The province is contributing more than $4 million to the New Roads Therapeutic Recovery Centre in Victoria, which helps men struggling with addiction and repeated incarceration.
According to the B.C. government, the $4.39 million will support an estimated 330 men in the recovery program over the next three years.
Premier David Eby toured the facility, run by Our Place, on Tuesday morning.
“When people make the brave decision to break free from addiction, they need support and a welcoming community,” said Eby in a release. “We’re committed to funding recovery centres like New Roads, where men can be supported in making the courageous decision to rebuild their lives.”
The recovery centre serves men at least 19 years of age who have repeated experiences with the criminal justice system, housing instability and addiction challenges.
Forty to 50 participants live on site for up to 24 months and have access to various recovery programming, including counselling and integration of Indigenous and non-Indigenous healing approaches.
At a media tour in September, New Roads director Cheryl Diebel said this long-form recovery program format has been very successful over the last five years, with about 55 per cent of participants successfully completing the program and moving back into the general community.
“People would say, well 55 per cent, is that high enough?” Diebel said. “If you held me to account to say how many men have made 30 days, I could tell you a good 80 per cent, but we are doing more than that. We are bringing men to, I think, a higher level of healthiness, and so I’m really happy with the results we’re seeing.”
In a release, New Roads resident Tyson Airaksinen said the centre is a lifeline that forever changed his life.
“I was able to examine the underlying causes of my addictions and behaviours, find healing, develop new skills, and gain a profound understanding of myself that will forever influence my life,” he explained. “The journey continues, but I am confident the skills and understanding I have gained at New Roads will empower me to navigate life’s challenges and live a fulfilling sober life.”
Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, added recovery is rarely linear, and everyone’s pathway is unique.
The province said New Roads Therapeutic Recovery Community is an important part of B.C.’s work to build a better, more connected system of mental-health and addictions care that works for everyone.
This includes adding hundreds of new treatment beds, expanding services for youth, and increasing access to programs that reduce harm and help keep people safe, such as drug-checking measures.
Our Place is looking to open a women’s recovery centre similar to the New Roads facility.
“There is nothing like this available for women on this Island, and women, I think, are dying because they can’t get into places like this,” Our Place CEO Julian Daly told CHEK News in September. “The only [place] there is for women like this is on the mainland.”
Daly said Our Place has applied for more provincial funding to start a women’s program and should hear a decision by November.