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Stage-2 recovery house for women to be set up in Terrace

After completing a feasibility study, Northern Women’s Recovery House moves forward with next step
Annette Sorensen, vice-chair, Northern Women’s Recovery Society receives the feasibility study from Roger Leclerc from Harris Palmer consultancy group. (Submitted photo)

A recovery house to serve the needs of northwest B.C. women fresh out of addiction-detox centres, is set to become a reality in Terrace.

Northern Women’s Recovery Society (NWRS) – a relatively new Terrace-based organization founded by a group of women – is looking at setting up a 12-bed recovery house for women in the city.

NWRS completed its feasibility study with funding from the Nisga’a Lisims Government and is moving forward to prepare a business plan to establish an Indigenous-focused, abstinence-based women’s recovery house serving the northwest, said Annette Sorensen, the vice-chair of the organization.

The feasibility study conducted by Harris Palmer consulting group identified that there were no stage-2 facilities in the northwest for women to seek recovery support after a detox and addictions treatment.

The closest facility offering a recovery service is located in Alkali Lake, 850 km east of Terrace and is a co-ed program.

“When people finish detox treatment and come back straight into their communities without any support systems, there is a possibility of relapse,” said Sorenson, who added that post treatment recovery centres help bridge this gap in communities.

The proposed second-stage recovery model would provide women with a safe and affordable home to continue their recovery journey after completing treatment, she said.

The treatments offered by the recovery house will be rooted in Indigenous wellness practices but will be open to all women throughout the region. The NWRS anticipates a 70 per cent Indigenous clientele from the northwest region.

The report also identified that Terrace — being the hub of the northwest and a central location for several Indigenous communities from Hazelton, Prince Rupert, Kitimat, Nisga’a and Tahltan territories — was an ideal location to set up the recovery centre.

Moreover, the numerous service agencies already existing within Terrace would complement the services offered by NWRS.

But moving forward, the city’s housing crisis will pose a serious challenge for the project as it looks at sites to set up the facility, said Sorensen. High property prices and zoning requirements are bound to make the purchase an expensive affair for the organization.

About the Author: Binny Paul

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