Home Away From Home for Bigstone Families
Possible expansion to other Bands
EDMONTON, Alta. August 30: A key distinction of Nihgi Métis Seniors Lodge, owned and operated by Métis Capital Housing Corporation (MCHC), is that it has two of its 40 suites permanently reserved for members of Bigstone Cree Nation visiting Edmonton for health support services.
MCHC acquired the lodge three years ago from the neighbouring Holy Eucharist Catholic church in north central Edmonton, as part of its expansion plan into new spheres of residential activities.
“Our contract with MCHC has been a significant benefit for theBigstone Health Commission, as well as a comfort benefit for our members” said Barry Phillips, the Commission’s chief executive officer. “It has provided us with an option and an opportunity to lower the costs for clients outside of the Non-Insured Health Benefits Program (NIHB) while offering quality services. These suites are available to us on a 24/7 basis and the facility is very close to the Royal Alexandra Hospital, so family members visiting patients undergoing treatment at the hospital have a good, comfortable place to stay, which offers them three meals a day at the all-in cost.”
He added that it is important for clients to have contact with family while in Edmonton and since that benefit is not covered under NIHB, this service has been extremely helpful to many families visiting Edmonton to support individuals seeking acute care services.
“Bands are often asked to help support these type of visits but hotel costs make it difficult, so this contract has enabled us to provide a full month of accommodation and meals for about the same cost as it would be for a third of the time in one of the hotels,” said Phillips. “That means that when the requests come in, more often than not we can say Yes.”
Lizette Gaudry, who has been the Manager of Nihgi Métis Seniors Lodge for most of the time it has been operated by MCHC, is extremely pleased with the success of this innovative approach.
“While most of our residents are here on a long-term basis, it is helpful to all when there is a change of people in some of the rooms,” said Gaudry. “It brings new people and a refreshing change of faces for our long-term residents. We’ve noticed a good rapport between our long-term residents and the Bigstone guests, who all enjoy our three meals a day and the three healthy snacks provided between meals. They also have the benefit of our housekeeping and laundry.
Along with the full-time residents, the Bigstone guests are able to make use of the outdoor smoking lodge and the TV rooms on each floor of the Lodge as well as participate in the Nihgi Lodge’s Wednesday evening games nights.
The two Bigstone suites are located on the first floor of the building and have a shared bathroom between the two rooms, each of which has a phone and TV. They were among the first of the Nihgi suites to have upgraded furnishings.
The concept with Bigstone is viewed as so successful that Gaudry is now considering establishing similar arrangements with other First Nations.
Habitat for Humanity Edmonton (HFHE) welcomed a family to its new home in the Beverly neighbourhood Wednesday.
The renovated house is one of five being fixed up through a unique partnership with the Metis Capital Housing Corporation (MCHC).
Metis family receives keys to a home donated by Metis Capital Housing Corporation and renovated by Habitat volunteers. read more...
Home Dedication Ceremony - May 25, 2012
CMHC Affordable Housing Centre Video - Habitat for Humanity Edmonton
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