FSJ pastor opening home for women recovering from addiction


Grace house

While suffering from addiction, Darlene McLaughlin was groomed then trafficked as a young woman

While remembering lost friend McLaughlin said “I could see her saying help me in her eyes and I didn’t. I didn’t help her. And even though I escaped my potential demise in living that lifestyle. I felt like what about now Darlene. What about now? What can you do now?”

Now a pastor at Pentecostals of Fort St. John, she set to officially open Grace House in the city this weekend. The house coordinator is committed to creating a home for women struggling with addiction.

Grace House part of the second stage of recovery after detox. Women will work, pay rent and practice life skills like saving money while living at the home.

McLaughlin hopes the nine to 12 month program will bridge a gap in the system.

“So after 30 days, there was juts a like throwing people in a pale with a hole or not bottom in it and they’re just falling through the system. If we can catch a few, help a few that are going through that we will,” she said.

The three bedrooms at Grace House have been named in honour of deceased local women who’ve suffered from addiction. Family members will attend the opening to help remember Vanessa Haggstrom, Shirley Cletheroe and Kandis Hunter.

Special guests from a Louisiana recovery center will also be on hand for the grand opening.

McLaughlin says Mayor of Fort St. John has supported Grace House from the get-go. Lori Ackerman will cut the ribbon for Grace House on Saturday.

Everyone is welcome to attend the event at 10115 99 Avenue from 1 to 3 pm on July 9.