A much-needed affordable seniors complex and community center in Sooke has raised just $72,178 of their $2-million goal, with a prospective build date set for next year.
The need for seniors to have access to affordable housing has been a sticking issue in Sooke for years.
“There has not been a seniors centre in Sooke for over a decade, despite many attempts by Carol Pinalski, president of Sooke Seniors Drop-In Center Society, to find an existing structure that could accommodate individuals with mobility issues for this purpose,” said Christine Bossi, the executive director of the Sooke Region Communities Health Network.
The space needs to meet the two goals of the project which are: increase affordable units for seniors and create a community space for them to access resources, socialize and gather for events and activities.
“It was decided to combine the Sooke Gathering Place with the Elders’ Complex Housing on the Wadams Way lot next to the new library,” Bossi said. “The parcel was donated by the District of Sooke for a nominal fee.”
The location fits the bill for several reasons but primarily, it allows elders who will be living there to easily access important amenities and age-in-place, providing safety and stability.
The Gathering Place will also include an event space which can be rented to the community for youth and inter-generational events, creating a cohesive space that can serve the community at large.
“Because talk of environmental footprint came up, we thought that we should combine The Gathering Place with the community center so that those living there could have access to all the resources and activities. Interestingly, people are willing to donate after it’s built but we need to build it first.”
There are various opportunities to donate to the project, including a ‘60s- and ‘70s-themed dance on Nov. 5 at the local Royal Canadian Legion Branch 54 and an auction in Feb.
“We encourage everyone to donate towards this important community hub, which is designated for all community members. After all, we are all destined to become seniors at some point.”
For more information visit sookegatheringplace.ca