Residents in Recovery is searching for a new community for their sober living home after Bonnyville town council denied their request.
The organization had sent an application to open a new recovery home at 4003 41st Street in Bonnyville, however several residents in the area sent in letters opposing it and council turned down the application.
“It’s unfortunate that things didn’t work out,” Executive Director Tyler Lorenz says. “There’s a lot of misinformation out there about people in recovery and it’s unfortunate that that still exists in this day and age.”
Bonnyville administration recommended Lorenz look into putting the recovery home in a higher density area of the town and they would also waive the six month delay on the application. Lorenz says having the house in those zones would not fit into their recovery model.
“Most of our clients have children. Many of them visit regularly in the house and it’s important that they have access to resources like playgrounds and areas where they can go and enjoy their time with people. Being in an industrial area isn’t conducive to the model that we have for reintegration into the community.”
Many residents were concerned about the safety of children living and playing near the house as it is located by a park. Lorenz assures the risk to the public hasn’t been an issue at any of the recovery homes in Lloydminster.
“If there was a threat to public safety or children then I’m sure child and family services would not allow us to be reintegrating all these children with their families. They are all monitored through government agencies and I’m sure if there was a threat to the public or anyone’s safety then what we’re doing wouldn’t be happening.”
Instead of reapplying, Residents in Recovery will be looking to expand into other communities.
“In the very near future you’ll see us in a couple of other places in Saskatchewan. We’ve been working with Sask Health on different proposals that we have in front of them and hopefully things will move forward that way.”
“I wanted to thank Bonnyville for the opportunity to speak about the application and Councilman Colbourne, his thoughts and comments were great as well. Hopefully, things will change in the future and we’ll keep breaking the stigma down.”
Lorenz says the company will be busy in the coming months as they look to set-up another recovery home on the Saskatchewan side of Lloydminster as there continues to be a high demand for their services. He also mentions the outlook on provincial funding has also improved and they could be receiving it by the end of the month.
Residents in Recovery has also received partial funding for a family reintegration program and are looking for a space in the industrial area of Lloydminster to host a work program in the winter.