Construction might be complete on the new Rest Haven in Steinbach, but the building is still far from full.

On May 13th, a packed house took in grand opening ceremonies for the 143-suite personal care home. Since then, HavenGroup spokesperson David Driedger says it has been an interesting journey and at times difficult because of the newness of the location, systems and processes. But he says six months later they are adjusting to the new norm, allowing residents and family to enjoy the beautiful new setting.

As mentioned, the new Rest Haven is a 143-suite facility, yet as of today, Manitoba Health has only approved a license for 96 of those suites. 

"So, the focus is on a 96-bed arrangement and we have a staffing complement to meet that need," says Driedger.

Driedger explains they are finishing the final phase of the retrofit of the old personal care home at Rest Haven. He expects the entire capital project to be completed before the end of December. And, once that happens, Driedger says they anticipate getting permission to fill all 143 suites. Based on that, Driedger says likely by February or March of 2023, they will begin adding admissions beyond the 96. However, because of the length of time expected before they are fully staffed, Driedger says it will likely be at least summer or fall of 2023 before all 143 suites are full.

Driedger has consistently said that Rest Haven is targeting the hiring of 150 new staff in order to fully operate the new facility. He notes their first round of hiring was completed in summer when they were able to meet the goal of bringing 75 new employees on board. 

"It's fair to say that human resources are a challenge in any setting," admits Driedger. "We need a lot of personnel to join us."

He says they still need registered nurses, resident assistants and those specializing in dietary roles.

Driedger says HavenGroup has been very pleased with how new graduates from local training programs have chosen Rest Haven for positions as resident assistants or health care aids. As for the nursing positions, Driedger says some of their new staff are individuals who wanted a change in scenery, while others worked in Winnipeg for many years and have decided to return closer to home.

Meanwhile, since opening in mid-May, Driedger says residents and families have expressed gratitude towards the beautiful new setting at Rest Haven, noting it feels like home. He adds it really is the best possible scenario to be able to provide a place for seniors in their home community, where they are used to the food and culture and can practice their faith while receiving the best care possible.