Infrastructure front of mind for Community Living following provincial funding announcement

By Daniel Adam
Staff Writer

Of the provincial funding recipients announced last week, Community Living Fort Frances and District took the bulk of it, with $333,700 headed their way for a variety of infrastructure work.

“It’s a great announcement for all of us,” said Greg Rickford, MPP for Kenora–Rainy River.

CEO Ted Scholten said the funding will directly impact 20 individuals that Community Living supports.

“We’re excited,” said Scholten. “We’re hoping the next event that we have here will be at the resource centre and we’ll be using that as a grand opening opportunity. It’s going to be a great place for our folks to get help and be supported.”

On 279 Scott Street — the resource centre — they’ll improve the kitchen and get a brand new H-VAC.

“The resource centre is going to be awesome,” he said. “We’re going to be able to make it into a fantastic building.”

Scholten said Community Living be making multiple improvements to the building exterior at Hudson Drive which will include upgrading four plex entrances and improving siding. They’ll also be doing flooring, improving the H-VAC, and the main congregate living facility will have a few upgrades.

At 338 Scott St., Scholten said they’ll add walls and partitions to create more office spaces for supervisors.

At 990 Scott St., the building where Community Living offers housing, there will be flooring improvements, window replacements, and the ramp in the front will be replaced.

“990 is going to have quite a facelift,” said Scholten.

A significant injection of provincial funds was welcomed by Community Living CEO Ted Scholten. MPP Rickford was on hand for the announcement, which will enable the agency to
move forward with upgrades. – Daniel Adam photo

With $144,000 coming in the last year from a partner facility renewal fund, and another $333,700 now announced, Scholten said it’s incredibly humbling.

“We’re just pinching ourselves,” he said. “We’re really excited about the future.”

Since COVID, Scholten said there was also a big influx from the ministry of children’s and community services for permanent wage enhancement.

“We’re very thankful for that,” he said.

Community Living was then able to renew their collective agreement with CUPE local 65, and Scholten estimates they’ve successfully recruited 30 development services professionals in this year alone.

Also among the funding recipients announced last week was Giishkaandago’Ikwe Health Services, which received $65,000 for the Mino Ayaa Ta Win Healing Centre — a place that offers medically-supervised detox services. CEO Kayla Caul-Chartier said the funding will go toward increasing parking space, repairing roadways, and developing an outdoor recreation space for clients.

“We are really grateful,” she said.

Kenora-Rainy River Districts Child and Family Services also received $140,700 in funding. The Kenora branch of Community Living also received funds, with $42,100 dispersed among four projects.

“Our community partners play a crucial role in delivering high-quality programs and services to the people of Ontario,” said Michael Parsa, minister of children, community and social services. “With this funding, we are ensuring people across the province can access the vital services they need, where they need them.”