Four log cabins are set to change people’s lives at the Lennon House in Rustico, Prince Edward Island
RUSTICO, Prince Edward Island – Lennon Recovery House, a temporary home for people dealing with addiction and mental health issues, will provide transitional housing by the end of this year.
There are four log cabins adjacent to the Lennon House, intended to provide transitional housing for those who have completed programs at the recovery house.
These cabins were purchased last year through a donation from a local business, with the land being donated by a farmer in 2021.
Executive Director Sandra McNiven said the idea for the project stemmed from seeing residents facing Prince Edward Island’s housing crisis after they completed their programs at Lennon Recovery House.
“After successfully completing here, people have faced difficulties in securing suitable housing. “It was a vision to create transitional housing,” McNiven told SaltWire in an October 17 interview.
However, the four homes remained vacant last year.
Securing funding for the project took a lot of time, and even after the funds are obtained, work will be needed to winterize the cabins, including plumbing, ventilation and insulation, since they are currently summer homes, McNiven said.
“It’s just so many layers,” she said. “It takes a long time. I think it’s a game of hurry and wait.”
The charity received the final portion of its funding last week, and contractors will soon begin work on the four homes, the CEO said.
“If all the stars align, hopefully we can make it happen before the frost arrives,” she said, adding that the tentative opening date for the four homes is Dec. 1.
Ellen Taylor, a local mental health advocate who previously facilitated some programs at Lennon House, said she was happy to see the addition of transitional housing at the recovery house.
“I think transitional housing can be a good thing for people because people know they won’t have to be evicted.” -Ellen Taylor
She said it is essential for those who have completed sober living programs and need support to reintegrate into their daily lives. Transitional housing can take the stress out of finding a place to live while maintaining a sober lifestyle.
“The transitional housing part takes some of the pressure off those kinds of things that you need to rely on when you’re trying to stay well and stay sober,” Taylor said.
Taylor said she’s seen a lot of people struggle to find housing after spending time in sober living homes, mainly because of the housing shortage on Prince Edward Island.
“I don’t know a lot of people who would be able to really stay sober and stay healthy without a roof over their heads. That doesn’t happen for most people,” she said.
“I think temporary housing can be a good thing for people because people know they won’t be able to stay there forever and there will be a certain amount of time, but if they don’t they will have to be evicted.”
The next stage
Once the four homes are operational, each unit will accommodate one person and will be fully furnished, McNiven said.
McNevin said there was a lot of interest among Lennon House residents in applying for temporary housing. Applicants must be self-reliant, have their own transportation and be employed.
“So, they’ll be able to come and go to their workplace. So, what they’ll do is take some of the skills they’ve learned here into that independent life,” she said.
Transitional housing residents will pay an affordable program fee and must commit to sober living. Smoking and drinking will not be allowed in these units, and residents will be responsible as they adjust to independent living, McNiven said.
“It provides a sense of security in the next stage of their recovery.”
Thienh Nguyen is a business reporter with SaltWire in Prince Edward Island. He can be contacted via email at (email protected) Continue on X @thinhnguyen4291.