Milt Walker, the executive director of Kinghaven Peardonville House Society, has announced that he will retire on Dec. 31 after 35 years with the organization.
Walker will be replaced by Tsitsi Watt – currently program director with Communitas Supportive Care Society – who begins her new position on Jan. 2.
Walker has seen the organization transition from a halfway house for recovering alcoholics to one of the province’s premier intensive residential treatment centres.
It provides addiction and mental-health recovery services to both men and women as well as fully licensed child care in its unique Moms and Kids program at Peardonville House.
Walker, who has been executive director for the last 18 years, has overseen the addition of the 31-unit George Schmidt Centre, a second-stage housing facility for men who are homeless or at risk of being homeless, as well as the redevelopment of the Kinghaven site on King Road.
Kinghaven was established in 1947 as a 32-bed halfway house for male alcoholics and has morphed into a 62-bed state-of-the-art residential facility.
It offers multiple programs, including intensive treatment, detox, stabilization and transitional living as well as a unique employment-readiness program.
To date, Kinghaven has served more than 25,000 men, while Peardonville House – established in 1987 to serve alcoholic women and their under-school-age children – has served more than 5,000.
Watt comes to her new position with a wealth of experience in working with marginalized populations in both Southern Africa and Canada.
She has been a keynote speaker at multiple regional and national conferences as well as having extensive committee and board experience.