Moving to a new home is exciting. But let’s face it; sorting, packing and lugging our stuff is a hassle. Now imagine having two days to relocate 11 people into a two-story, eight-unit apartment complex.
That’s what members of BCFR’s Supported Living program faced in December when they prepared to relocate one of its supported living sites to a newly renovated building. By all accounts, the move went off without a hitch thanks to thorough planning by staff and its efforts to prepare the 10 new occupants.
“We had a goal of moving before Christmas, and we met that goal,” said Laura Cravens, Director of the Supported Living Program. “On the day of the move, the residents were very excited.”
The new occupants toured the apartment building several times during the four-month renovation and witnessed firsthand their new home taking shape. Cravens said the renovation project included:
- New flooring – ceramic tile and carpet
- New interior and exterior doors
- New appliances on a case-by-case basis
- New kitchen cabinets and countertops
- New bathroom fixtures and medicine cabinets
- New lighting and paint throughout the building
- New window coverings
The complex came open after another BCFR supported living program relocated this summer to another newly remodeled apartment building in south Columbia. The most recent move was an early Christmas present for the residents, some of whom would be living with new roommates. That was the most exciting part of the relocation for Barb.
“My new roommate is Shaina,” she said. “I’m really excited about that.”
For another resident named Laurie, more space was the best part of the move.
“My new bedroom is bigger than my old one,” said Laurie, who proudly gave a tour of her new apartment. “Look, I have a walk-in closet, and there is even a coat closet. In my old place, I didn’t have a coat closet, so all my coats went in my clothes closet. I like this much better.”
Joyce, another resident, prepared for her new home by purchasing a brand new bedroom set with money she had saved just for the occasion.
“I hurried up and got everything put away,” she said. “When I was done, I laid down on my new bed.”
Gaines Moving & Delivery moved the residents while BCFR’s maintenance department and staff assisted them with unpacking and arranging furniture. Within two weeks, they had settled in and turned their new space into a home.
For Supported Living Director Cravens, making residents comfortable is a No. 1 priority. “These are places in which these people may very well live for the rest of their lives,” she said. “We want them to be nice.”
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