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WTCSB cuts ribbon on Cove

A new residential health facility held a ribbon-cutting and open house last week and has plans to be ready for occupancy by Nov. 1.

Tidewater Cove is located on East Washington Street in a building that has been through several iterations of health care facilities in recent years, including the Nub-Jones nursing home and Tabernacle Gardens assisted living facility.

But the Western Tidewater Community Services Board purchased the building in May and since then has undertaken a number of renovations designed to improve the standard of living for the soon-to-be residents, who will likely have behavioral or mental health diagnoses along with the possibility of medical issues.

Officials at all levels are excited about the opportunity.

“We’re very excited about what they’re doing here,” said Dr. Jack Barber, interim commissioner of the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services. “I’m very happy about it.”

Barber said the Hampton Roads region has a high number of people sent from jail to Eastern State hospital and a number of people in hospitals who no longer need to be there for medical ailments.

Barber said he appreciated WTCSB ”stepping up to the challenge.”

The facility features floor-to-ceiling and wall-to-wall renovations as well as exterior improvements. Residents will be able to enjoy an improved dining room and day room, a renovated gazebo and courtyard with patio seating.

“We want this to be home,” said Anita Morris, behavioral health home administrator for the WTCSB. “We want them to feel at home and take pride in it.”

Morris said the facility has created 18 to 20 new jobs in health care, clinical care and administration. It is licensed for 65 residents.

“This is an amazing thing,” Mayor Linda T. Johnson said at last Thursday’s open house. “They are the right people and the right situation.”

Azeez Felder, director of social services for Suffolk, said the facility fills a void.

“When it was closed, it created a vacuum,” he said. “We have been waiting with bated breath until someone took over the facility. It just relieves a lot of pressure for families and individuals that need care.”

WTCSB Executive Director Demetrios Peratsakis said the facility should be open by Nov. 1.

“We have had a lot of incredible support from the community,” he said, naming especially the City Council and various city departments such as the fire marshal and police department.