Residents in Recovery will be closing the doors on its downtown recovery centre on February 29.

The Residents in Recovery Society is fully funded through community support over the past year and a half. Program Director Tyler Lorenz says recently donations have dropped and government funding hasn’t been going through and the Society has been falling behind in payments.

“It’s been pretty tough going the past few months. We’ve been waiting on government funding for some time now for some time. We submitted proposals back in September. We haven’t heard anything back yet it’s still in the evaluation stage. We were hoping that would be decided upon by now.”

Lorenz says there will be a broad impact on the community with the closure of their pre-treatment services. 

“Individuals are going to have to fend for themselves for that 2,3 or 4 months until they get into treatment. Unfortunately, they’re going to end up in our shelter system or jail or emergency rooms because there is no continuum of care or options in our community.”

He says they have over 70 people on their waiting list and receive referrals from remand jail lawyers, Alberta Health Works and from families with loved ones struggling with addictions.

“They reach out to us for support as far as where to turn and how to get people into detox and treatment.”

Residents in Recovery estimates they’ve saved the provincial governments over $200,000 with their programs and keeping people struggling with addictions out of shelters, jail and emergency rooms.

“Incarceration costs exceed $15,000 a month for an individual. Right there, we save $1,000 a month for every client we have in our program. It makes a big difference.”

The Society will keep two post-treatment sober living houses open, a six-bed men’s house and a six-bed woman’s house, for the time being as they try to gather more funding.

“We’ll do what we can to move individuals that are pre-treatment into other facilities or programs if we can and we’ll move ahead with post-treatment individuals for now.”

The Society would need to collect $35,000 to get caught up on their bills and keep the centre open for another month. Lorenz says if they raise the money, they will then take it month by month as they wait for government funding.

Lorenz says those looking to help can donate through the Lloydminster Regional Health Foundation, at the Foundation’s office in Prairie North Plaza or at the Residents in Recovery office at 4804 50th Avenue.