Crawford House funding running out

Family Services opened the home in April of last year to help adult males who are recovering from addiction

Three Campbell River men recovering from addiction and working to re-integrate themselves into the community stand to lose their home at the end of May.

Paul Mason, with Campbell River Family Services, told city council last week that unless funding can be obtained, the Crawford Road second stage housing home will be shut down.

“It’s a beautiful three-bedroom rancher plus we have a support worker more than three days a week that is up there and takes the guys to doctors appointments, to NIEFS to look for jobs, whatever they need to do to stay connected,” Mason told council at its April 20 meeting. “Unfortunately, we have to close that house at the end of May because we ran out of funding for it, which is a shame.”

Mason said Family Services opened the home in April of last year to help adult males who are recovering from addiction and trying to get their lives back on track.

“It has been extremely successful,” Mason said. “Three men live there, in partnership with M’akola Housing, and we’re able to just charge them their rental allowance, which on income assistance is $375 a month and that includes their Hydro, Internet, phone. I challenge anybody to go and find a safe place to rent for $375 a month.”

Crawford House had in part been running through a $330,000 grant given to Family Services by the city in 2013 and second stage housing was part of that budget.

Camille Lagueux, executive director of Family Services, said the organization was aware the budget was finite and was only good until Dec. 31 of last year.

She said that fundraising efforts kept the house running for as long as it has, including using some of the funds raised through last year’s Coldest Night of the Year Walk.

“We used the extra funds we had to keep Crawford House going for those additional four or five months up to now,” Lagueux said. “But at the end of May we will have to close that. Right now the opportunity is there to continue to house if we can find the funding for it and  additional funding is available to open another house and have three more beds available.”

Mason said Family Services has an opportunity to take over another three-bedroom house in the Painter-Barclay area through M’akola Housing.

But in the meantime, Mason said it’s tough to see the three men who have moved into the Crawford neighbourhood potentially lose their home.

“The guys feel like this is their home and that’s the most important thing,” Mason said. “They get along with their neighbours and it feels like their home and that’s what it’s all about.”