Our Place Recovery Centre pledged $4.7-million before receiving approval from View Royal

The B.C. government has pledged $4.7-million in funding to turn the former youth custody centre in View Royal into a recovery centre.

The Therapeutic Recovery Centre, run by Our Place Society, will house 50 male clients between 12 and 24 months to provide support and resources for drug addictions.

The site would be a male-only centre due to the nature of the residents of the centre, according to Don Evans, executive director of Our Place.

“The reason why this facility is only for men is because people are going to be coming in through the criminal justice system and through corrections,” Evans said. “Both of the jails on the island are male, and 80 per cent of the individuals on the street are male. If it was co-ed we would end up with a ratio of 45 men and 5 women and it would be very difficult for the women to be successful. Our intent is to open this one up for men, then another one later for women.”

The proposed location is currently undergoing a rezoning process, but they hope to have the facility opened and accepting clients by 2019.

David Screech, mayor of View Royal believes the announcement was made too early, because the project still needs to go through community engagement and rezoning.

“We had promised View Royal residents that after Choices was put in their neighbourhood and in a very quick way because it was responding to an emergency and there was no consultation,” Screech said. “We promised them that there would be consultation and a community process before any final decisions were made on the therapeutic recovery centre and I think strongly out of respect for that, we have to follow through with that.”

Judy Darcy, minister of mental health and addictions said that there is a need for addiction treatment centres in B.C.

“Urgency dictates that we move quickly from ideas into action because we see the very real needs - the life and death needs - of British Columbians every single day,” Darcy said. “At the same time that we are listening and learning, we’re also taking action because there is an incredible urgency to taking action today.”

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