A spokesperson for HavenGroup says by early summer they should open the last two homes at Rest Haven personal care home in Steinbach.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on May 13, 2022, following more than two and a half years of construction. Even though the expansion was complete, that did not mean that Rest Haven was able to immediately fill all the rooms in the 143-bed facility. HavenGroup said from day one that it would be some time yet before all beds would be occupied, noting that the expansion required the hiring of at least 150 new staff.

Tannis Nickel is Chief Executive Officer for HavenGroup. She says as of today there are about 100 residents living at Rest Haven. Nickel says they continue to admit one or two new residents each week. But she says it is quite a process to admit a resident, noting it has to be thoughtfully and carefully prepared for. 

According to Nickel, their social workers, spiritual care, and nurse practitioner, along with the rest of the team, all work together in assessing new residents who are moving in. She notes they do a thorough assessment and consider who is currently living in that home and whether or not it will be a good fit. 

"You want to fit people in together with like interests or different capabilities," she explains. "And work towards building a community of faith, building a community of love and hope, so that they can live out the rest of their days as comfortably as possible."

Though the process is time-consuming, Nickel says it should give comfort to families knowing that their loved one is cared for. 

"Each resident has a different background, has different family dynamics and we want to make sure that we look at all of the strengths and attributes of the residents who are currently living here and potentially moving in to make sure that we have the best fit and make them a home where they want to live and make it a home that residents and staff and families can work and live together."

In late January, Nickel noted that they still needed to hire approximately 16 certified health care aides and about eight to 10 Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) before having the capability to open up to their 143-bed capacity. Today, Nickel is pleased to say that due to several recent hirings, they should be in a position by early summer to open their two homes on the main floor. Those are the last two homes that remain closed. A home consists of 12 resident rooms. 

However, just because all homes at Rest Haven will soon be open, Nickel says that does not mean they will immediately fill the remaining rooms. Rather, families can expect that Rest Haven will continue to admit one or two new residents every week. 

Meanwhile, Nickel says though they have been successful in hiring many health care aides, they are still looking to hire more LPNs. Anyone wishing to apply to be an LPN, or who may want to volunteer at Rest Haven is invited to do so by visiting HavenGroup's website.