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The supportive housing floor of the Buhler Active Living Centre is at an exciting stage.

24 units, divided into two communities of 12 on the second floor, are ready for occupancy, all that's needed, according to the Executive Director of the Centre, Mike Chute, is the people to move in. Chute says they now taking applications for the supportive housing facility, and noted they need a minimum of 7 to 10 people in order to open one side.

Chute feels the facility will definitely fill a need in the community. "A lot of people do go to the personal care home before they need to, just because Winkler hasn't had anything like this in the past. We encourage anyone that is interested to give us a call and we'd be happy to sit down and talk about it and give a tour of the facility."

Chute says the supportive housing facility is intended for people that no longer want to stay in their own home or perhaps can no longer stay in their own home, but they are not yet ready for a personal care home. The facility will be staffed 24/7.

Meanwhile, the Buhler Active Living Centre, which has now been open for a little more than one year, now has 72 percent occupancy of the assisted living suites on floors 3 to 8.

Chute says almost right from the start, he could see they had something special. "We took a building, mainly steel and concrete, and we transformed it into a home and a community. I think we have a bit of a unique situation, just because of the closeness of the tenants. It's going as good as we would have expected."

Chute said they notice the tenants are very social people with a lot of interaction among them. "Someone will start playing the piano, someone will come down with an accordion, or a violin, and all of a sudden a jam session going on."

Tenants also enjoy coffee time together, daily and enjoy a number of activities, like puzzling, bridge, cribbage, and crokinole. Chute adds tenants also have the added bonus of enjoying activities put on by the Winkler Senior Centre, which operates out of the Buhler Centre.

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