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The Elliott Community shows its Pride

The Elliott Community on Metcalfe Street unveiled a rainbow walkway to its community space Tuesday

Ninety-one-year-old Helen Hansen may have said it best.

"You have to recognize human rights," the 10-year resident of The Elliott Community told reporters, displaying her walker adorned in Pride colours inscribed with inclusive messaging.

This, shortly after the unveiling of a rainbow walkway at the entrance of the building's community centre Tuesday.

Hansen helped to cut the ribbon, along with a number of staff members.

While the unveiling was done in honour of PRIDE month, residents and visitors alike can expect it to be a permanent fixture at the home on Metcalfe Street.

"(It's) to show that we are visibly, not just flying the flag, but we are actually creating a space where people can see and walk in and say 'I feel welcomed here,'" said Michelle Karker, CEO at The Elliott Community.

"We're really proud of it, and for us, it represents culture, and we're inclusive," added Samantha Corman, the community engagement manager.

The idea came from one of the team members. Corman said there was a worry the walkway was a large task and may not have been achievable.

But she said once Karker gave the okay to do the project, the work began.

The centre teamed up with Dulux Paints on Speedvale, and the Dulux staff helped pick out the colours and painted the walkway.

The Elliott Community, like all long-term care and retirement homes in Ontario, remain under pandemic restrictions, including a face mask mandate.

Karker said the hope is the walkway is a positive step forward as they continue the recovery process.

"As we start to move out of COVID, we wanted to sort of take those steps forward to start bringing our external community and internal community together, so that seniors feel less isolated," she said.

Corman echoed that sentiment.

"We're hoping once things open up, it's a great welcoming to not just the home and everyone that lives here and works here, but also to the community as well," she said.


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Mark Pare

About the Author: Mark Pare

Mark is a graduate of Canadore College in North Bay whose career has taken him through a number of spots across Ontario. He spent nearly a decade in the radio news industry in North Bay, Timmins and Waterloo Region
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