Generally, after a new facility is built, Ranch Ehrlo hosts an open house inviting participants, family, staff, board members, and neighbours for a tour and to enjoy some snacks and great conversation.

Given all the changes during the pandemic, it is probably no surprise that we could not do that after our new Garven Home was constructed. Instead, we created a virtual open house so you could still tour the amazing space.

Garven House is being built for participants in our Supported Living Program (SLP). Participants are often long-term Ranch Ehrlo residents – some have been here for decades. So, when we’re looking at how to help them best achieve success, moving them to a space that best suits their needs, is a great move forward.

“In our Supported Living Program, we strive to provide person-centred, strength-based care,” explained vice-president of residential services Pam Dmytriw. “This means looking at each individual and creating programming, or in this case, space, based on what they need specifically, instead of looking at the group as a whole.”

In continuation of the idea that the design of a home should best suit the needs of a participant, a brand-new home was designed with significant input from Ranch Ehrlo staff and is being built to house five participants who currently reside in our older Jillings Home.

The new building is a bungalow with all the spaces participants need to access (bedrooms, living room, kitchen, etc.) on one floor. The home also features a sensory space.

The design of the new build came from a functional assessment of the old spaces, as well as a layout exercise where pieces of the potential new home were moved until the ideal layout – based on client need - was achieved.

“Looking at the construction of Garven House, we can see the CARE ecologically orientated principle playing out. We understand that our participants are individuals with different needs, and for our long-term participants, in particular, it makes sense to look specifically at those needs while designing a new space. As the needs of our participants  evolve, we strive to provide spaces to provide for those needs,” said James Westerman, Ranch Ehrlo director of property management.

Because it’s also next door to Dalla House, there’s great potential for synergy and using the joint space between the homes.

Garven House was named after Laurel Garven, who was the chair of our board and joined the board in 2012. She is the vice-president of business strategy at Information Services Corporation (ISC), a TSX-listed company focused on the delivery of registry and information services to governments and the private sector.

Participants will move into the new home in the next few months. Once the move is complete, we will begin to renovate Jillings House to best meet the needs for a new group of participants. We hope to have a face-to-face open house for Garven in the fall when restrictions are lifted.

Watch the video tour