Sudbury

Greater Sudbury gives CMHA loan to finish 200 Larch Street project

The Canadian Mental Health Association can continue construction on its 200 Larch St. project with financial assistance from the City of Greater Sudbury.

Canadian Mental Health Association says with the loan, the shelter will be able to open Nov. 1

The 200 Larch Street project is moving forward after a $2.2 million loan from the city. (Jamie-Lee McKenzie/CBC)

The 200 Larch Street Project continues construction with financial assistance from the City of Greater Sudbury.

The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Sudbury Manitoulin requested funding from the city to complete the project, which includes the Off The Street emergency shelter, a nurse practitioner and a harm reduction home. This also includes a managed alcohol program.

Sudbury's city council agreed to help finish the project with a $2.2 million interest-free loan to the CMHA.

The chief executive officer for CMHA Sudbury Manitoulin, Marion Quigley admits they made mistakes from the beginning, but are hoping to learn from those mistakes.

"We should have had a project management office from the beginning, the project management could have looked at the full project," she said. 

"The way we've always looked at it as, yes it's one building, but it's three distinct programs and so we were planning independently for those three programs and we should have never done that."

For the past two months CMHA has been working to determine the funding issues. Quigley says the contractor has continued to work on the project in good faith, which has helped to keep the 200 Larch Street project going.

Marion Quigley is chief executive officer of the Canadian Mental Health Association - Sudbury Manitoulin. (Jamie-Lee McKenzie/CBC)

Some city councillors had concerns about providing the loan to CMHA, however, they were told by city staff that without the funding construction would stop and the project would most likely be tied up for another 18 months to two years before it was completed. 

"This is a situation of no choice," councillor Joscelyne Landry-Altmann said.

Quigley says the $7 million project has been a challenge for CMHA, as it's the largest project the association has ever worked on. She says they also rushed to start construction to ensure the shelter would be ready as soon as possible.

"We also knew that we wanted the shelter open by November 1 and we needed several months to do the construction, so we made the decision to move the project forward thinking that the money was there for the construction financing and it wasn't," she said. 

With the loan from the city, Quigley says construction can continue and the shelter is expected to ppen on time. 

Construction is continuing at 200 Larch Street after CMHA received a $2.2 million loan from the city. (Jamie-Lee McKenzie/CBC)

About the Author

Jamie-Lee McKenzie is from Kebaowek First Nation. She's a Reporter with CBC Sudbury. She's also worked as a Reporter and Associate Producer with CBC Manitoba and CBC North in Whitehorse. Reach her at jamie.mckenzie@cbc.ca or connect with her on Twitter @JamieMcKenzie_

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