Hospice has a home in Castlegar

The goal of a regional hospice facility based in Castlegar has taken a significant step forward with a land donation from the city.

FILE: Properties on 8th Street in Castlegar that may become the future home of a regional hospice facility.

The goal of a regional hospice facility based in Castlegar made a significant step forward Monday night with the release of information that the city is prepared to consider donating two properties for that purpose.

The properties are located at 836 and 862 8th Avenue and are currently vacant, mostly treed lots. The City of Castlegar passed a resolution at a special in-camera meeting on August 12 stating they would be willing to consider donating the properties.

Suzanne Lehbauer, executive director of the Castlegar Hospice Society, said the society has a business plan in place for the proposed 10-bed facility, which has been seen by a number of officials and councillors with the city.

“Getting the land is huge,” said Lehbauer. “We’ve always had the support of mayor Chernoff and council and this just huge. I’m so excited and this is overwhelming to me.”

Lehbauer said the society has the support of not only councillors and the community but Katrine Conroy, MLA for Kootenay West and Alex Atamenenko, MP.

“We will be looking for provincial and federal funding as well as to other organizations that supply grants and funds for hospices; and specifically for capital costs,” she said. “Our next step of course, is to secure funding. That’s the big one.”

The building would include hospice, pain management and respite care facilities and the property is large enough for future expansion.

Lehbauer said community support has been incredible thus far in helping the society provide the services it currently does and acknowledges the approximately $3.1 million needed to see the project though to completion is a significant amount.

A fundraising kickoff is planned for the near future even while other fundraising activities take place for programs and services currently being offered.

To learn more about the Castlegar Hospice Society, visit them online at http://castlegarhospice.org

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