Kootenay community living association seeking input on Creston’s former Endicott Centre

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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. 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 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 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 adults 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/agritourism operation of Archibald House, respite and training centre;

•orchard, vegetable/berry production and small scale food processing, horticultural therapy programs;

•small engine repair and craft woodworking;

•retail farm-gate store and bakery; 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.

Tax deductible donations can be made at www.kracl.org, or contact Creston director Eric Kutzner at 250-428-5061.

The property committee wants to hear the concerns of the Kootenays and community around employment and housing for persons with disabilities. Interested agencies, self-advocates and caregivers of disabled adults can address the committee from 10 a.m.-noon Sept. 14 at Archibald House (849 Erickson Rd.).  There will be tours of the site and a barbecue by donation at noon for anyone interested in this project.

—KOOTENAY REGION ASSOCIATION FOR COMMUNITY LIVING

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