LIFE Recovery Association is planning to re-establish a recovery home on Melmar Avenue, but is seeking approval to operate so close to another recovery home and a school.
The city’s bylaw prohibits supportive recovery homes from being established within 200 metres of a school or an existing recovery home. The proposed site is 180 metres from a school and 88 metres from another recover home.
The home had previously been used as a supportive recovery facility from 2008 to 2011, operated by the Psalm 23 Transition Society, but approval for the operation cannot be transferred to a different operator. While run by the transition society, the house was given the necessary upgrades, such as fire exits and a sprinkler system, in order to meet the requirements of supportive housing.
LIFE Recovery’s program provides rehabilitation for women dealing with substance abuse issues and has been operating since Feb. 1999. They currently operate a home in Abbotsford, and are now looking to create an “alumni home,” where women who have already been through the recovery program would have an affordable place to live for about one year.
The city’s policy would allow up to 10 residents in the home, though LIFE Recovery would only plan on having five women in care, in order to give each woman her own bedroom. The house would be supervised 24/7.
A letter from LIFE Recovery to the city states that because they operate an existing recovery home, they will be able to connect the women in the alumni home with staff and addictions counsellors. The women will also be able to work shifts at the organization’s thrift store, LIFE’s Second Chance, on South Fraser Way.
City council agreed to allow the variance to go to a public consultation. A meeting will be held between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. on August 20 at Dormick Park Elementary School in order to inform citizens of the area as to the plans for the project.
The application will then return to council for consideration.