Casey House plans Jarvis Street expansion

After 23 years, Casey House, a long-time homecare facility for people living with HIV/AIDS, has found itself a new home.

While the move remains in the fundraising process, the organization has already been able to purchase an old building on 571 Jarvis St. Working with Heritage Toronto, Casey House plans to renovate and expand the house into several additional floors.

According to Casey House Director of Medicine, Ann Stewart, the purpose of their new home is to accommodate their upcoming day health program, in which clients are allowed to drop in for various services.

“The day health program will function five days a week. It allows people who don’t live in the residence to come in and see a nurse, a counsellor, a social worker or a case manager for coordinating their medical care,” Stewart said. “They can have a hot meal, see a nurse or meet up with their discussion groups.”

Currently, only clients living in the residence at Huntley Street can access these types of services.

“This program lets us to do more for people who are living in the community, but not living in the residence,” Stewart says.

Along with funding for 200 clients, Community Developments Director Todd Ross said the redevelopment will bring in new personnel.

“We’ll have a womens’ case manager with the program,” Ross said. “There are a lot of women with AIDS who are not open about their status. So, our case manager will work with that population.”

Other additions to the Casey House team will include a homeless outreach manager and a psychotherapist from Mount Sinai hospital.

The organization has already reached three million of their $10 million fundraising initiative, Ross said. While an architect has already been consulted for the new design, it’ll be a few years until construction begins.

“Minister of Health Deb Matthews says that we should be able to go to tender (or break ground) by 2013,” Ross added. “We hope to open the new facility by 2015.”

As for the fate of organization’s current location, Kathleen Sandusky, a spokesperson for Casey House, told Toronto Observer “it’s unknown at this point. It’ll be discussed among the board at a later date.”

Casey House was founded in 1988 and is named after Casey Frayne, the son of celebrated journalist and author June Callwood and Trent Frayne. Casey was killed by a drunk driver in 1982, at the age of 20, as he was riding his motorcycle to university.