The following article appeared in the Bridgeland-Riverside Bridges. We’re pleased to share it with you.
Walk down the peaceful west end of 2nd Ave and you would not know that there is an apartment building that has made a significant difference in the lives of a growing number of individuals. Dale Joseph is one of them. He never expected to be homeless but ill health, hospitalization and life circumstances left him homeless. After spending some time at Calgary’s Drop In Centre, he was able to find something he’d not had before – his own secure home at Bridgeland Manor. He’s able to keep his much loved pet and has a 3rd floor balcony with a view of trees and the quiet street below. Not only did he gain a home but he’s now also part of a community that gives him a sense of belonging. Dale’s is only one positive story that has played out in this Bridgeland sanctuary. There are many more.
When the Drop In and Rehab Centre purchased Bridgeland Manor in 2004, there was an outcry from neighbours in the area. They were concerned that the building would become run down and would lead to lowered property values and neighbourhood disturbances. But it didn’t happen. Leaders at the DI (as it is known) took care to listen to the concerns of neighbours and planned a setting that would work for everyone. Upgrades were completed on the building and processes put in place to ensure that life is pleasant and safe for everyone.
Today, the 50 unit Bridgeland Manor is the shared home to market renters and formerly homeless Seniors. Residents are helped to transition to the responsibilities of managing their new homes. The
first floor common room, where coffee and muffins are a daily staple, is a welcoming place for everyone. Meals are shared here on special occasions (and there are lots of special occasions!) and movie night
draws a good crowd. It’s the place where advice is sought and given, jokes shared and plans made for outings and shopping trips.
Sharon Milgate, the Supported Living Services Co-ordinator who has worked with the seniors at the Manor since its opening, talks with pride about the sense of community that has developed between the men and women who live there.
She describes the difference that it has made to the seniors who now have their own place to call home. The Drop in and Rehab Centre stays connected and continues to offer additional services to the seniors of the Manor
The neighbours are also positive about the changes at Bridgeland Manor. They say that the Manor’s residents contribute to the friendliness of the street, the building’s appearance is much improved and property values have increased. Bridgeland Manor is a win-win-win – for the residents, the
neighbours and for our whole community.
We’re all proud of the success of this innovative housing option /home that contributes its positive presence to our diverse community of Bridgeland.
By Deb Lee.