Would the Delancey Street model work in Campbell River?

After reading “Not my finest hour, says woman who was tasered) by Jocelyn Doll, it brought back a myriad memories.

I supported a young addict from the depths of hell to his graduation from college on the Dean’s list.

The huge range of emotions I experienced over the years from guilt – anger – shame and frustration to success were all there. Where was the help and support as I, too, felt alone.

Is the answer “revolutionary Approach to Rehab,” an article in the Sunday, Aug. 6, 2017 edition of The Province?

“Delancey centres have saved the lives of thousands of former addicts and ex-convicts in the U.S. by giving them a place to live and work. Can the same model work and be accepted in Vancouver?” Lori Culbert reports.

“The exuberant founder of six unique American communities, where ex-convicts and drug addicts live and work together while learning to heal, was in Vancouver recently to see where a Delancey Street-style project could be located here.

“Mimi Silbert opened the first Delancey site in San Francisco 47 years ago and, at age 75, has not lost her passion for the more than 18,000 people who have graduated from her facilities – once troubled souls, with a history of addiction, incarceration and homelessness, who eventually left her embrace with high school diplomas, job skills and the ability to give, rather than just receive, from society.

“Silbert’s rehabilitation centres are unlike any in Canada, because they have no professional staff and are 100 per cent operated by the very residents they are trying to save.

“We take people who have every single social problem. We bring them together. We take no government money, and actually are not funded. We don’t charge (clients). The idea is that the people with all these problems have within in them the strength to make life work. So Delancey Street teaches everything: vocation, education, how to get along with yourself, how to get along with everybody else.”

Can the same model work – and be accepted – in Campbell River?

Look up Delancey Street Foundation – who we are – what we believe – how we work – our story – our struggles – our accomplishments – our facilities – our enterprises – our president – our graduates.

Joan Coupal

Campbell River

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