so it’s going to be more like brothers and sisters living next door. I know I can count on them - Hope Centre client and tenant Linda Hobin
Rent has been set at $523 a month, including light and heat. “It’s very affordable rent for our folks. A lot of our folks are on social assistance, so it’s good to give them the opportunity to be able to move in to a brand new apartment building with brand new furniture,” Dunn said.
Only Clubhouse clients, adults living with some form of mental illness, are eligible to be tenants in the apartments.
Dunn said Clubhouse clients had input on the layout of the building and design features.
Hobin said she let it be known that she wanted one of the apartments even before funding for construction was in place, and she visited almost daily during construction to keep track of the progress.
She praised staff for their persistence and determination: “Two years of hard, hard work to get us here,” she said.
Dunn said staff are assisting with the move-ins, and are available to provide support to tenants when needed.
“I feel like a family when I come here, even without the apartments, so it’s going to be more like brothers and sisters living next door. I know I can count on them,” Hobin commented.
Anyone wishing to tour an unoccupied apartment can contact Dunn to make arrangements.
An official opening will be held later in the year once landscaping is completed.