Hope springs in West Broadway with new housing

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 30/08/2016 (2229 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Tenants will soon be moving into West Broadway’s newest rental apartment building. The six-storey mid-rise, at 184 Sherbrook, is stylish yet modest.

It respectfully fits into the neighbourhood — set back from the sidewalk, clad with wood like nearby houses. Its narrow frontage and split mass minimize its size, complementing the scale of adjacent commercial structures.

More importantly, Fountain Springs will serve members of its source organization, the Clubhouse of Winnipeg Inc., with quality, safe, affordable housing. Other persons with low-to-mid incomes will join the first tenants in coming months.

Supplied photo by Susan Algie The residential portion of Fountain Springs (floors 2-6) creates a new, shaded pedestrian right-of-way in Wolseley. It’s a place to mingle with neighbours.

The Clubhouse is a non-profit organization (funded by the WRHA), that offers persons with a history of mental health illness meaningful social interaction and pre-vocational skill-building, which leads to greater independence and may include returning to paid employment. This is a non-clinical model embraced internationally by Clubhouses around the world.

Manitoba’s first and only Clubhouse opened its doors in 1999, at 172 Sherbrook, where today it serves a daily average of 30 to 45 individuals.

The organization imagined the project, “decent housing for Clubhouse members,” said Marty Dolin, president of Fountain Springs Housing. The Clubhouse donated its parking lot for the building site.

There are 30 suites, including one for the live-in caretaker. Twenty-five are one-bedroom units; five have two bedrooms. Three one-bedroom units are fully accessible for wheelchair users. Eighteen suites are for adults recovering from mental illness.

Rents are set at affordable levels and 15 suites are rent-geared-to-income.

The main floor has two multipurpose rooms (one with a full kitchen), where residents can socialize.

The living units, on floors 2 to 6, are bright. Their oblong windows soar floor-to-ceiling — two in each living room with a similar, operational window in every bedroom. The door into each unit is also floor-to-ceiling, stretching eight feet high.

Walls, blinds, kitchen and bathroom cabinetry and fixtures (fridge, stove, toilet and bathroom sink) are white. The flooring resembles blond wood. There are sleek, slit LED ceiling lights.

At the east and west ends of the common residential hallways, floor-to-ceiling windows frame magnificent city views. A Clubhouse member, who hadn’t yet seen the interior, asked me, “Is it condo-ish?”

I’d say Manhattan-ish.

The designers are h5 architecture and David Penner Architect.

Said architect Hélio Rodrigues, “There was originally a lot of opposition to the project from single-family neighbourhood residents. Now (the building is up) they are embracing it. There’s nothing more rewarding than acceptance.”

Now’s the time to welcome our “new” neighbours.

Gail Perry is a community correspondent for Wolseley. She can be reached at: gailperry.writer@gmail.com

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