News Release - January 11, 2010
NEW HOUSING FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES IN WILKIE
People with intellectual disabilities in Wilkie will have greater access to residential programs and services following the construction of three new independent-living suites in the basements of existing group homes in that community.
The project is part of the province's four-year, $76.9 million commitment to eliminate the waitlist of 440 Saskatchewan people with intellectual disabilities who require residential, day and specialized programs that meet their assessed needs.
"Our government is pleased to partner with Wilkie Independent Living Services (WILS) on this expansion of their existing group homes for people with intellectual disabilities," Social Services Minister Donna Harpauer said. "These new suites will allow five people with intellectual disabilities in Wilkie to live as independently as possible, while being able to rely on the safety and security provided around-the-clock by the group home staff."
Two of the suites will be two-bedroom units, while the third will have a single bedroom. Construction of the new suites is expected to be completed by the end of February. The province contributed $232,000 toward the project, consisting of $147,000 from Saskatchewan Housing Corporation's Rental Development Program and $85,000 from the waitlist initiative. An additional $94,000 will be contributed by WILS through in-kind contributions and by assuming a mortgage.
"With the generous financial support of the province, we are thrilled to be expanding our residential services for people with intellectual disabilities," WILS Chair Gordon Martin said. "Often, the biggest obstacle for people wanting to make the move to independence is the cost of rent. People with disabilities who can live independently, but who do not have the financial means, will receive a rent allowance from Social Services."
Founded in 1990, WILS is a community-based organization (CBO) which offers a variety of programs and services to people with intellectual disabilities, including a Supportive Independent Living Program (SILP). The residents of the three new independent-living suites will be enrolled in SILP, which provides guidance, resources and support services to people with intellectual disabilities so that they may reach their greatest level of independence. People in this program generally live alone and are supported up to 10 hours per week.
The province-wide, $76.9 million waitlist initiative, announced by Harpauer in October 2008, is being phased in over four years and includes $27.8 million in funding for capital projects. This investment is the largest in Saskatchewan history to support people with intellectual disabilities.
By the end of this fiscal year, projects will be underway to serve 264 Saskatchewan people with intellectual disabilities - 60 per cent of the waitlist. The government is on track to eliminate the 440 waitlist by 2013.
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