Hospice Kingston’s mission to build a new “residential care facility” got a big boost on Friday.
Sophie Kiwala, the MPP for the region, made the announcement to a packed room at Hospice Kingston’s current office.
“The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is providing up to $1.4 million in capital funds.”
Hospice Kingston is now substantially closer to reaching its overall capital fundraising goal to build the first palliative care centre and residential hospice in the city.
Hospice Kingston board of directors’ chair Allen Prowse says they’ve been fundraising for over two years.
“We’ve raised $4.2 million in the community of our $7.8-million goal. The funding from the Ministry of Health today brings us up to $5.6 million.”
South East LHIN chair Hersh Sehdev was on-hand with the chequebook open as well.
The LHIN will provide $730,000 in annual operational funding.
“It’s the staffing dollars, it’s the operations, it’s the lights on, the food and all of those things.”
The LHIN money will essentially fund seven of the 10 beds that will be in the new centre.
MPP Kiwala says the provincial government’s contribution is part of following through on promises made.
Sheila Kingston attended the announcement and shared her own personal experience with the gathered crowd at Friday morning’s announcement.
Her mother who lived in Toronto, died last fall.
Kingston says access to a residential hospice in Toronto took a lot of the worry out of the process for her family and her mother.
“They’re experts and they know how to talk to the family, understand their needs, give wonderful advice, they hold your hand, they held my mom’s hand.”
The palliative care centre will be located on the Sisters of Providence Motherhouse property on Princess Street.
Along with the 10 residential beds, the new building will be the centre for Hospice Kingston’s programming as well.
Prowse says there will be community and education rooms, as well as therapy rooms.
“We offer bereavement programs and caregiver support programs because the care in-home, certainly a lot of it, 90 per cent of it falls to family and friends.”
Hospice Kingston plans to have a tender out for builders to bid on within the next month.
It’s expected shovels will hit the ground later this spring.
The 20,000-square-foot facility is expected to take anywhere from 12 to 18 months to build.