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Champion House treatment centre proposed for Greater Trail

A group concerned about homelessness and addiction in Greater Trail wants to start a local rehabilitation centre.

“It came about when a group of people wanted to solve some problems related to homelessness, but as we worked together we realized the bigger problems were around mental health issues and addictions,” said Marnie Devlin, who is among those advocating for the idea.

After looking at the idea for about six months, the group recently went public with plans for what has been dubbed Champion House, a detox/treatment/rehabilitation centre to be operated by medical and rehabilitation staff.

No specific location has been identified, but Devlin said it will be within Greater Trail.

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“Our goal is to have full recovery for all people in the Lower Columbia who need it,” Devlin said. “We’ve created some strategic alliances and seem to have the support of our area.”

However, she said it is a “huge undertaking” and they will begin by hiring a consultant in January on a three-month contract to research funding opportunities and work on a business plan.

Devlin said they have aligned themselves with a Vancouver organization called Streettohome that provide valuable resources to organizations like Champion House.

“We want to restore safe and healthy communities and want people to be able to grow personally and reach their full potential,” Devlin said.

“We want people to break away from their addictions, live healthy lives and be productive, active people.

“We want full recovery. We’re going to work with individuals and groups who can offer vocational skills. We’ll offer life skills so it’s much more expansive than a recovery centre.”

About 50 people attended a recent town hall meeting to discuss the concept and Devlin said they they have received positive feedback.

“We’ve been getting a lot of support and I think it’s going to work. I think it’s so badly needed. We’ve got the energy, drive, resources and we’re determined.”

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