Discovery House has opened their newest location on Edna Avenue in Penticton to help those suffering from addiction continue their progress in substance-free recovery beds.
The home is affectionately named “Parker Place,” in honour of Parker’s Chrysler’s instrumental donations and their family.
Janet Parker, the president of Parker’s Chrysler, was proud to see the home come to fruition. She’s been working with Discovery House since her son Colin passed away from an overdose on Oct. 4, 2016.
“This is huge working towards a goal of having another house for Discovery House in memory of my son and it’s an honour to have it called Parker Place,” Parker said. Parker’s Chrysler donated $40,000 towards the organization’s annual Shed the Light on Addiction campaign, along with a further $10,000 cheque personally from Parker herself.
“It means that we’re really helping to save lives, we’re helping get families back together and I love that it’s an abstinence-based approach, I think that it’s the only successful way to go forward in treatment. For after treatment, this is just perfect.”
Created as an independent living house to help continued support for recovery, the house has five beds for clients that have been in abstincence-based recovery for a year or more.
“It’s a really big win all around. It gives some depth to our organization and it also ensures that we don’t necessarily have to have finite timelines as far as treating people. Guys can stay here until they’re ready to leave,” said Jerome Abraham, Discovery House executive director.
“We’ve seen a real need for housing after the treatment program and long term care.”
One of Discovery House’s clients in the new home, Brian Campbell, spoke about how he was glad to see the continual support for individuals like himself that are in recovery.
“It gives you another opportunity, more time to kind of be under the umbrella of what gets you your foundation and recovery to begin with.”
As someone who suffered from alcohol addiction, the sobriety and being clean allows for him to continue to recover from his problems.
“I can assure you that I was at basically my end….I didn’t have any hope left. I didn’t know anything else,” Campbell explained.
“Life was just too hard and I didn’t want to be here anymore. That’s what made me come into Discovery House and I’m very fortunate I had a spot open up…. And now I’m here and I’m doing relatively well.”
Local politicians MLA Dan Ashton, Coun. Judy Sentes and Mayor John Vassilaki were in attendance for the public reveal Thursday, showing support for Discovery House’s work.
“We need a heck of lot more of such facilities, not only in the City of Penticton but also British Columbia. This is what actually works and I’m proud to be here today,” Vassilaki said.
“I just hope BC Housing is paying attention to something that actually works, where people come with their addictions and leave better than there were when they came in,” he added, ostensibly referencing an ongoing feud between the city, BC Housing and Minister of Housing David Eby over the Victory Church emergency homeless shelter and other so-called “wet” supportive housing facilities in Penticton.
Discovery House is currently working with BC Housing to see if they can add on two more beds with a carriage house in the back.
“The province has been supportive of this, the city has been supportive of this because of our past reputation. We’ve been good neighbours in every neighbourhood we’ve been in so far and we expect that to continue,” Abraham added.
“We hope that it can be a catalyst for the city and for the province to start working together to implement solutions that fill out the whole harm reduction continuum.”