A local group home for people with acquired brain injuries has plans for an expansion that would double the number of residents it can accommodate.
The Wade Hampton House, located on Bancroft Drive, opened in 2011 and has been at or near capacity ever since.
The group home hosts 10 residents and has one more on the way. But there are around 25 people on a waiting list, and it could be years before they'll get a room.
Many of the residents have suffered traumatic brain injuries in motor vehicle crashes, and other accidents, that have impacted their ability to live independently.
When Wade Hampton House resident Nicholas St. George was 19 years old, he fell off a roof while painting and injured his head.
The resulting brain injury has affected his memory, slurred his speech, and made him reliant on a wheelchair to travel longer distances.
Staff at the Wade Hampton House help St. George and other residents navigate their activities of daily living and learn to live more independently.
Sudbury Mayor Brian Bigger visited the group home Thursday, as it ramped up its fundraising campaign.
“It's always important to come out and understand what's happening in our community,” he said. “There really is nothing else like it in northeastern Ontario.”
In fact, Wade Hampton House has a resident from North Bay, and another from Kapuskasing, where similar housing options for people with acquired brain injuries are not available.
Susan Levesque, a campaign manager with March of Dimes Canada, which runs the home with funding from the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, said the planned expansion would require a capital investment of around $2 million.
Levesque said the home hopes to raise $1 million through a local fundraising campaign and through partnerships with local businesses, that could purchase naming rights for the new building and its various rooms.
The plan is for various government agencies to match private donations to complete the build.
When it launched in 2011, the Wade Hampton House received financial support from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, FedNor, the North East Local Health Integration Network and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
More information about the Wade Hampton House is available at the March of Dimes website.