Three former residents of the Valley View Centre in Moose Jaw are settling into a new city and a new home. The aging facility in Moose Jaw is set to close, so the group is being resettled into a new group home in Regina.

“From what I've seen of them, they are settling in very well. They're very calm and relaxed,” Denine Peterson, a caregiver at the facility told CTV News. “It’s probably a lot quieter in this home, only being three of them.”

It's a far cry from the old facility. Valley View once housed hundreds of men and women with special needs in a massive complex on the outskirts of Moose Jaw. The facility is being phased out over the next two years. Forty of the remaining 160 residents have already relocated.

The government having adults with special needs living in a group home instead of a facility is a benefit for everyone.

“When people with disabilities are in institutionalized settlings, they don't come know to their neighbours. They don't become part of the community that they are living in to the same degree that they do if they are living down the street from you,” Social Services Minister Tena Beaudry-Mellor says. “It's not just good for the residents but it's also good for the people living in the neighbouring community.”

The group home is in a brand new facility in Regina's Spruce Meadow's neighbourhood. It's one of a half dozen facilities operated by Clare Parker Homes, a nonprofit supported by the Catholic and United Churches. Some of the constructions costs were covered through the sale of old churches which had closed in recent years.

“It's a lovely legacy for the congregations, particularly for the congregations that have had an ongoing involvement,” Pam Thomas of the United Church of Canada says. “Many of our congregations have had an ongoing involvement, have been volunteers, have been board members, have been donors and hopefully will continue to do that.”

The need for more group homes comes at a time when the government is trying to control its expenditures. Some construction projects will be slowed although the province says replacement facilities for Valley View residents will not be delayed.


Based on a report by CTV’s Wayne Mantyka