There’s no place like home or the place you call home for awhile. St.Amant’s River Road Place was built nearly a century ago and with just a few small renovations, the living areas in the complex care facility are far from homey for the over 100 people who stay there at any given time.
“We’re working toward making major changes in the way we offer services at River Road Place and human rights for people with intellectual disabilities is the driver for the changes,” said John Leggat, President & CEO of St.Amant.
Those changes include seeing the facility on River Road change from a developmental centre to a complex health care facility, meaning that people with intellectual disabilities will come to stay when they need some extra health support, rehabilitation, end of life care, respite and behavioural stabilization.
“A big part of the changes include refreshing the living areas, moving to one person rooms, warming up the environment so it’s less sterile and more conducive to natural living patterns of shared meals, family time, privacy and dignity,” said Leggat.
The major funder for this renovation is The Winnipeg Foundation, with the goal of using this living unit as an example to show other potential funders what can be done with their support.
“We are so pleased to be part of this important project that serves our most vulnerable citizens. St.Amant has a long history of helping ensure a Winnipeg where community life flourishes for all,” said Rick Frost, CEO of The Winnipeg Foundation.
There are still five more units to renovate, and it’s a goal that the St.Amant Foundation has taken on all on its own without any funding from the government.
“We’re so grateful to The Winnipeg Foundation for being the first to support this huge initiative,” said Juliette Mucha, Director of the St.Amant Foundation. “With their support, we’ve already been able to get other supporters on board to help with the other living areas. They have always been visionary supporters of our community and we couldn’t do what we do without them.”
The new living area is now re-opened for the residents staying there and the response from them and their families has been really positive.
“When I come to visit my sister, we have a private place to visit now. I know that she has her meals in the beautiful kitchen with others and the lighting and décor make it feel so much more like home,” said Josie Lucidi, sister of Cathy Romeo.