A youth recovery house in the Okanagan will be pitched to the Town of Oliver on Monday.
The Bridge Youth and Family Services Society is scheduled to address council on this “passion project” to help young people overcome substance abuse problems.
Director of fund development Kelly Paley says the recovery house will be a 16-bed rehabilitation facility for people under 19 years of age. She notes the program will stem the tide of poverty, family breakdown, mental illness and homelessness that a lifetime of addiction often brings.
Paley says there are fewer than 50 publicly funded beds in B.C. for youth struggling with alcohol and substance use disorders. She adds there are no beds available in the Okanagan for youth under 17.
“Families call our front desk on a weekly basis in distress, looking for treatment for their son or daughter, only to be told none exists here.”
Paley says there is an extensive wait list for these spaces, and she fears the window of opportunity to help these youth is getting smaller in their time of need.
“We need to have places of solace, learning, recovery and healing for children as young as 12 and 13, perhaps younger,” she says.
The society plans to ask Town council how they can work together to bring this project to life.