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Officials celebrate opening of county’s first assisted living facility

A ribbon cutting event was held on Nov. 2 to honor the opening of Governor’s Bend, Erwin’s first assisted living facility. Johnnie Lyons, director of Governor’s Bend, said the event also gave the community a chance to thank all the people involved in completing the project, which was initiated by a groundbreaking in 2008.
“It feels good to know that we can be here and make such a difference in the community,” Lyons said. “We have been embraced by the community.”
Lyons said that 22 residents are currently residing in the facility and more residents are scheduled to move in over the course of the next three weeks.
“What a blessing it is,” Lyons said. “We appreciate the confidence families give us which allows us to take care of their family members. They entrust us with the most precious thing they have – family members.”
Thanks to the efforts of all involved, Erwin City Recorder Randy Trivette said, Unicoi County residents now have the option to receive the type of services the facility offers while remaining in the county.
“This is a great day for us,” Trivette said. “We truly, truly appreciate this because the first and foremost thought that we had in this was to provide a service to our citizens that we were not able to provide before. Our community was having to leave our county and go somewhere else to receive services of assisted living and now they have it here.”
Trivette also said the facility is a source for jobs in the community.
“We’re very blessed and thankful that we have a place that you can have a job and work in our community and our town and that you can do what we know you love to do and that’s to care for the residents and the people who live here,” Trivette said.
Governor’s Bend is owned and operated by Free Will Baptist Family Ministries of Greeneville and was built by GRC Construction. The 48,000-square foot facility was designed by architect David Wright. The town of Erwin donated the land and infrastructure for the facility, while Free Will Baptist Family Ministries received a $5 million loan from Rural Development and former Tennessee governor Phil Bredesen awarded a $3 million grant for the construction of the facility.
Another event, which Lyons said will be open to the public, will be held in December. More details about the future eventare to be announced. For more information, call Lyons at 330-6800.
By Kayla Carter
Staff Writer
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