Good news

Supportive recovery centre finds new, fully equipped home in James Bay

The three-storey house—formerly an adult recovery centre—brings additional space, beds, and resources to the program

By Emily Fagan
July 2, 2021
Good news

Supportive recovery centre finds new, fully equipped home in James Bay

The three-storey house—formerly an adult recovery centre—brings additional space, beds, and resources to the program

By Emily Fagan
Jul 2, 2021
Jasmine Campbell, development manager at Threshold Housing. Photo: Emily Fagan / Capital Daily
Good news

Supportive recovery centre finds new, fully equipped home in James Bay

The three-storey house—formerly an adult recovery centre—brings additional space, beds, and resources to the program

By Emily Fagan
July 2, 2021
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Supportive recovery centre finds new, fully equipped home in James Bay
Jasmine Campbell, development manager at Threshold Housing. Photo: Emily Fagan / Capital Daily

When Jasmine Campbell, development manager at Threshold Housing, looks at the grassy backyard of the new supportive recovery centre in James Bay, she can already picture the garden beds, lounge chairs, and lively barbecues that will soon fill the space.

Campbell’s first barbecue was during her first week at Threshold Housing, in the summer of 2017. She remembers the smell of the meat on the grills, the guitar music played by young members of the programs. But most of all, she remembers feeling like she was home.

“I didn't really expect supportive services to look and feel that way,” Campbell said. “It felt like a true community.”

Now, with the many new resources and amenities of the James Bay supportive recovery centre, she can’t wait to share that feeling with all of the youth recovering from addictions and substance use disorders that will pass through this space for years to come.

On June 23, after an all-day flurry of movers, the team at Threshold Housing brought the four youth currently in the supportive recovery program to settle into the centre’s new home.

Threshold Housing’s first supportive recovery centre, which was located in the South Jubilee neighbourhood of Victoria, opened its doors in February to six youth between the ages of 15 and 21. Through a four-month program, youth create goals and a case plan to work towards while living in the centre, attending school, and participating in skill-building activities. Those who relapse aren’t required to leave, like in many recovery programs—staff use a harm-reduction model to guide youth back towards their goals.

However, there were many aspects of the former supportive recovery centre that didn’t make it the perfect home for the supportive recovery program. As a fourplex townhouse, the kitchen and common area were small spaces, which limited the ability for group activities, especially during times of pandemic physical distancing requirements.

Threshold Housing's new supportive recovery centre has plenty of space to socialize. Photo: Emily Fagan / Capital Daily

From the street, the new three-floor centre (including a finished basement) looks like any other house in James Bay, with a lush flower garden, big windows, and character coming out of every shingle.

Formerly a recovery centre for adults, the building came fully furnished, including everything from furniture, decor, and even pots and pans. Threshold Housing purchased the house with support from their partnership with Island Health, grants, and donations.

The building has five large bedrooms—each with two beds, desks, and a private bathroom. All of the rooms are named after prominent figures in the history of substance recovery.

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Youth picked their own bedrooms prior to move-in day and set about making the space their own as soon as they arrived.

“They were really excited about that for the past two weeks, thinking about their space and how they wanted to set it up,” said Hollis Thorau, program manager of Threshold Housing Society’s supportive recovery program.

Once their licensing is completed, the supportive recovery program will be able to house seven live-in youth at a time, with one respite bed and one youth staying with a host family. These limits are dictated by Threshold Housing’s contracts with Island Health.

The centrepieces of the new centre all reside on the main floor—the living room, the dining room, the 24-7 staffed office, and the kitchen. All are spacious and carry with them opportunities for socializing and building skills that the previous building didn’t.

The kitchen in Threshold Housing's new supportive recovery centre. Photo: Emily Fagan / Capital Daily

“The kitchen is so much bigger, so we can have them help with prepping meals and working on the life skills of washing dishes or prepping and cooking food,” Thorau said.

“That's what [the youth] have been craving that we couldn't provide [before] is this communal area that they can also have ownership over.”

After the dust settles on the move, Campbell is looking forward to using the living room for activities including art therapy, impromptu music, and talks from guest speakers. Threshold’s Indigenous cultural wellness worker will be one of the upcoming speakers, as their work is built into the program.

The dining room, with a large picture window overlooking the street, is another new space for the centre that Campbell sees great potential in.

“The youth we served through the housing program let us know that being at Threshold has been some of their first experiences of having dinner with others all as a family,” she said.

Now for years to come, this will be a place where youth can continue having familial moments over a meal that they might not have otherwise experienced outside of the program. It’s a connection similar to the one Campbell first experienced at the barbeque many summers ago, and something Threshold is working hard to keep bringing to all of those who need it most.

“We're really, really excited to welcome more youth into the program,” Thorau said, “and to just get to flesh out the ideas that we had for this project originally and be able to make them come true now.”

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