Four years after Manitoba's Premier made a stop in Steinbach to announce the expansion at Rest Haven, that project is now officially complete.

It was on February 21st, 2019, that Brian Pallister made the big announcement. David Driedger, Chief Executive Officer for HavenGroup says just recently they wrapped up Phase Seven, which was retrofitting the old building. 

"Yes, we do have some deficiencies, yes there are warranty issues, all that type of stuff, but the project is done," notes Driedger. 

This means the new front entrance is also now operational.

Driedger says getting to this point has actually been a 15-year journey, though the last four years have been the most intense. After Pallister's announcement, they spent an intense six months working on the design and then put shovel in the ground in September of that year.

"What really feels good is when family members express their gratitude that their loved one can receive care in modern facilities with excellent staffing complement, getting services at home," adds Driedger.

The new Rest Haven now has room for 143 residents. And even though an official grand opening was held already last May, Driedger says it takes time to add new residents, noting they generally have the capacity to admit two new residents per week. He says today they are sitting at around 90 residents.

But, even at 90 residents, Driedger says this has significantly impacted their waitlist. He notes a year ago, he would have told a family that the waitlist to get their loved one into Rest Haven is two years. Today, that is down to three months. 

As far as staffing is concerned, Driedger says they have hired more than 125 new employees over the last 14 months. He is hopeful they can add another 50 staff yet in 2023, noting the greatest need right now is on the LPN side. 

Meanwhile, Driedger says local politicians like Steinbach MLA Kelvin Goertzen and Mayor Earl Funk have worked hard to help get this project to where it is today. He notes they have always had a heart for their community and a heart for people needing care. 

"They have worked hard with us in the sense of getting this to reality," he says. "So, we've had a lot of dialogue over the seasons and again on behalf of HavenGroup we want to just say thank you for your intent of serving your community well."

The atrium inside Rest Haven (Shannon Dueck)