The Rimoka Housing Foundation is the new owner of the property which holds the Ponoka Rising Sun Clubhouse Society, which is good news as the society will now enjoy a sense of stability. Photo by Jordie Dwyer

New partnership will keep clubhouse where it is

Rimoka purchases clubhouse property with eye to providing stability

After some negotiating over the past few months, the Rising Sun Clubhouse Society will not be moving anywhere.

Earlier this year, the property that houses the society and its programs was put up for sale by the owners. However, due to some ingenious thinking and community spirit, the Rimoka Housing Foundation stepped up to purchase the land and provide a long-term, stable situation for the society.

Peter Hall, Rimoka’s chief administrative officer, came up with the idea that got more than a warm reception from the Rimoka board of the directors.

“This (purchase) is as important to the community as it is to us,” Hall said.

“The clubhouse society’s members, current and previous, have accessed the mental health system and are, or were, part of the social housing Rimoka provides. There is a large crossover between the two organizations, so when the owner went to sell we knew they needed a long-term landlord to provide that stability.”

That’s when Hall went to the Rimoka board and received enthusiastic support for the idea, so he went to work on getting a deal done.

“My board saw the benefit in this and thought it was a great venture into social enterprise,” he added.

While the final price isn’t being released, as the deal closed June 1, Hall explained they got a good deal and that Rising Sun has signed an eight-year lease with a further five-year option available.

“Rising Sun brings a lot of value to this community. Amanda Henderson-Kada and her staff do a great job of providing the services and programs over there,” he said.

“This deal is good for both of us. There is no real risk to Rimoka, as Rising Sun is a stable tenant and this provides them with long-term stability — something that should be of interest to the whole community.”

Hall’s hope is that this is just one step toward building a partnership that could be expanded in some way in the future.

“Supporting this just made sense and we will see where it leads from here.”

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