The Clinton and District Assisted Living Society has started interviewing potential residents for its 20-unit supportive housing facility.
It is also searching for cooks, housekeepers, and maintenance workers for the facility, which will serve Clinton, Loon Lake, 70 Mile, Green Lake, Canoe Creek, Dog Creek, Cache Creek, and Ashcroft.
Construction of the facility is on schedule, with siding and underground services currently being installed. Society secretary Zee Chevalier said the project is on target for completion on Sept. 1.
“We’re hoping that September will be a transition month and that by then we’ll have hired all our people and had staff meetings,” Chevalier said. “We’d like to have the community come in for an open house, and that by October residents will start moving in.”
The move to develop a supportive living facility in Clinton began more than 10 years ago to meet a growing need in the village, where one-third of all residents are over 65. The facility had initially been approved for 10 units with the provincial Liberal government promising $2.9 million for the project in March 2017.
In June 2017 the former Clinton Elementary School was demolished to make way for the project, but the project stalled following the change of government later that year. It was not until 2020 that the province announced work would start on the seniors’ facility, but that it would expand to 20 units, meaning the society had to scramble to start construction on a larger site.
When the project was first being discussed, Chevalier said she called everyone in the Clinton phone book to assess whether there was a need for the facility and started a list of those who were interested. They kept the list for 10 years and three or four months ago she called every person on it.
“Thirteen had passed away, and several people had gone to assisted living in Ashcroft and other places, while some had moved elsewhere. That left us with 45 to 50 people who wanted to be considered,” she said. “We ended up with two lists: people who are ready now, and others who want to stay on the waiting list so they have a place to go to. People are anxious about having to leave town.”
The society is now considering expressions of interest from people. The project is modelled on Ashcroft’s Thompson View Lodge. Each unit will be self-contained with a separate kitchen, living room, bedroom, bathroom, and storage room. Residents can bring in their own furniture and will be offered two meals a day (lunch and dinner), as well as a weekly cleaning service and laundry service for towels and bedding. Friends and family are welcome to visit.
While the meal/cleaning portion of the rent does not vary, BC Housing subsidizes the accommodation to a point depending on each person’s income.
“No one will be turned away,” said Chevalier.
While the focus will be on people already living in Clinton or the immediate area, they want the facility to be full and will look at applications from people outside the area. The deadline for applying for one of the employee positions is July 15, but Chevalier says that anyone with the slightest interest in working at the facility should call her at (250) 459-0028.
“We especially want to hear from cooks. We’ve had good responses to all three positions, but if you have the slightest interest in working full-time or part-time cooking two meals a day for two dozen people, we need back-up.
“We’re working hard to get everything done that needs to be done. I’m 99 per cent sure no one will be disappointed.”