The Echuca-Moama community came together to celebrate the official opening of Community Living and Respite Services’ Minor St project yesterday.RENEE THOMPSON June 13, 2014 10:23am
A major thing happened at Minor St, Echuca yesterday.
The Echuca-Moama community came together to celebrate the official opening of Community Living and Respite Services’ Minor St project in Echuca.
Former CLRS board members Ann Bennett and Fran Galvin officiated the occasion and performed a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
CLRS staff members will work on a 24-hour basis at 5 Minor St, which will provide supported housing and respite care to people with a disability and their families.
The home consists of two bedrooms at the front of the house, a staff bedroom and office, a central lounge, a fourth bedroom at the other end of house, with ensuite and adjoining mini-lounge and two independent living units at the back.
CLRS chief executive Suzanna Barry thanked the Echuca-Moama community for its support of the $700,000 project.
‘‘For us, it is a major achievement and something we could never have accomplished without your help,’’ she said.
‘‘Here we are, just three years after purchasing the land, with $142,000 left to raise.’’
Ms Barry also paid special thanks to Brandrick Architects, Department of Human Services and Member for Rodney Paul Weller.
DHS Loddon area director Danny O’Kelly praised CLRS for providing a service that reflected individual needs.
‘‘The actual design of the front house.
‘‘The opportunity that the units at the back represent for people who might need support for a period of time, to develop their skills and maybe one day live independently, is fantastic.’’
Mr O’Kelly said he was ‘‘a bit shocked’’ when told how much had been raised by the CLRS community.
‘‘For a relatively small community to be able to do this is phenomenal,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s something that, as a community, I think you should be really proud of.
‘‘It also reflects that people with a disability who live in this community are very much part of this community.’’
Mr O’Kelly also made special mention of the fact staff at the organisation had been making payroll donations to the project.
Speaking after the formalities, Member for Murray Sharman Stone congratulated everyone involved in the project.
‘‘Country communities often expect to have loved ones with special needs go somewhere else. Here they don’t have to,’’ Dr Stone said.
One of the home’s new residents, Kim Boland, said she was looking forward to moving in.
‘‘It’s similar to Mitchell St (another home run by CLRS) and I’m just glad I’m going to shift into this house,’’ she said.
Her mother, Corinne Baldock, had nothing but praise for CLRS and the Echuca community.
‘‘Since we’ve moved up to Echuca (from Melbourne), the services for people with disabilities are just fantastic,’’ she said.
‘‘It’s given her so much independence.’’
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