Addictions treatment centre approved for Centennial
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 18/03/2022 (325 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A new drug rehabilitation facility will move forward, with plans to help Winnipeggers recover from addictions and access safe, affordable housing.
The city’s Lord Selkirk-West Kildonan community committee approved variance and conditional use applications for the $8.5-million Adult and Teen Challenge of Central Canada project Friday.
The plans call to convert an industrial building at 83 Kate St. into a new addictions treatment centre, with 18 transitional housing apartments.
The decision is final, though it could be appealed.
Coun. Vivian Santos said there’s an obvious need for the treatment spaces.
“My ward… (has) had a lot of systemic issues with addictions. We can basically go outside of city hall right now today and see… these challenges,” said Santos, who represents Point Douglas.
The councillor did question the facility’s focus on providing programs solely for folks who’ve already committed to sobriety, amid many calls to provide “low-barrier” resources to those still using substances.
Adult and Teen Challenge president Daniel Emond told the committee harm-reduction initiatives that allow continued substance use are not a part of the program. However, his organization does partner with others who provide those services.
“We want to look at treating the whole family in all stages but… our purpose is to help provide freedom from addiction, and we realize that an abstinence-based approach is really what we focus on,” said Emond. “We also see the value of working together with all of these other organizations.”
Adult and Teen Challenge shared a separate vision for a future medical detox facility at Lighthouse Mission, its sister organization, to ensure services are available to address all addictions-related needs. Emond noted that vision is in a more preliminary stage.
Emond told the committee his own past struggle with drug use inspires him to ensure recovery programs can be accessed quickly.
“I went through a six-year cycle of going through six different addiction recovery organizations and approaches, and I look back now and appreciate every one of them. That even has birthed this vision of trying to present the complete package to someone right away, where they’re not having to go to six or eight or 10 different organizations before they find freedom from their addiction.”
Emond noted safe and affordable housing is critical for those who’ve completed addictions recovery programs.
He also said public consultations for the project went well, with many community members welcoming the proposal.
Once built, the facility will offer 20-bed short-term and 45-bed long-term recovery programs, as well as transitional housing that helps people who need it gradually re-enter the broader community. Some people who require all those steps could spend years in treatment.
After the meeting, Emond told the Free Press the organization hopes to start construction later this year, and open at least some services by 2023 or 2024, noting the exact timeline will depend on fundraising and final design plans.
The organization has not yet decided whether the proposed space will serve men or women, since that decision will be based on demand closer to the completion date.
Born and raised in Winnipeg, Joyanne loves to tell the stories of this city, especially when politics is involved. Joyanne became the city hall reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press in early 2020.
Updated on Friday, March 18, 2022 5:23 PM CDT: Headline corrected to Centennial where the centre will be located.