The Lions Village of Greater Edmonton Society
Edmonton (Host) Lions Club was incorporated in 1929 and has actively been involved in supporting housing and recreational facilities for seniors of Edmonton since 1936. The first Lions developed housing project was the Highlands Sunset Cottages built and completed in 1936. In 1957 the Lions Club sponsored the North Saskatchewan Valley Foundation to embark upon the building of the Lions Kensington Court.
In 1998 the Lions Clubs of Greater Edmonton established the Lions Village Castledowns Foundation, which oversaw the development of the first seniors' facility based on the Life Lease Model. The Life Lease Model provides the senior residents with affordable housing and is designed to promote independent, active lifestyles, while satisfying the evolving housing needs of retiring seniors. Under the Life Lease Model, the senior residents buy a lease or leasehold interest in their accommodation, giving them a right to occupy the unit and use all common amenities in the facility. When residents leave a Lions Village unit, they are refunded the original amount of their deposit subject to the terms of the lease.
In 2001 the Lions Village amended the bylaws and registered as a registered non-profit society: Lions Village of Greater Edmonton Society. The move from a foundation to a society reflected the changing nature of the organisation as they not only develop facilities but also manage and operated the facilities.
While Lions Village Society is an independent Lions Club affiliated with Lions Clubs International, there is an ongoing connection to the Edmonton (Host) Lions Club. All of the directors elected at any time must be current members in good standing of a Lions Club and serve without as directors without remuneration.
Since 1998, the Lions Village Society has developed and operates three facilities, Castledowns, Riverside and Railtown. The Society has been able to adapt and evolve to meet the changing demands for programs and services and has grown from a small organisation with a “dream” to a fully operational multi-million dollar organisation.
Envisioned a “model” for seniors housing that has become a reality – housing that is affordable and sustainable. The Lions Village Society has been successful in providing a community for seniors where they are safe and their health and social needs are addressed. Success is demonstrated by high resident satisfaction given that there is minimal vacancy rate within the residences and regularly the office receives unsolicited testimonials from seniors and their families. The Society has a positive image in the broader senior housing community and with the clients and family members.