The first annual Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser was held at the Zion Baptist Church on Mar. 2 to raise money and awareness for The Northern Women’s Recovery House Society’s proposed project (Natalia Balcerzak/Photo)

The first annual Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser was held at the Zion Baptist Church on Mar. 2 to raise money and awareness for The Northern Women’s Recovery House Society’s proposed project (Natalia Balcerzak/Photo)

New society forms to propose recovery home for women in Terrace

The Northern Women’s Recovery House Society is awaiting non-profit status

The Northern Women’s Recovery House Society held their first annual Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser on Mar. 2 to raise money and awareness for a proposed recovery home in Terrace.

The new society formed in September 2018 after recognizing the need to provide a safe, sober place for women returning from treatment centres — which would be the first facility in the Northwest.

“We’d like to either build or buy a home that will be a house for northern women in recovery,” says Valerie Wright, chair and founder of the society. “When a woman comes back, she needs a non-drinking place so she can carry on into stage two recovery.”

The spaghetti dinner fundraiser, which took place at the Zion Baptist Church, had 80 attendees and raised $1,600. Wright says it was a wonderful feeling to be supported by so many people and that “it’s just a reflection of what people want in the community.”

Wright says there’s a dire need for a place like this in the region as many women struggling with addiction often resort to the shelters, where it can be difficult not to relapse as intoxicated persons have to legally be allowed in. Hospitals only accept people in medical distress and not everybody has a safe home to return to.

“There would be programming [in the house], with a stay of three to six months or longer. Prior to their leave, they’d be helped to go back to school and work before they went out on their own,” says Wright. “[It’s a] 12-step approach that’s spiritually-based, going to programs that allow them to get to know people in the community as it’s an ongoing recovery.”

READ MORE: Second annual Women’s Memorial March held in Terrace

With the support of the Terrace Women’s Resource Centre Society, she has managed to form a board of nine people in the past year to make the vision of a recovery house in the Northwest happen.

Wright says that once the Northern Women’s Recovery House Society receives non-profit status within the next three months, it will help move them forward and make it easier to request funds. So far, they’ve been relying on garage sales to raise money for their cause.

“I worked in addictions and mental health for most of my career and I just couldn’t believe there was really nothing available here,” says Wright. “I spent most of my years in northern Ontario, there we have recovery homes for men, recovery homes for women, we have treatment centres and that’s all in the [medical and social services].”

In the 1980s, Wright worked as a board member of the Breton House in Ste. St. Marie, Ont. and witnessed how their recovery house project benefited the women in northern Ontario.

She says that their proposal would model their program by including aspects in the 10 to 12-bed residence such as meditation, yoga, art therapy, anger management, teaching life skills and group therapy led by certified addiction counselors.

“It’s been so successful that there really is no need to reinvent the wheel… it’s well structured, the clients know what’s expected of them when they come in,” says Wright.

READ MORE: Nisga’a committee awarded for dedicated response to violence against women

Although she recognizes the need for a recovery home for men as well, she says that women tend to be more “vulnerable” and that it’s a good project to start with.

She adds that women already have to leave the region to attend a treatment centre and it adds pressure to their recovery as it can cost a lot to travel, plus not all programs are covered. If they don’t have the financial support and overall encouragement, it can increase their vulnerability to alcohol. By creating a comfortable home to allow women to transition back to the area, she says it would help them create good habits to make it an easier transition for them and their families.

In the meantime, Wright says that they will continue running fundraiser events and are currently looking for a secretary and bookkeeper treasurer for their board.

A previous error was made in the original publication of this article in the Terrace Standard. Wright was misquoted, “… we have treatment centres and that’s all in the law.” The actual word was “north”. She wishes to correct it to be “medical and social services” instead.


 


natalia@terracestandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

City of Terrace Mayor Carol Leclerc, left, received the plaque from Terrace Community Foundation Chair, Norm Parry at George Little Park. (Binny Paul/Terrace Standard)
VIDEO: Terrace Community Foundation marks 10 years as a philanthropic organization in the city

The plaque presented by the Foundation will be permanently displayed at City Hall

Terrace Search and Rescue vice president Dave Jephson during longline training exercises in 2018. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Terrace Search and Rescue Operations spike in 2020

Last year was the busiest ever for Search and Rescue groups in B.C.

Terrace city staff are in the process of reaching out to local and Indigenous governments in the northwest to form a lobby group to pressure the provincial government to fix the city’s growing social issues crisis. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Province urged to fix Terrace social services ‘crisis’

City wants to form regional lobby group

The report prepared by Independent Investigations Office of BC said that no offence was committed by the police officer from Lisims/ Nass Valley RCMP detachment while responding to a stabbing incident that led to an in-custody death. (Black Press file photo)
Nass Valley RCMP officer cleared in October 2020 police-involved death

Independent Investigations Office of B.C. concludes no offence committed by police officer

Photo collage of loved ones lost to substance use and overdose. (Photo courtesy Moms Stop The Harm)
B.C. overdose deaths still rising 5 years after public health emergency declared

Moms Stop the Harm calls on B.C. to provide safe supply in response to deadly illicit drug use

Demonstrators at the legislature on April 14 called on the province to decriminalize drug possession and provide widespread access to regulated safe supply across B.C. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Rally calls for decriminalization, safe supply on 5th anniversary of overdose emergency declaration

From 2016 to the end of February, 7,072 British Columbians died due to overdose

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Feb. 1, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps to 1,168 Wednesday, nearly 400 in hospital

Now 120 coronavirus patients in intensive care, six more deaths

Moss covered branches are seen in the Avatar Old Growth Forest near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island, B.C. Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. blockades aimed at protecting old-growth forests reveal First Nation split

Two Pacheedaht chiefs say they’re ‘concerned about the increasing polarization over forestry activities’ in the territory

Richmond RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng said, in March, the force received a stand-out number of seven reports of incidents that appeared to have “racial undertones.” (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
‘Racially motivated’ incidents on the rise in B.C’s 4th largest city: police

Three incidents in Richmond are currently being invested as hate crimes, says RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng

Commercial trucks head south towards the Pacific Highway border crossing Wednesday (April 14, 2021). The union representing Canadian border officers wants its members to be included on the frontline priority list for the COVID-19 vaccine. (Aaron Hinks photo)
CBSA officers’ union calls for vaccine priority in B.C.

Border officers at ports including, YVR and land crossings should ‘not be left behind’

A still from the video taken of a violent arrest on May 30, 2020 in downtown Kelowna. (File)
Kelowna Mountie charged with assault for caught-on-camera violent arrest

Const. Siggy Pietrzak was filmed punching a suspected impaired driver at least 10 times during an arrest

A screenshot from a Nuu-chah-nulth healing song and performance created in collaboration between Hjalmer Wenstob and Timmy Masso. (Screenshot from YouTube)
VIDEO: Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation brothers produce COVID-19 healing song

Hjalmer Wenstob and Timmy Masso share dance and inspiration.

Most Read