ATIKOKAN (ONTARIO), October 22, 2020 – Community Living Atikokan is making a long-term commitment to help local seniors stay close to home in Atikokan. Today, officials broke ground on construction of the new $14M Aspen Court Seniors Living complex – the largest capital investment the Town of Atikokan has witnessed in decades. Volunteers with the project also launched a $200,000 Capital Fundraising Campaign – Growing, Building, Living Together, that will help make the project a reality in the northern town.
Aspen Court Senior Living is a fully accessible community hub for seniors from Atikokan and surrounding areas. It will provide essential housing but also shared spaces for recreation, health, education and social programming. Supported by the Town of Atikokan and with support from the Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation, Community Living Atikokan has now started construction on the $14M project. However, to be eligible for the full mortgage and grant funding, the organization must raise $200,000 to contribute towards construction and equipment.
“Many seniors are leaving their lifelong home communities in the north due to a lack of available housing,” says Jim Turner, Chair of the Capital Campaign Committee. “Accessible, affordable and supportive housing for seniors is in drastically short supply. This includes a shortage of privately owned, barrier-free housing units but also long-term care and supportive housing units for those with serious health needs or physical challenges. The consequence of the seniors housing crisis is that local hospital beds are occupied by those who have nowhere else to go,” he says.
The new Aspen Court Senior Living facility will be a 38,000 square-foot complex with 38 single and double occupancy units, a community kitchen and lounge, a treatment room for visiting physicians and health practitioners and outdoor walking paths. Onsite services will also be available to deliver the best possible community supports for seniors in retirement.
“Every person deserves a safe and affordable place to call home and especially in the later years of life. But for many seniors, finding one of the most basic needs – a place to live that is close to home – is a daily struggle. In the town of Atikokan and surrounding northwest region, seniors are a growing demographic. Most have lived, worked and raised their families in our small northern communities. In retirement, seniors continue to be essential contributors to our social and economic fabric,” continues Jim Turner.
Aspen Court Senior Living will generate new revenues, new job creation and job retention in Atikokan. Six new full-time jobs and two part-time positions will be created that include personal support workers, community programmers, administration and maintenance staff. In addition, up to 40 construction jobs will result from the building phase; bringing an overall net injection of $13,690,000 into the local economy.
“Senior households contribute financially to the local economy through their spending on goods and hiring of paid services. We are anticipating approximately 15% of facility residents will be returning residents to Atikokan; returning specifically because of the services being offered at Aspen Court Senior Living,” says Jim Turner.
For a small organization in Atikokan, the fundraising committee acknowledge that raising $200,00 by 2021 is no small task but believes that area residents, businesses and organizations will step up to help at whatever level they can. “We encourage everyone to give to the Capital Fundraising Campaign, every bit helps. This is a direly needed project for Atikokan and surrounding area, and a unique opportunity to build a better future for local people and communities here at home,” says Jim Turner.
There are several ways to support the Growing, Building, Living Together Capital Fundraising Campaign. Today, the fundraising committee unveiled several fundraising programs including “Buy a Brick” for $100 donation, a “Tribute Wall” for $500 and a “Support a Senior” program for $1,000. Room naming opportunities ranging from $2,500 to $25,000 were also announced.
Donations to Aspen Court Senior Living are being accepted online, by mail, phone or in person. For further information please visit aspencourt.ca.
T- (807) 472-5276