Shelburne, VT– Residents of a Howard Center program will soon have a new building in Shelburne to call home. Construction is well underway, and on Wednesday, local leaders commemorated the progress of the project.

The Lakeview House Program is a long-term residential program helping people with their mental health and aiding in their daily needs. Lakeview House celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, but the home wasn’t always in Shelburne.

“We started initially on a piece of property owned by the Catholic Diocese on North Avenue in Burlington,” says Howard Center CEO Bob Bick. “Burlington College bought that property, so we needed to move.”

“We needed to find a facility that was on a single floor, where they had their own bedrooms that could accommodate their growing needs as they age, and with the help of Senator Leahy, we were able to get a congressionally directed financial support,” says Bick.

The CEO notes that projects to serve the aging population are greatly needed.

“Housing is a major challenge for us, and especially for individuals who are struggling with health issues, finding a facility or a home or a building that can meet their physical needs is really challenging,” says Bick.

Despite breaking ground in June, the new house has been in the works for two years. With a total price tag of $3.5 million, the house will have 16 beds for the residents, who have all been living together for several years already.

Home sweet home for these folks will have a library, computer room, dining room, and an outdoor area. The building is one floor and wheelchair accessible.

Former U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy helped initially secure funding for the project.

“We have mental health, and substance use, developmental needs services throughout Chittenden County, but here, we have people who care,” says Leahy.

Dan Costello has been a lakeview resident for 19 years. He’s particularly excited about the shops nearby.

“There’s a Dunkin’ Donuts close by for morning coffees; there’s a burger joint across the street and north a little bit,” says Costello. “It looks as if the front and back lawns are ample, and it looks like deep woods at the edge of the back lawn. We will rely on the busses as we used to on North Avenue, it will take picking up a bus guide and studying it to get into a routine.”

The Howard Center hopes to have the residents moved in by February.