Will leaves $10,000 to local seniors’ housing complex

Anyone can do with a surprise $10,000, and the local King George Affordable Housing Society is no exception.

  • Aug. 2, 2011 5:00 p.m.

Anyone can do with a surprise $10,000, and the local King George Affordable Housing Society is no exception.

The organization, which runs the Evergreen Place, recently received the surprise funding, after it was found out long-time local woman Marie Severson had left the money to the group in her will.

She was never a resident of the Evergreen Place, building manager Sam Beldessi said, but was still an integral part of the local seniors group.

“She was a great moral supporter of mine. Whenever she saw me she had something nice to say,” Beldessi said, of Severson, who died in October of last year.

“She was a great supporter of several of the service clubs… We never would have imagined she’d leave us $10,000.”

In addition to rental rates, the centre is heavily subsidized by BC Housing, in order to keep rates within affordable levels.

With this funding system, Beldessi said that the society has managed to hold its own.

But, they are always accepting donations.

“Any  money that we do get goes toward things for our seniors,” he said, encouragingly.

Of the $10,000 specifically, Beldessi said, “It’ll go toward helping other seniors to be able to come into the building.”

With the recent hit of HST, doing nice things for the seniors has become harder to do.

A recent installation of new blinds was estimated to have cost an extra $100, as a result of the HST.

“We do have to watch the way we handle our funds,” Beldessi said.

The next big thing for the Evergreen Place – now in its 11th year – is the installation of an emergency power generator.

“We’ve been out of power for three to four days during winter storms,” Beldessi said, adding that this can create quite a difficult and stressful situation for local seniors.

“We become one big family. If something bothers someone, it bothers everyone.”

Looking to the future, Beldessi hopes to create more affordable seniors living spaces in the Cowichan Lake area; a difficult process already underway.

“There is the need here,” Beldessi said. “30 units barely makes a dent.”