Transitional Home Gives Resident a New Start
When Flanders Court first opened in 2010 in Moncton as a transitional home for homeless men, one of the first residents was a 55-year-old man who had been living on the street for eight to ten years and battled with mental illness. At first, the adjustment was difficult for this new resident — he continued to sleep on the floor because it was more familiar and comfortable to him. But he soon settled in.
Months after his arrival, the staff noticed that he had been falling and became concerned. It was soon determined that he was severely diabetic and needed a higher level of care, so arrangements were made to move him to a seniors’ home, where he is now thriving.
“The transition from living on the street to residing in a seniors’ home was only made possible because of Flanders Court,” said Joanne Murray, executive director of the John Howard Society of Southeastern New Brunswick, which built the housing.
“If he hadn’t started with us here in Flanders Court, there’s no doubt that he would have died on the street. He certainly wouldn’t have gone to the doctor by himself, and no one would have guessed just by looking at him that his problems were related to diabetes and not alcohol or drugs. Flanders Court helped this man make the transition, and it will help others like him,” she said.
In the early stages of development, the Society received CMHC Seed Funding to help with some of the start-up costs of preparing its housing proposal. The Society also used CMHC online resources to help the project gain community acceptance and prepare for any negative reaction. “With the CMHC research, one of the things we were able to show is that property values do not go down with affordable housing. As a result, we experienced just about zero NIMBY,” said Murray.
Flanders Court also received $1.2 million in assistance from CMHC and the Government of New Brunswick through the Canada – New Brunswick Affordable Housing Program. The developer, Newco Construction, provided a cash donation of $10,000 to the project.