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Residents of Powassan group home relocated to North Bay motel

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A renovated motel on Lakeshore Drive in North Bay is likely the permanent home for a large group of residents, after their group home was shut down late last year after a health unit inspection.

The Lincoln Inn will likely be the permanent home for 37 residents who struggle with mental health and addictions, pending final approval from the Ministry of Health.

“We have put forth what we feel is a permanent solution and we’re in discussions and we’ll continue to work with them,” said Mary Davis, CEO of the Canadian Mental Health Association North Bay and District.

The residents were staying at the Dosanjh Group Care Home in Powassan until an independent North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit inspection last fall found issues with food and its overall cleanliness. It was shut down.

“Ultimately client care and the enjoyment of where they’re living is most important,” Davis said.

The CMHA’s partnership with that facility started in January 2023 when the group home was sold to a new owner.

When the inspection results came back, Davis knew there was a lot of work to be done to move the clients into a new place.

A renovated motel on Lakeshore Drive in North Bay is likely the permanent home for a large group of residents, after their group home was shut down late last year after a health unit inspection. (Eric Taschner/CTV News)

“We certainly wanted to ensure the residents were cared for and safe,” Davis said.

“It was an incredible amount of work but it was our No. 1 priority.”

The building is now up for sale and Davis confirms there are no plans to move the residents back to the group care home. She said having them live in North Bay is much better for them.

“They’re now in a bigger community with access to the amenities and their physician care. Items that we take for granted, they’re able to access those services now,” Davis said.

On Feb. 23, Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli announced $800,000 to help with the costs of helping of finding supportive urgent temporary housing.

“We are proud to see the provincial government provide swift financial assistance to ensure the safety and well-being of these 37 individuals,” Fedeli said at the time.

“We thank CHMA for providing housing, wraparound supports and assistance with the activities of their daily living.”

The long-term plan is to turn the motel into a care home model with some renovations to suit resident needs, pending approval from the province.

In a statement to CTV News, the Ministry of Health confirmed talks are ongoing with the CMHA.

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“We continue to work closely with CMHA North Bay and District toward a permanent solution,” Ministry of Health spokesperson Hannah Jensen wrote in an email.

“The Ministry of Health is in receipt of a proposal for permanent tenancy from CMHA North Bay and District and is currently reviewing that proposal."

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