A new supportive recovery facility for men is planned for Mountview Street in central Abbotsford.

A new supportive recovery facility for men is planned for Mountview Street in central Abbotsford.

New supportive recovery facility for men planned in Abbotsford

Project on Mountview Street gets initial approval from council

A new nine-bed supportive recovery facility for men is planned in Abbotsford.

City council at its meeting on Monday (March 7) gave initial approval to the project, located at 2916 Mountview St. in central Abbotsford west of McCallum Road.

The project will be located in an existing 10-bedroom single-detached home and operated by Living 4 Change, which has been working in the field since 2000, according to a staff report to council.

The report states that the non-profit organization is a member in good standing of the BC College of Social Workers.

The program will have up to 10 male residents, including a house monitor, and will employ a housing manager/group facilitator and an addiction counsellor/group facilitator.

“All staff are very skilled and currently working in the addiction field,” states a letter from Living 4 Change in their proposal to the city.

Council was told there are currently 11 supportive recovery facilities in Abbotsford.

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Les Barkman was the only councillor to vote against the project, saying that, when he recently drove by the location, he saw two cars in the driveway and seven on the street.

“I understand totally the need for this kind of service, but given all the information that I have – from people that live in the area and where it is – I can’t support it,” he said.

“I’m not getting down on anybody for a service – a valuable service in our community. I just don’t think it’s the right spot.”

Mayor Henry Braun questioned how Barkman knew that the cars he saw were linked to the current occupants of the home.

“Last time I looked, it’s not illegal to park on the street unless it’s posted to not park on the street,” he said.

Coun. Dave Loewen said council struggled with the issue of supportive housing in 2008-09 and came up with a “template” that has since been working well.

He said fears that residents have had about having such facilities in their neighbourhoods have “evaporated over time.”

“This service is invaluable and it works. We’re providing a necessary service to recovering addicts in our community. I don’t understand how anyone could not accept this after 10 years … of a proven record,” Loewen said.

Included in the council report were the results of a survey distributed to residents of the neighbourhood.

Of the nine responses received, eight said they did not support the facility.

“I believe this neighbourhood is already saturated with people struggling with addiction/recovery while at the same time not providing the resources needed to sustain a healthy recovery … I do not feel this is an appropriate neighbourhood for a recovery house, both for the neighbours living here, and for the people working on their recovery,” one neighbour stated.

Others said they were concerned about the safety of their children, especially if men with criminal records were going to reside there.

ALSO SEE: Few complaints about supportive housing project in first year

One response supported the project: “They are lovely ladies doing great work for the community while keeping things organized and aesthetically pleasing in line with the established neighbourhood.”

All public hearings have been waived due to the pandemic, but those wanting to address the matter for consideration by council at their meeting on March 28 can contact cityclerk@abbotsford.ca for further information.

The bylaw authorizing the housing agreement for the supportive recovery facility would then be considered for third reading and adoption.



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