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It is also looking to build a $2.56 million residential development
THREE RIVERS, P.E.I. – A non-profit group that provides employment and residential services to Kings County individuals with disabilities has outgrown its current home.
Inclusions East described the early plans for a new $3 million Kingswood Centre and a $2.56 million independent living centre during a presentation to Three Rivers council Monday.
The group is also requesting council grant tax forgiveness on the two buildings for 10 years, as well as contribute $50,000 over five years to assist with infrastructure costs for the municipal water system or street lighting.
Executive director Nancy Anderson said the group has outgrown its home at 364 Campbell Ave. in Montague, which was built in 1976.
“It’s really the hub of our services,” said Anderson. “We’re currently overcapacity, and our building is not truly accessible.”
An assessment in 2010 deemed a renovation would not provide the required space for future accessibility.
Anderson said space limitations of the current centre create safety hazards and an inability to properly serve individuals with mobility issues.
“In today’s world of accessibility, that is unacceptable,” she said.
The current centre provides social enterprises through a bakery, woodworking shop and an outlet at the Down East Mall. The group also has five locations that provide residential services for 18 individuals plus one respite bed for parents. There are also employment services provided through offices in Montague and Souris.
Inclusions East has 50 clients and employs 50 other individuals in the area, which Anderson said generate an economic spin-off of $2 million.
She also spoke of the other community benefits.
“Pride and awareness of the positive contributions of individuals with a disability towards their community (build) inclusiveness and acceptance of diversity as a whole,” she said. “And it begs the question, what would our community as a whole be like if these services did not exist?”
The new 10,520-square-foot centre would be located on a 1.52-acre parcel of land off Harmony Lane, which was donated by Tim Banks and is now undergoing the legal work for its transfer.
Anderson said the new centre would become the central site for therapeutic services and activities.
It will also be fully accessible.
“It’s really the hub of our services. We’re currently overcapacity, and our building is not truly accessible.”
- Nancy Anderson
“It will serve as a welcoming environment for clients and community,” she said.
The second project, an eight-unit independent living centre with three small bed options, would be about 8,990-square feet. The group is currently working with a potential donor to secure a location.
Anderson said the group has a waiting list of 14, which is expected to grow, for its residential services.
Coun. Wayne Spin was supportive of the proposal and called the group’s work phenomenal.
“As a parent who has a special needs child, I wish I had a blank cheque. I’d give it to you in a heartbeat,” said Spin.
Coun. Debbie Johnston also praised the group’s work and asked if the project was eligible for other funding programs.
Anderson said she has applied as a mid-sized project under the federal enabling accessibility fund. There is also a commitment of $100,000 over five years from the Windsor Foundation, pending a project start date by Dec. 31, 2019.
Anderson said the group also had significant support from the local Rotary Club and any donations are in a building fund.
The current Kingswood Centre, which is appraised at $337,500, will also be sold with proceeds going towards the projects.
At a glance
More information on Inclusions East and its programs is available at Inclusionseast.com.