Second Chance Recovery House is looking for a new home and has asked the city for a place to build it.
The facility has been occupying a residential building on Birch Street since it first opened in December, 1995, but according to a letter received at this week’s council meeting asking the city for a donation of land, they have outgrown the space over the years.
“Our mandate is to meet the need for accessible rehabilitative services for individuals with addiction,” the letter states, adding that while they do provide “a supportive structure and recovery programs for clients, assisting their families and building community ties that result in healthier individuals, families and community,” they require more space if they are to truly make good on that promise to the community in terms of having a recovery house that “meets the need.”
The current space has four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room, kitchen and dining area, a small office and a pantry. And while that may sound spacious for a home for a family, the North Island Supportive Recovery Society – which operates the facility – says that, at least for their purposes, it’s pretty tight quarters.
They provide 10 beds for men in recovery from addiction, as well as an average of 160 “alumni supports” per month, which include daily in-person support groups and phone-in support.
“Many of the clients we serve are marginalized, needing housing and social supports,” the letter says. “We provide a home-like environment, structured recovery program and assist clients in accessing services that they need. We believe any answers to assisting those that are homeless must be to not only provide a home but a program of recovery for people with alcohol and drug issues and specialized help for people with mental illnesses in conjunction and part of providing a home.”
Back in the spring of 2017, a group of local businesses and organizations came together to fix up the facility’s deck as part of its ongoing renovations.
Then, at a cheque presentation earlier this year, society director Bruce Murdoch told the Mirror the organization was “still in the throws of developing the plan,” surrounding whether they would be looking to continue that work and expand the facility or rebuild it somewhere else.
“Tessera (Brooks, executive director) and the staff have done a tremendous job over the years and we have a huge number of success stories in the community, but we’re short on bedrooms and short on office space,” Murdoch said, but added the decision to rebuild or continue to renovate would be based on how their fundraising efforts were going.
Based on the letter received by council this week, the plan is now to rebuild rather than continue to renovate.
The letter says the society has discussed their needs with BC Housing – which is willing to help them in their efforts – but they need a place to do it.
“We have had a meeting with BC Housing and have discussed, as one alternative, obtaining land from the City of Campbell River with BC Housing helping the society to build a recovery house with room for all the needs of the society and the community and the demand for its services,” the letter says. “We would like to request a suitable piece of land from the City of Campbell River to meet the society’s needs.”
The letter was received by council on Monday, after which Coun. Ron Kerr put forth a motion to begin talks with the society “to discuss opportunities for city land availability for a new recovery facility in Campbell River,” which also carried.