KAMLOOPS — Seven months after the province purchased the former Maverick Motor Inn, ASK Wellness has transformed it into a 42-room transition housing unit.
There is still work to be finished on the first floor, but already people are moving in on the second floor.
Linda Kilgallen was destined to live in her vehicle if not for the Maverick Manor, desperately needing a permanent place to live.
"It's very nice to empty the things out of my car, which was quickly becoming my place of residence," said Kilgallen.
Kilgallen had been sleeping at her friend's son's place, but she figured she needed to find her own place when she came across this transition housing ASK Wellness has opened.
"I had left the [ASK] Wellness Centre with no hopes, very quickly looking at my car as my place of residence, and I was considering setting up a tent on a beach," noted Kilgallen, who was running out of options. "Then I got the phone call that this was a possibility."
She was one of the first residents to move into the Maverick Manor on Friday afternoon, one of six who have moved in so far.
"The ASK Wellness mantra is from streets to homes to health to employment, and finally we have seen the reality of that employment piece," said director of housing at ASK Wellness Kim Galloway. "More than just employment, we're providing affordable housing with supports."
Kilgallen, who is on disability after contracting Lyme disease, wants to get back into the workforce. She worked in construction before being bit by a tick five years ago and going undiagnosed.
"I received one bite in Pritchard, and then when I relocated to Surrey I got another bite there. But I had no idea the risks involved," she said. "I went from working 128 hours and eight days to, less than six weeks later, I couldn't stand up or walk or talk on my own properly."
But now, there's is light and hope for Linda, and she is grateful for the opportunity.
"I'm starting to feel stronger and seeing, health-wise, a light at the end of the tunnel," said Kilgallen. "I'm hoping by the end of six months, I'm functioning again. I've been seeing some strides with my health, and I received in the mail yesterday a gift from a Secret Santa — a new protocol of medicine for my illness. So that combined with this, it's a very good day with some hope for the future."
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