WATCH: The province will provide $4.7 million for Our Place Therapeutic Recovery Community but View Royal council hasn’t approved it yet. April Lawrence reports.
Davin Holmes battled an opioid addiction for years and has lost both of his brothers to overdose. But after spending two years in prison, he finally got the treatment he needed.
“I always knew I wanted to change in my life I just needed the right setting to do it,” he said.
On Monday Holmes shared his experience at a funding announcement for a new, unique, treatment centre on Vancouver Island.
“It’s a holistic recovery-based community approach to help people address their addictions as well as the root causes that can contribute to addictions,” said Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Judy Darcy.
The province is spending $4.7 million dollars to create the Therapeutic Recovery Community at the former youth jail in View Royal. It will be run by Our Place Society and house up to 50 men who will stay from 12 to 24 months.
“It’ll be a closed facility so people won’t be coming and going unless there’s a reason for it,” said Our Place Executive Director Don Evans. “The whole program is healing through community, so it happens through work, it happens through gatherings,” he said.
The plan is to have it open by the fall but there is one hurdle still to clear. The zoning hasn’t been approved yet by View Royal council. Mayor David Screech was disappointed in the timing of Monday’s announcement.
“We are definitely in the middle of the process and my personal preference would have been if this announcement happened after our community had said they supported this and that would have been the proper way to go about it in my mind,” said Screech.
The minister insists the timing isn’t meant to put pressure on the town.
“There have been a number of community consultations already, Don Evans referred to a further consultation that’s going to be taking place, our intention is to address all of the community concerns,” said Darcy.
The program will be modelled after a similar community in Italy called San Patrignano Therapeutic Community.
Davin Holmes stayed 10 months at a similar therapeutic program called Guthrie Place at the Nanaimo Correctional Centre. He says he’s an example of how successful the unique form of treatment can be.
“You know I get to see my kids,” he said. “I’ve got a job, a really good job, life’s beautiful, I love it,” he said.
Our Place says the 50 residents will come from the criminal justice system, and each one will be interviewed to make sure they’re ready for treatment. The facility will be men-only but Our Place says it would like to open one for women down the road.