Since 1962, the Endicott Centre has capably served the Creston community of developmentally disabled persons. In 1965, through co-operative funding, a dormitory housing 30 children was constructed on the former Archibald estate. In 1970, an adult residence was constructed. Dr. William Endicott firmly believed in the worth of all persons.
The 1980s saw the closure of institutions, with residents moving into the community with continuing support.
The Erickson Road property is currently owned and managed by Kootenay Region Association for Community Living (KRACL), a non-profit charity, which is operated to benefit persons with disabilities throughout the Kootenays. One of the important existing components is the operation of the Creston and District Society for Community Living’s Therapeutic Riding Program on the property under an agreement that allows low riding fees.
The directors of KRACL have undertaken a study of the potential uses for the property, and how those uses might benefit Kootenay adult persons with any disability by providing tolerant employment and accessible independent living housing on the site.
Currently there are six employment segments being studied:
•Farming — sheep and chicken raising;
•Retreat/B&B/agri-tourism operation of Archibald House, with respite and training center;
•Orchard, vegetable/berry production and small scale food processing, as well as horticultural therapy programs;
•Small engine repair and craft woodworking;
•Retail farm gate store; and
•Seed saving, sorting and sales.
The project will provide approximately 14 part time jobs plus many seasonal jobs in a sustainable paid environment. The capital requirement will be about $1 million and while KRACL is investing considerable funds, help will be needed from private donors, foundations, government agencies, trusts and other funders.
The property committee is sponsoring an open house from 1-5 p.m. Aug. 9 at Trinity United Church hall in Creston. Interested self advocates and caregivers of adults or soon-to-become adults are invited to express their views on employment and housing needs to the committee in writing or in person.
Tax deductible donations can be made at www.kracl.org if you want to help this project along, or contact Creston director Eric Kutzner at 250-428-5061.
—KOOTENAY REGION ASSOCIATION FOR COMMUNITY LIVING