By Joanne Rodgers,
Bruce Peninsula Press
Golden Dawn Senior Citizens Home received an $18,000 grant from the Investment Readiness Program (IRP) for a feasibility study on a financially sustainable plan to provide quality senior care and affordable housing for seniors on the Northern Bruce Peninsula.
The funding provided by the Government of Canada’s Investment Readiness Program (IRP) is presented through Community Foundation Grey Bruce, in partnership with Georgian College. Golden Dawn received one of nine grants awarded in Central Ontario in this round of funding. (visit www.communityfoundationgreybruce.com to read the full press release on IRP funding)
Trace MacKay, a Board member for Golden Dawn and Chair of the Redevelopment Task Force says any vision of redevelopment has to be a “community-led and community informed solution”.
The grant money will be used to determine what the operation of the Golden Dawn can and should be. The Task Force seeks to identify what the options and costs are for a new build, a renovation or an extension and what a sustainable business model would entail.
The grants were highly competitive and the Task Force was required to identify which United Nations Sustainable Development Goals were supported; clearly explain why funding was needed; and demonstrate how social finance strategies fit with the redevelopment plans for the Golden Dawn.
The Province requires any Long-term Care Facility that is not a Class A facility (a facility that currently has ward style accommodations, housing two or more persons in a room) to submit a redevelopment plan to continue to be licensed as a long-term care facility beyond 2025. The Province has offered no monies towards the development of the plan; while the resources of time, energy and money at the Golden Dawn has been expended towards responding to the pandemic. As such it was necessary for the Task Force to look for other avenues of funding to assist in their activities.
Golden Dawn, a registered charity, is already operating as a social enterprise, where revenue generated from apartment rentals helps support affordable care for some community members, which MacKay says attributed to the home being awarded the grant.
Feasibility Study Components
The next step will be to launch the work of the eight member Redevelopment Task Force, continuing on the activities started last year, hire area consultants, engage in stakeholder and community consultations with the aim to figure out what is the right fit for the community. The important components of the plan will include senior care, affordable senior housing, availability of housing for staff and decent work for staff.
The Task Force has “lots of questions but not a lot of answers yet” says MacKay. She explains that looking at trends and the future demand not all senior care would necessarily be within the walls of Golden Dawn, but maybe a coordination of family health care services, home services, PSW services and hospitals. Whatever comes out of the study, MacKay feels it is essential that it is community-driven and not directed top down by the Province, and says “We’ve got a lot of work and planning ahead of us and this grant will get us off to a good start.”
The activities of the grant project will be completed by the summer and Golden Dawn has until 2025 to implement the redevelopment changes required by the Province.